How to prevent food allergies in your baby

By Heidi Young RN (Dip.H.E.) Paediatric Nursing & Clinical Nurse Specialist (Allergy) from The Nest, Kids CPR & Allergy

We now know that the best way to prevent allergies in our children is to give them the common allergy causing foods before they turn one. Delaying the introduction of the common allergy causing foods does not prevent food allergy. Research has shown that giving your babies these common allergenic foods before they turn one, can greatly reduce their risk of developing an allergy to it. Common allergy causing foods are:

  • egg
  • wheat
  • cow’s milk
  • soy
  • peanut
  • fish
  • shellfish
  • sesame
  • tree nuts

So when you feel your child is ready, around 6 months (but not before 4 months), and they are taking an interest in food, watching you eat, they have good head control and are sitting up unaided, you can introduce these first common allergenic foods, in the form of smooth good quality peanut butter and well cooked egg.

It is also recommended by the National Allergy Strategy that ALL babies, should be introduced to common allergy causing foods despite family history or other factors like eczema. If you have tried these foods and your baby has reacted in any way, you should see an allergy specialist as soon as you can, so as not to delay any further feeding and get the proper advice.

Here is a really great resource for advice on why we should feed our babies these foods as soon as possible – https://preventallergies.org.au/ and the Australian Society of Clinical Immunology & Allergy (ASCIA) is the go to for the most up to date information on anything allergy related. Here are their guidelines on infant feeding and allergy prevention

I hope you have enjoyed this blog post, please share it with any of your fellow parent friends who have questions about allergies!

About the author

My name is Heidi, I have been a paediatric nurse for 17 years. I gained a Diploma in Higher Education (Paed Nursing) and am now the Clinical Nurse Specialist in Allergy as part of the Immunology team at Sydney Children’s Hospital, as well as various roles in paediatric hospitals across Australia and the UK in most Paediatric specialities including, Oncology, Surgical, Medical, ENT, Recovery, Emergency, Renal, Cardiac and Intensive care.

Over at The Nest, Kids CPR & Allergy, experienced paediatric nurses teach a range of hands-on classes first aid and allergy children aged 0-18 years. We also offer appointments for allergy advice for parents and children living with food allergy, including anaphylaxis training.

Find out more about our classes and pick up your FREE Guide ‘Your First Aid Pocketbook’ at www.thenestcpr.com!  You can also follow us on Facebook and Instagram @thenestcpr.


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