Children’s Allergy: 3 Tips for new parents to help prevent allergies from developing

By Adem Lewis / in , , , , , , , , , , , /

Australia, like many western countries is
in the midst of a food allergy epidemic. Today, one in ten kids under the age of
one has a food allergy. The most common food allergies in very young children are things like egg allergy, milk allergy and peanut allergy. And typically children with egg allergy and milk allergy will outgrow these allergies, but
of course there’s a lot of anxiety around nut allergy and peanut allergy because these are much more likely to persist into adulthood. Professor Susan Prescott from the Telethon Kids Institute is working to find out exactly what’s causing this rise in food allergies and how we can better prevent them. The rise in allergies is probably multi-factorial. It’s probably related to our cleaner environment and our modern western lifestyle as well as other potential pollutants and contaminants in the environment. But one thing’s for sure –
avoiding introducing potentially allergic foods into our child’s diet
could do more harm than good. Avoiding allergenic foods such as peanuts, such as egg and milk, does not reduce the risk of these allergies. In fact new evidence
suggests that earlier introduction of these foods may in fact reduce the risk. So to decrease your child’s risk of developing an allergy Susan has three main recommendations. “One!” Enjoy these foods while pregnant. Well firstly, excluding these foods in the mother’s diet in pregnancy and lactation has not been shown to reduce allergies. So mothers do not need to limit these foods in their diet unless they are allergic to them themselves. “Two” No solids before four months. Before the age of four months solid foods or complementary foods are
not generally recommended because this may actually increase the risk of allergy. “Three”! Introduce complementary foods between four to six months. So in allergy prone countries like Australia, there’s some evidence that in fact delaying the introduction of complementary or solid foods after
six months of age may actually increase the risk of allergies, and that is the
reason that we recommend that you start solid foods around the four to six month mark. To watch a video on how to introduce foods into your child’s diet safely, click on the “learn more” link at the end of this video.

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