Food Allergies in Children | Most Common Food Allergies in Children

As a guardian, looking out for children’s health can get really tough. Especially when you are testing your child’s tolerance to different food items. The situation can get really panicky when you find that the child has consumed a very common food and turns out that he/she is allergic to it.

Here we are with foods which kids commonly are allergic to (ones that you should be wary of).First we need to understand what allergies are why they occur.

Food intolerance should not be confused with food allergies because they are two different things and involve different parts of the body. Allergies happen because your immune system reacts to a foreign substance and produces antibodies to tackle them, similar to how they produce antibodies to fight against virus. In case of food allergies the immune system produces antibodies to fight the food allergen. Here the food allergen (the food consumed that triggers a reaction) is seen as a threat by the immune system. Food intolerance refers to the inability to digest a particular type of food item by the digestive system and it does not involve the immune system.

Food allergies affect 1 in 10 children below the age of 5. The ratio may vary in different countries and age-groups of children.
The symptoms of allergies can be recognised easily and the necessary step can be taken to prevent the situation from getting severe. The most common, almost 90 percent of the food allergies all around the world are caused by

  • Milk- Milk and milk products like ice-cream, cheese, cream, yogurt, desserts(cakes) beverages(tea, coffee, milkshakes) are included.
  • Eggs- This is a tough one when you are not a vegetarian. Egg is present in your everyday food like bread, cakes, chocolates, French toast and sweets, other baked food items. Its best to check the ingredients mentioned on the label.
  • Fish- This is a relatively easier food to avoid. Fish products include fish meat (fresh and canned), fish eggs, sandwiches and salads with that have fish like foods with Caesar or barbeque dressing. Most popularly consumed fish are Tuna, Mackerel, Sardines, Pomfret, Anchovies, Catfish, Bass, Trout, Swordfish and Salmon. If you are out and see any of these names mentioned on the food menu, you know what not to order. It is also advised for children with fish allergy to avoid consuming fish oil.
  • Corn- Corn allergy is caused by corn (maize) and products derived from corn like corn syrup which is present in most packaged foods(Snacks, candies, cereals, jam, meat, and canned fruits) and drinks.
  • Peanuts- Avoid peanuts at all cost. You must be especially careful because peanuts can find their way into any kind of food. Being allergic to peanuts do not necessarily mean that one is also allergic to nuts. But of course one should first consult with their doctor.
  • Wheat- Sometimes children outgrow allergies as they become older. Wheat allergy is among the common ones. Wheat allergies can be mild or sometimes even prove to be fatal. So one should be prepared. Look for alternatives of wheat grains like barley, rye, oats, and rice. Wheat allergies should not be confused with gluten intolerance also known as celiac disease. Children with gluten intolerance are allergic to gluten which is found in wheat, rye, oats and barley.
  • Soya bean- Soya bean is derived from plants. Avoid foods made from soya like tofu, soy milk and soy beans.
  • Nuts- different types of nuts can induce allergic reactions. So pinpointing which one to avoid could become a difficult task.
  • Shellfish- Shellfish includes sea foods like Crab, Lobster, Crayfish, Shrimp or prawns.

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