How Do You Detect Food Allergies

Updated on December 21, 2006
A.V. asks from Coeur d Alene, ID
8 answers

My daughter is 6mo old and we are just starting baby food. My question is what are the symptoms of food allergies and when should I be concerned. I know rash can be common, but my daughter already has Excema, so I dont know what to watch for that would be different. Would it be more like hives? Has anyone delt with food allergies before?

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answers from Portland on

Hi A.,

One thing to watch out for, Excema, allergies and asthma sometimes go together. Are there ANY allergies in your family? My husband has mild seasonal allergies, I have no allergies, but my son has life threatening peanut and tree nut allergies. He had excema as an infant as well. Be very careful of the main allergens - nuts, fish, shellfish, eggs, dairy, etc...Back then (he is 8 now) we were told that because the closest relative w/a food allergy was a cousin, we didn't have to worry about allergies, especially since I breast fed and suggested peanut butter at 15 mos. Not true. Now I think the rule of thumb for all nuts is 3 years. If your child has excema, I'd be extra careful and introduce new foods one at a time and wait a week in between. Rash, hives, itching, sneezing, diarhea are mild allergy symptoms. My son reacted to peanut butter with hives, redness then facial swelling. Luckily we had Benadryl on hand. Now we carry Epi pens wherever we go.



answers from Medford on

Hi. My son had an allergy to formula made with cow's milk (he's grown out of it now) and I knew it within 20 minutes of giving him that formula because he broke out in hives. Later, after he was a year he had the same reaction to a peanut butter cookie. He's reactions were mild, more severe reaction could have included difficulty breathing, wheezing (as their throats swells and closes up). I gave him Children's Benadryl as soon as I saw the reactions and it took about an hour to completely clear up. Of course, if you encounter wheezing or breathing difficulties, give the Benadryl and get to the ER.



answers from Spokane on

Allergies to food can range from one person to the other on which reactions they have. The best bet to find answers to these questions is to either ask your doctors MA or to go onto keyword baby food allergies.

The best bet for you to distinguish an allergy is to only try one food a day. That way it is easy to detect which foods cause a problem. Also, MOST allergic reactions will happen within 6 to 12 hours....they can be as severe as shortness of breath, headache,or anaphalactic shock (VERY RARE) to rash and vommiting. Foods to stay away from are peanuts, eggs, and honey.



answers from Las Vegas on

there are lots of different symptoms. I suggest a book called Super Baby Food. It has everything you need to know about starting food and feeding your baby. The library should have it. I love it. ~V.



answers from Portland on

Go very slow with new foods. Some children with excema show more tendencies towards allergies and asmatha. My older son had excema as a baby and then devoloped food allergies and asmatha.The first symptoms were hives.Others would include vomiting,swelling and rashes .Start one food at a time for at least a week before adding another.When she is a bit older I would have her tested by the blood test not the skin test. A lot of times in children you can get false positives on skin tests.Trust me you will know the difference in your child if she has an allergic reaction. Keep some bynadryl on hand.Good luck



answers from Seattle on

Hello my daughter was allergic to egg whites which was determined by a blood test. She would always break out in a horrible diaper rash when she ate it. It was hard to figure out because it was in so many things. She is 2 and is fine now. My son is just starting baby food and so far mac and cheese(gerber stage 2 dinner) makes him break out in a rash on his stomach. I guess every kid can break out different. I think you would be able to tell a difference from the excema and a food allergy reaction. I hope this helps.



answers from Portland on

Hi there. I have 6 children. Some of them were allergic to the cow's milk and they threw everything up. Some just showed cold or flu symptoms. I couldn't pinpoint some things, but if your daughter already has Excema, I would watch out for giving her anything but rice cereal for now. Then, give her one vegetable every 3 days or more to watch for reactions.

Yes, hives or rashes. Sometimes they just throw it up.

I hope this helps. Good luck!



answers from Corvallis on

Hello there A. ~

Both of my daughters had reactions to foods in their first year, that they eventually grew out of. My girls broke out. One got hives, the other broke out in blotchy purple/bluish spots. Food allergies can also show through blood in their stool. One web site that I go to is It's a site I trust and it's very informative.

Good luck! Happy holidays!

~ C.

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