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When can you give your baby allergenic foods such as fish?

One of the most common questions I get as a nutritionist working in a pediatric clinic is “When can I give my baby fish, eggs, milk, or others?” The following article by Mirna Sabbagh, nutritionist , dietitian, and IBCLC at myPediaclinic (Voted best pediatric clinic in Dubai) i will answer your questions.

With the rise of food allergies, most parents postpone giving food that may cause allergies such as wheat, eggs, nuts, fish, soy and more. Some parents do not introduce fish or nuts until the baby is 3 years old. However, this practice is outdated and has a negative affect.

Postponing giving children the above mentioned foods has NOT been shown to decrease risk of developing food allergies at all. On the contrary, postponing introducing those common allergens to the diet has been shown to INCREASE food allergies and cause babies to be deficient in certain vitamins and minerals.

When can I start giving my baby fish, egg, peanuts, wheat, shrimps?

Given that your child does not have a family history of allergy, or has allergies, you can introduce fish, eggs, peanuts, wheat, shell-fish gradually into your baby’s diet when they start solids at 6 months. However, do not introduce cow’s milk before 1 year.

When can I start giving my baby cow’s milk?

You should not introduce cow’s milk into your baby’s diet until your baby is at-least a year old. This is not because cow’s milk can cause an allergic reaction, but because the baby’s stomach is not prepared to digest cow’s milk before 1 year, whereby it can irritate the lining of the stomach leading to loss of blood into the stools and iron deficiency anemia for the child.

How should I introduce the new food to my baby?

You should still wait 3 days between each new food you introduce into your baby’s diet. This simply makes it easier for you to pin point any reactions that your baby had due to the new food. Look for the below signs of allergies.

If your baby shows any of the above symptoms, contact your pediatrician to discuss further steps. For more information on how to provide the best nutrition for your baby starting 6 months, book a consultation with our Nutritionist in the clinic or attend the next workshop on Nutrition 6-12 months by calling 04 430 5926 or e-mailing mirna@mypediaclinic.com

For more information on food allergies please read “Food Allergy” a post written by Pediatrician and Allergy Expert Dr. Medhat Abu-Shaaban and Nutritionist Mirna Sabbagh from myPediaclinic-Dubai.

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