Food allergies can be very scary things. Working in schools I see kids with food allergies every day, and long before Nick was even a thought I realized how severe food allergies could be. Most expecting parents worry about their future child’s health. As the saying goes you want a healthy baby with ten fingers and ten toes. That being said there are many things we still worry about. One of my fears was that I would have a child with a peanut allergy. The thought that just being around a peanut can cause an allergic reaction really scares me. Luckily we know that Nick does not have that extreme of a peanut allergy, although we don’t know that he doesn’t have one for sure. Still, my fear of a food allergy caused me to be very careful and observant of the foods I gave Nick. That vigilance is what helped me quickly realize not only did Nick have a food allergy, but it also helped me figure out the food he was allergic to.
How to discover a food allergy? It really is quite simple. The important thing is to remember to take things slow when you introduce you child to knew foods. Assuming they like the food you’re feeding them babies will be happy to eat what you’re giving them for a few days because the taste is so new to them. It’s so exciting to give your child new foods, but when it comes to allergies time is most important. When trying out a new food you should give your child a couple days before adding a another new food to their diet. Sever allergies, like Nick’s, will show up immediately, but minor allergies and intolerance will take longer to notice. Signs can be as simple as an upset stomach, so it would take noticing your child always getting fussy at some point after eating a certain food to know that their is a problem.
Honestly, I’m not a very paranoid parent. I think even Jason would agree that I am the more relaxed parent who doesn’t worry too much. Still, long before I ever gave Nick an egg I was worried about an allergy. Due to this I only gave Nick a new food every week. This especially became hard when he started eating the Stage 2 baby foods that mixed different foods together. You should have seen me try to buy new foods that were only mixed with foods Nick had already tried. Granted we didn’t have a problem with the baby food, but when the egg was the new food I knew immediately that it had to be the culprit of allergy.
Some parents don’t care about monitoring the food that their child eats, or about taking it slow and only trying one food at a time. This can be very hard on a child that actually has a food allergy. A doctor told us on a visit that they knew a mother that had been forcing her daughter to eat chocolate to only later discover that the allergic reactions that her daughter kept having was to the chocolate. You don’t want to be that mother! On top of looking like a mother that doesn’t pay attention or care there is a real risk that runs along with continuous eating of a food that you’re allergic to. It is possible that every time a person allergic to a food ingests it the reaction can be worse than the time before, and it works the same if the person has more than one food allergy. This is why we’re still avoiding nuts with Nick. Nick had an extreme reaction when he ate the scrambled egg. If he is allergic to a type of nut, and we feed it to him, the reaction could truly be deadly. So, for now we’re waiting until he can tell us early on if he is having a reaction so we can take the necessary steps to protect him.
Food allergies can be a very serious thing. Many of us don’t think much of them because as kids they weren’t as common, but today a large number of children are allergic to some type of food. You can easily take steps to help protect your child if you take things slowly with new foods which hopefully you will do now that you know how to discover a food allergy.