Food Allergies in Kids

Dr. Jagan Mazmudar    07-09-2021 Consult

Parents have a tough time dealing with picky eating kids, especially when it comes to healthy foods like spinach, beets, carrots, cauliflower to name a few. However, pickiness has nothing to do with some children's denial to eat certain foods.

About 90% of food allergies in children are caused by 6 common foods such as milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, soy and wheat. Allergies to fruits and vegetables are usually less common. When a child has a food allergy, the immune system overreacts, making antibodies to act against the food, as it were a harmful virus or foreign invader. This immune reaction is what triggers allergic symptoms.

Common Food Allergies:

1. Peanuts
Allergic to peanuts are considered to be harmful as it is known to cause anaphylaxis. Anaphylaxis is categorised by a rapid onset of one or more allergic symptoms and responses, which can even be fatal at times. A person allergic to peanut does not have to eat peanuts to develop an allergic reaction, it is found that even peanut in the form of dust and a trace of peanut protein is sufficient to trigger an allergic response. Breathlessness, runny nose, vomiting, nausea, diarrhoea and rashes on the skin are some of the symptoms.

2. Milk
Milk is an integral part of a kid's diet that promotes normal development, however, milk is also a potential allergen and some children may show allergic responses. Lactose intolerance and milk allergy are very different and even symptoms of both vary. In most cases, children overcome a milk allergy by the age of three. Omitting, nausea, upset tummy, rashes on the skin and bloody stools are some of the symptoms.

3. Eggs
Proteins in egg whites are the main culprit that trigger an allergic response, however, the good news is that about 70% of children with an egg allergy will outgrow it gradually. Skin rashes, abdominal discomfort and respiratory problems are some of the symptoms.

4. Tree Nuts
Nuts that grow on trees are called tree nuts that include walnuts, almonds, hazel nuts and cashew nuts to mention a few. Tree nut allergies also lead to anaphylaxis, hence should be taken seriously. Swollen throat, abdominal cramps, itchy skin and runny nose are some of the symptoms.

5. Soy
If the child complaints of any uneasiness after consuming tofu, soy milk and soybeans, then the child would be allergic to soy-based products. In most instances, children will naturally overcome a soy allergy by the time they are 10 years of age. Itching in and around the mouth, vomiting, loose stools, breathing difficulties and runny nose are some of the symptoms.