Sunday, May 9, 2010

New Recommendations for Avoiding Food Allergies

Big changes are happening with the recommendations on how to avoid food allergies in babies and children! Here’s what is new:
  • Avoiding certain foods during the first 1-3 years doesn’t seem to help avoid food allergies – and might actually make them worse.
  • Plus, while food allergies are on the rise, so are other (“autoimmune”) disorders where the body mistakenly attacks healthy parts.
  • The list of the foods thought to be most likely to cause allergies is changing.
  • That means allergies and autoimmune disorders probably are caused by things in our environment.
  • Instead of limiting a baby or toddler’s diet, focus on giving antioxidant-rich foods such as fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and nuts to build a healthy immune system.
  • Breastfeeding decreases food allergy risk.
  • Food intolerances occur far more often than food allergies and food allergy tests are very complicated to interpret. Work only with a physician and dietitian very familiar with food allergies.
  • You can’t predict who will develop a food allergy.
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.

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