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Food Allergies in Children

The rate of reported food allergies in children is increasing.  As reported in “Pediatrics”, the number of doctor visits and hospitalizations because of food allergies has increased.  This might represent an increase in awareness by doctors and parents rather than more allergic disease.

Can we help prevent food allergies in children?

Approximately 90% of allergic reactions to food are caused by 8 different food types:  milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, soy, wheat, shellfish and fish.  Overall, studies have not shown that women who excluded eggs, peanuts, milk and fish while pregnant have children with fewer allergies than those without a restricted diet.  Also, there is a lack of evidence to support that giving these foods to babies will cause, promote or worsen allergies.   

There is, however, evidence that exclusive breast feeding for the first 3-4 months of life as well as continued breast feeding while introducing these allergenic foods might help with decreasing the amount of allergic problems in your child. Therefore, breast feed as long as you can. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends at least a year and longer if possible.



All information given is not a substitute for the advice of your pediatrician, primary care provider or trained health professional.  Always consult with your pediatrician or health care professional.

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