Introducing Food Allergens during Weaning

Updated: May 3, 2021

Introducing Food Allergens during Weaning

Once have you have given your baby their first tastes of veggies, fruits and starchy foods, from around 6 months of age (following developmental signs of readiness), you can start giving protein foods. If your baby is at high risk of an allergy (more details given below) then they may benefit from starting solids at 4 months.

The main foods that can cause allergy are:

· Cows’ milk & milk products

· Wheat

· Eggs & products containing eggs

· Fish

· Shellfish

· Tree Nuts

· Peanuts

· Seeds

· Soya

Symptoms of an allergic reaction:

See Bsaci guidelines:

Many foods (e.g. citrus fruit, tomato, strawberry) can irritate the skin and cause a red rash

(especially around the mouth) in babies – this is not food allergy and you do not need to

avoid the food.

Some important points for introducing allergenic foods for all babies:

· Aim to give these foods before 12 months of age

· These should be given one at a time

· Leave at least 3 days between each allergen so that it is easier to spot a reaction

· Start small with a ¼ teaspoon stirred into other foods your baby has had before and gradually increase over a few days

· Ensure your baby has allergenic foods on a spoon, even if doing baby-led weaning to ensure that they are eaten

· Once tolerated these foods should be given twice weekly in a baby’s diet to continue tolerance and reduce the chance of them developing an allergy to that food later

· Only give a new allergen if your baby is well

· Give a new allergenic food early on in the day so that there is more time to spot a reaction

· Don’t rub food onto your baby’s skin or lips – it is not a good way to test if the baby has an allergy

· If your baby has eczema it is best to make sure the eczema is under control before giving a new allergen. Speak to your GP if necessary

· Evidence indicates that deliberate exclusion or delay of introduction of eggs & peanuts beyond 6-12 months may increase the risk of allergy to these foods

· Do not feed your baby something they are already allergic to