Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Avoiding Food Allergy Challenges for Your Baby or Toddler

As we mentioned a couple days ago, there are some new recommendations for parents on how to avoid food allergies.

In this time of change, what can you do for your baby or toddler to avoid problems?
  • Eat an antioxidant-rich diet while pregnant and breastfeeding
  • At least 5 fruits and vegetables a day but preferably 9. (Babies will eat a lot less – that’s okay, just keep offering
  • At least ½ of grains from whole grain sources
  • Include nuts and seeds at least a few times a week
  • Choose most of your fat sources from MUFA (olives, olive oil, nuts, nut oils, avocado) or n-3 (fish, flax)
  • Get adequate milk with added vitamin D
  • Breastfeed for at least 6 months; breastfeeding through the introduction of foods might help reduce developing allergies to those foods.
  • If infant formula is needed before 6 months of age,
    • Use standard cow’s milk formula for children without any parent/sibling history of allergies
    • For children with a family history of allergies, use a partially hydrolyzed cow’s milk formula
    • For children with a known cow’s milk allergy, use elemental formulas.
  • Delay introducing any foods until 4-6 month
  • No need to delay introducing any specific foods, even in high-risk infants
  • Offer a new food every 2-3 days
  • Feed your children the same anti-oxidant rich diet for pregnancy and breastfeeding
  • Focus on fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, and milk
  • Limit “snack food” that comes in bags, desserts, sweetened drinks
To learn what to do to try to avoid a food allergies visit our website.

This article is part one of a three-part series this week to highligh Food Allergy Awareness Week 2010.

About our expert Rachel Riddiford, MS, RD, LD.
Rachel has been an employee of Dayton Children's since 2004. She is currently the Manager of Clinical Dietetics and works as an eating disorder specialist in the Nutrition Clinic. Rachel completed her BS in Dietetics at Western Michigan University, Master's degree at University of Dayton, and dietetic internship at Indiana University/Purdue University. She has also completed an American Dietetic Association Pediatric and Adolescent Weight Management Certificate.

No comments: