When it comes to my kids and food, I am very lucky. Both my boys LOVE food (must take after me!). Ben has never been a picky eater except for one phase when he was about 3 he decided he didn’t like cheese or creamy sauces, that didn’t last long and now he will eat anything, salads, sushi, curry even my cabbage & broccoli delight! Sam seems to be following suit as he will eat anything I put in front of him.
Food allergies & sensitivities are very common these days but haven’t been a part of my family until recently. I had given my youngest Sam egg yolk when he was about 10 months and no problem but I held out giving him the egg white until he was 1 year as this has a higher allergic potential than the yolk. The first couple of times there were no issues then one day at breakfast we were eating scrambled egg and I noticed some red blotches appear on Sam’s chin and around his mouth (see picture). They went away after a couple of hours but it was enough to get me thinking.
Later that week I was making fishcakes and I used one egg between 5 fishcakes. Sam had only taken 2 bites and the red blotches came back again so I have decided to eliminate eggs from Sam’s diet for now as I believe that was the culprit.
This is why, when introducing foods to babies and children it’s very important you introduce one new thing at a time, that way you are able to see if there are any reactions and it is easy to determine which food is causing the reaction.
There are two different kinds of food sensitivities – food allergy and food intolerance. Often times they are confused because they are both reactions to foods that we eat and some of the symptoms can be very similar. However, it’s worth taking a moment to distinguish their differences.
It is an immune system response – the body thinks that the food you ingested (most likely a protein in the food) is a harmful substance and it creates antibodies to defend against it. Symptoms depend on where the antibodies and histamine are released, and they can include rash or hives, nausea, stomach pain, diarrhea, itchy skin, shortness of breath, chest pain, swelling of the airway and even anaphylaxis.
Peanuts, tree nuts (such as walnuts, pecans and almonds), shellfish, milk, eggs, soy products, and wheat are the most common triggers for food allergies. Adults and children who are allergic to aspirin can also be allergic to foods that contain salicylates – such as many fruits, vegetables, nuts, coffee, juices, beer, and wine.
It is a digestive system response – the digestive system is unable to properly digest some substance in the food, or the food irritates the digestive tract. Most symptoms of food intolerance are confined to the GI tract, including nausea, stomach pain, gas, cramps, bloating, vomiting, heartburn, and diarrhea, with the exception of headache and irritability or nervousness.
There are a few ways to find out if certain systemic or digestive issues are triggered by food sensitivities, contact your friendly Nutritionist (me 🙂 ) to discuss different options if you think this could be an issue with your kids or yourself.