Breezy Mama Adrian came to us recently for menu ideas for her niece who is allergic to many foods. We turned to two experts — Cynthia Epps, MS, IBCLC of MotherWork in Santa Monica California and Nicole Meadow, MPN, RD from Nutrition Wise (and a mom of a child with allergies) — to find out not only how to diagnose a child’s food allergy, but to also get great cookbook suggestions and Web sites to help with meal and snack ideas.
How do parents find out if their kids have allergies and what signs should they look for?
CYNTHIA: Skin rashes, chronic eczema and diarrhea following the ingestion of any of the offending foods usually signals a food intolerance. A long time runny nose that never seems to clear up may indicate a food intolerance and/or mild allergy. Frequent colds and/or ear infections (averaging one per month after one year of age) may also be indicative of an underlying food intolerance or mild allergy. Age is a factor, along with the family history. [In the case of] infant’s, [their] digestive system simply may not be mature enough to handle the various proteins, peptides, and carbohydrates of the offending food. Once the infant is exposed, the risk of developing a true food allergy increases with subsequent exposure to the offending food.
A true food allergy is a different problem. Symptoms may be flagrant and vary. There can be an immediate reaction, such as hives around the face and on the body, within one hour of eating the food. Sometimes the reaction may be delayed for up to 4 to 8 hours after ingestion. Reactions can be minor, such as [Read more…] about Food Allergies: How to Diagnose and What to Feed a Child Who Has Them