For many parents, the diagnosis of their baby’s food allergy can come as quite a relief. But it can also be the beginning of a lifelong journey - one which requires extra thought, care and planning on a daily basis.
Just because a baby or child has a food allergy, this doesn’t mean that they should be perceived as ‘different’ or excluded from any of the normal activities they might do with their friends. Whilst it might feel daunting to eat out, go to parties and functions and travel with your baby if they have a food allergy, there’s really no reason why you shouldn’t do all of these things.
Once you’ve got a good understanding of your child’s allergy, managing it on a daily basis can be relatively easy. Make sure that you provide anybody who cares for them with the information they need about their allergy, and details of the foods they can and can’t eat. And if your child is attending a party or event where food is provided, be sure to inform the host about any allergies your child has.
Always remember that spreading awareness around the issue of allergies is a good thing. Talking to other parents will not only help put your mind at ease, but also help others to understand what the impact of food allergies can be on children.
If you suspect that your baby has any kind of food allergy, call your doctor to discuss this further. They’ll be able to provide a diagnosis and offer support and advice on how to manage the condition.
Depending on the food your child is allergic to, avoiding it may mean that they’re at risk of missing out on key nutrients. It’s a good idea to seek support from a dietitian to ensure that your baby gets the full range of nourishment they need for healthy growth and development12.