Food allergies

Food allergies
Besides foods that you may wish to avoid for health reasons, there are also a number of foods which are known to cause allergic reactions or digestive problems in babies and small children. The latest guidance from both English and Swedish government bodies is that there is no longer any need to adhere to the 4-day rule – introducing foods one at a time and only giving that food for 4 days in a row in case of allergy – when starting to feed solids unless there are food or other allergies in your family, or you suspect that your baby may have or is likely to have allergies to certain foods.

If you feel more comfortable, you could start with mixing unlikely allergens like carrots, parsnips, potatoes and avocados. If your baby does have a reaction to something (red marks around the mouth after eating being one telltale sign) then it may be worth moving to the 4-day rule until the culprit food is discovered.

Many parents are very cautious when feeding their babies and children. We have created a list to help you recognize foods which may be problematic for some children as well as those which should be avoided altogether for safety’s sake. With these in mind however we think it is important to focus on enjoying proper food rather than focusing on things that could go wrong – we feel strongly that food should be a pleasure and not a worry.

Should you decide to introduce solids early, it is strongly suggested that babies under 6 months are never given any of the below foods, since their digestive systems will not be mature enough to handle them.

Foods which may cause allergies and digestive problems in some small children
-Peanuts/peanut butter
-Milk, except for breast milk and formula (food containing milk is fine, although we recommend minimizing dairy products and focusing on other sources of calcium instead. If you do give dairy to your children, do not give it as a main drink until the age of 1 year because it is too high in sodium and does not contain all the nutrients your baby needs)
-Citrus fruits
Eggs (especially the whites)
Shellfish, like lobster, prawns, crab and shrimp
Strong spices like Cinnamon
Honey (honey can contain botulism spores, which whilst not dangerous to adults can be fatal to babies whose immune systems cannot deal with them – never give honey to a baby under the age of 1)

Foods that can pose a choking hazard
Large pieces of fruit, vegetables or meat
Dried fruit (can expand in the throat so do not give large pieces)
Whole small fruits, such as grapes, tomatoes (cut into halves or quarters)