If I Have a Food Allergy, Will My Baby Have it Too?

 

Your baby “may be” more likely to have a food allergy if you have a family history of allergies, asthma or eczema.  However having a family history does not guarantee they will be also allergic to foods.  

So let me give you a little bit more information about what allergy is, the risk factors for allergies and some tips for when you’re introducing a potential  allergen to your baby for the first time. 

Allergy is defined as an immune reaction to an ingested food that results in clinical signs or symptoms. 

The cause of food allergy is multifactorial and includes family history, environmental factors and the gut microbiome - there is no “one” cause. Australia has the highest rate of food allergy in the world, with one in 10 children in Australia diagnosed with a food allergy.

The link between food allergies and eczema is the strongest - with a child with eczema 11 times more likely to develop a peanut allergy that one...

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Should I Be Worried That My Baby Isn't Interested in Food?

 

No, there’s no reason to be worried just yet. 

There are three parts to my answer here. The first is about meeting your baby’s nutritional requirements. 

The second is about baby readiness - is your baby physically and developmentally ready to start solids foods?

And thirdly, it’s about building a positive relationship with nutritious whole foods. 

At  7 month, your baby’s main source of nutrition is still breast milk or formula with solid foods  being “complementary” to this. As long as they are still having plenty of breastmilk or formula, their main nutritional needs are still being met. 

All babies are different and grow and develop at different rates, and while it’s hard not to compare your baby with everyone else’s, doing this, can create a whole lot of stress for yourself!

There are a few reasons your baby may not be keen on solids yet; 

They’re simply not ready yet. 

They are...

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Is Gagging Normal?

 

Gagging can be quite scary for parents to witness because it can be so dramatic, but it's actually a very common occurrence and is part of a baby's learning process. 

As opposed to choking which is completely silent and happens when something is completely blocking the airway, gagging  can be very noisy and quite dramatic. 

Babies might gag and cough often when starting solids because the gag reflex in younger babies mouths is quite far forward and moves back as they age.  This serves as a safety mechanism against choking while they're learning to eat, and helps them eject anything quickly if they need to - much like the tongue thrust reflex. 

A baby’s gag reflex begins moving further back at around 6-8 months, and should be completely back to where an adults would be by around 12 months. 

So when you see a six month old gagging, you are really seeing a reflex action that protects them, rather than  a choking risk.

So what should you do to...

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What Can I Feed My Baby For Breakfast?

 

Let me answer this question by first addressing any misconceptions that might exist around what “breakfast” is and isn’t.  Breakfast is just a meal for your baby. 

Any food that you can feed them at any other time of the day, you can also feed them for breakfast.  Now I know that for some people, that seems a little unusual - because they have grown up thinking that you only eat certain foods for breakfast.  So let’s talk about this...

Traditionally, breakfast is the first meal of the day to “break the fast” of the previous night. Food manufacturers would have us believe that breakfast needs to be “breakfast foods” like cereal or toast, but this just isn’t true. 

In fact, most “breakfast foods” lack the nutrients your child needs to thrive and they also often contain additives and added sugars that can have a negative impact on your child’s health. 

Take for example rice cereal - No...

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How Do I Know When My Baby is Ready for Chunkier Textures?

 

So this is a question about feeding techniques. 

When you’re considering feeding techniques, I always recommend that you think about;

  1. Making sure you’re providing foods that meet your baby’s nutritional requirements, and 
  2. Helping your baby to develop a positive relationship with nutritious whole foods. 

When it comes to introducing chunkier textures,  every baby is different and will develop at different stages. Most babies are able to eat chunkier textures and finger foods from 6 months.

I recommend offering purees or mashes to begin the meal (like a first course), then offering them  appropriate finger food to chew on or play with afterwards. 

This might look like pureed or mashed sweet potato with beef mince, followed by a piece of steamed broccoli afterwards. This provides them with the nutrition they need at each meal, while still allowing them to explore different tastes and textures and learn what the whole food looks, ...

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