Introducing Allergens

I’m talking nuts (peanuts in particular), eggs, fish and dairy. And it’s tricky for those of us who haven’t been there and done that. I read two conflicting pieces of advice; one was to introduce allergens as early as possible and the other was to wait until much later. How confusing, right?!

I am slightly lactose intolerant, but other than that there are no allergies between my husband and I, nor in our families. But, it still felt like a big decision when it came to introducing these to our little grub. I didn’t get quite as far as sitting outside the hospital with a jar of peanut butter in hand, but I took some precautions.

I chose a suitable time of day; mid-morning. This meant we weren’t trying to rush out the door and if worse came to worst, we could head straight to the doctors as they’d be open. It also meant I could watch him for a few hours after having given it to him, rather than at dinner and then he’s off to bed an hour later. Just in case any rashes turned up.

If you can, I would also suggest having someone else there too – I wish I had! Even though little grub and I hung out together a lot in that first year (I was lucky enough to be able to take almost a year off), it was still pretty scary thinking the worst and potentially having to deal with that alone.

peanut butter

Rightly or wrongly, I chose to introduce allergens earlier rather than later. So, at around 6 months I started with peanut butter, fish and eggs. Dairy is also an allergen, but I had been supplementing with formula (hungry little boy!) since he was about 4 months old and knew he was okay with lactose. I introduced these in isolation or with something that he had already eaten that I knew he was okay with.

Luckily, we had no adverse reactions to any of these, and it’s such a relief to know this now. It’s allowed us to get more adventurous with his food earlier on and I don’t have to worry when we go anywhere and he picks up some other kids’ sandwich!

If I was asked what I thought? These would be my top tips:

  • Be brave and try it sooner rather than later (if no known allergies in your family), the known you can deal with. It’s the unknown that leaves you feeling vulnerable.
  • Introduce just a little, in isolation.
  • Any-time of day before mid-afternoon so you’ve got time to get to the doctors if need be.
  • If you can, have someone else there with you for moral support 🙂
  • If you’re really concerned, I would phone up my doctors and ask to sit in their waiting room whilst trying the food.

I’ve got some ideas on how to introduce these allergens to your little grub coming up over the following weeks so stay tuned!

 

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