Allergic to Ascorbic Acid?

Updated on March 13, 2012
L.P. asks from Denton, TX
6 answers

My four month old daughter has recently started eating firts foods. We checked with her doctor before feeding her anything and her doctor warned us not to just feed her rice cereal because the starches could constipate her. She has just one container of food a night for dinner. She started with rice cereal and has had apples, bananas, sweet potatoes, green beans and peaches. Everything was going fine until she tried peaches. After the first 3 or 4 bites of peaches she started to get red flushed on her temples and up into her hair. We stopped the peaches and the redness went away after 15 - 20 minutes. Since then she has had rice and green beans with no problem. Tonight she had apples which she had never had a problem with before, but she turned red and flushed again. It was not as severe or as sudden as with the peaches, but it was definitely the same reaction. Could she be allergic to the ascorbic acid that is added to the fruit? Has anyone ever experienced something similar? I read dozens of posts about babies getting red bottoms from food allergies, but none said anything about their faces or heads.

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answers from Dallas on

She can be allergic to ascorbic acid. If she has been breastfed then this could be a sign she is allergic to corn. The reason that foods that she did not have problems with in the past are now causing her problems is that overtime (and exposure) one typically becomes more and more sensitive to the allergen. You don't mention if you are breast or bottle feeding and that's relevant. If you are bottle feeding, then she's already gotten boatloads of exposure to corn in the formula, so it's not likely a corn allergy. But, it could be an apple allergy. I am allergic to apples, peaches and quite a few other things and as I noted, she might have been okay with it before, but she may have become sensitized. As others have noted, making your own baby food and slowing down the introduction of solids are really good ideas. Solids should not be a significant source of nutrients for babies for their first year. Breastmilk and formula are actually all that a baby needs for the first full year - solids are just to get them used to the idea of eating table foods. For my sons we skipped the jarred food altogether and just gave them small amounts of whatever we were eating that was appropriate (mashed potatoes, rice, mashed peas, mashed sweet potato, etc.) and gradually over time they were eating just what we were for dinner. My younger son, who we later learned had food allergies, ate very little solids until he was 9 months old. There really is no rush at all for solids.

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answers from Dallas on

My son's face always gets red from food sensitivities. I think the absorbic acid may be the problem ... many children have trouble with acidic fruits and citrus until they are past a year. If your daughter seems to have sensitivities to acidic foods, I would also hold off on tomatoes and possibly berries for a few months.

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answers from Phoenix on

yes...yes and yes! My son can have nothing with ascorbic acid in least for a couple of years. SOme kids are just very sensitive to that and anything acidic. Stay away from any salad dressings, berries etc.
My sons face got so red....but we are very informed about food allergies so we knew right history:(
I make all my own baby food for that exact all the premade baby foods and only get the ones without the ascorbic acid. I may even consider making your own is not hard, just takes time to adjust. I have the super baby food book...great! Start with one food at a time. IF you cannot commit to that, they you have to read labels all the time and stay away from anything acidic for a couple of years. I would even see an allergist or homeopath. IF you have any questions feel free to contact me...we have had a roller coaster ride and since we figured it is good:)
Your doc is right about the rice cereal...that is the one thing I would make yourself...the store brands, even the organic is very constipating due to the high levels of iron. THis then leads to a whole other set of problems down the road. Also do not give her any fruit juice of any kind until she is at least 1 year of age. Formula, breastmilk and water are all she needs right now:)
Dont be in a rush to introduce foods either, leads to food allergies....Take is slower than usual. Work on the vegetables first and keep fruits until last, they are more allergenic than veggies. Do about 8 veggies before you start fruits...there is no rush, it is better for her in the long run:)

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answers from Atlanta on

Hi L.,

Most people think ascorbic acid is simply Vitamin C HOWEVER it is a synthetic form. Anything synthetic can cause an allergic reaction simply because it is man made and I think our bodies should eat God-made food :)
This would not be considered a food allergy because it's not food, really....Try buying organic baby food without anything added and see if things change. You said she turned red and flushed. You don't want her to be at risk so go slowly if you try peaches or apples again.

God bless!


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answers from Honolulu on

Try waiting until she is older to start solids.

"Citrus" is not supposed to be given, until after 1 year old.
Citrus things/fruits have ascorbic acid.
My Mom, an adult, is allergic to citrus.

at 4 months old, their digestive system is not even fully developed.

Here is a good link about solids:

I think it is too much too soon. Solids, for the 1st year, are only an "introduction" to foods... NOT about having a banquet or buffet of stuff given to them.
For the 1st year of life, breastmilk/Formula is a baby's PRIMARY source of nutrition, NOT solids and NOT other liquids.
If you concentrate on giving solids, especially before nursing, you baby will drink less from you... and the baby will 'wean' off of you, and your breasts will then produce less milk. That is not what you want... it is not beneficial for a baby. Especially at only 4 months old.

As a side note: Kiwi fruit is highly allergenic, dangerously so in some cases. My daughter, is allergic to it. It can cause pain/tingling/swelling of the mouth and throat and tongue. Thus asphyxiating the person.

For us and our Pediatrician, we introduced foods one at a time starting solids at 6 month... then introducing a new food, after 1 month for each 'new' food. "Meat" was NOT given until after 1 year old. Per our Pediatrician.

Also, "spinach" baby foods/foods, should NOT be given until AFTER 9 months old... there is an enzyme in it that a younger baby cannot digest nor tolerate.

all the best,



answers from Dallas on

My son has a bad case of it. it gets really baby on his face and the top of his head where he scrashes so much he starts bleeding.he also gets it on his arms back stomach legs.his dr said it was eczema and gave me a cream to put on it just his body and told me to by cortozone 10 for his face and head.i read on eczema he could have it til the age 10 if he doesn t grow out of it by then he will have it for the rest of his life.

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