Food Allergies

Allergic reactions happen when the body thinks that a food, for instance, is an enemy invader; something to be fought. In response, the body releases antibodies called immunoglobulin E (IgE) which cause the body to release histamines. Histamines cause the body to produce symptoms like runny nose, skin rash, itchy eyes, and in the worst case scenario: anaphylaxis, or severe and life-threatening allergic reaction.

Here's a list of the top 8 allergenic foods, accounting for 90% of all food allergies:




Tree nuts (cashew, walnut, hazelnut, and etc.)





Outgrow Allergies?

Children can sometimes outgrow food allergies to such items as milk, soybean products, wheat, and eggs, though it is rare for them to outgrow sensitivities to peanuts, tree nuts, fish, and shellfish.

It's important to note that wheat allergy is not the same thing as gluten intolerance, or Celiac Disease.

Food reactions or food intolerance is not the same thing as food allergy and does not involve the immune system. Often, a food that caused a reaction at one time is tolerated with ease at a later date. One such example is citrus fruit whose high acidity sometimes causes intolerance in infants in the form of stomach distress or a rash around the mouth or anus.

Another example of food intolerance is lactose intolerance. People who are lactose intolerant lack the enzyme that aids in the digestion of milk sugar (lactose). Yogurt and cheese are often well-tolerated in such cases, since the culturing of these products breaks down the lactose.

Cow milk protein allergy, is a true allergy affecting young infants, most often resolving during the first year.

Your baby may be having an allergic reaction to food if he shows any of the following signs:

Sudden diarrhea

Sudden vomiting

Sudden rashes

Runny nose


Irritable or gassy after a new food

Respiratory distress (breathing troubles) after a new food

Swelling of face, lips, or tongue

Throat tightens or closes

Four Day Wait Rule

Food allergies are the reason for the four day wait rule when introducing your baby to solids. This manner of introducing solids helps a parent to see how the baby reacts to each food as it is introduced into his diet.

Offer your baby the same food for four days. Never offer more than one new food at a time. If you suspect your baby is having a reaction to a new food, eliminate that food from his diet. Introduce new foods during the morning or early afternoon. In the unfortunate event your baby has an allergic reaction you will be able to reach your pediatrician during office hours. Allergic reactions to food most often occur within 24 hours.