Allergies in babies are becoming increasingly more frequent, persistent and severe... Here are some medical recommendations.
In the context of early weaning, the changes in our environment (which are cleaner), changes in the way we live our lives (fewer siblings, distance from animal farms) there has been an increase in a prevalence of food allergies in 4 to 6% of children.
Usually, allergy to cow's milk, soya and eggs disappears in childhood. Peanut allergy, is considered be the most serious one and disappears in approximately ¼ of children before adulthood. Allergy to fish and shellfish is usually permanent.
- The foods most likely to cause a sensitivity are listed below and will differ slightly from country to country:
- Cow's milk,
- Nuts (walnut, hazelnut, cashew, pistachio, almond, etc)
- Corn and soya.
Think about it before birth
During antenatal visits, it is necessary to identify those families at risk, checking for those with a family history of food allergy. There is no exclusion diet during pregnancy except peanuts!
Exclusive breastfeeding up to 6 months
Studies show the benefits of breastmilk, on eczema and respiratory allergies. Mothers are advised not to eat peanuts in any form during this period. The exclusion of other food will be reccomened according to the family History.
If breastfeeding must be supplemented, or replaced by artificial milk, it needs to be with recognised hypoallergenic milk with proven and controlled effectiveness (as long as there is no family history of allergy to such milk). For the children not at risk these hypoallergenic milks are not indicated.
Hydrolysats of proteins are not useful, except in rare cases and will be under dietician guidence. Soya preparations are not recommended to prevent babies from allergies.
No weaning before 6 months
To benefit from the "introduction time" of other foods between 6 months and 1 year. For food with risks without particular nutritional interest (celery, peanut, fruits with nuts, shellfish), it is better to wait over one year. On the other hand for egg and fish to delay their introduction is not beneficial.
For further information
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Prévention des allergies chez les bébés