Food allergies are rather rare in infants. infants rather rare. It is predominantly basic foods that can trigger allergic reactions in them.
Not every food intolerance is an allergy
To certain foods the body – for different reasons – can show reactions of an intolerance. For example, metabolic disorders, toxins, or an aversion to certain foods can cause reactions such as nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, or even skin changes. We only talk about a food allergy when these reactions are triggered by the body's own defense system.
Food allergy is detectable through blood tests, skin tests, and special diets that exclude certain foods. Even the smallest amounts of a food can trigger reactions. Allergy sufferers always react to the protein contained in the food, an allergy to fats and carbohydrates has not been demonstrated.
Allergic reactions do not occur at the first contact with the food, but only after repeated contact with it. Sometimes they may occur suddenly years later. However, the allergies can also disappear just as easily.
It is different with other intolerances, for example with a so-called pseudoallergy. In this case, the body reacts with mostly the same symptoms as in the case of an allergy to certain foods or additives contained therein, but without the immune system being involved. In these cases, reactions may occur even at first contact.
Babies and toddlers have a food allergy mostly to basic foods
In up to 90 percent of cases, basic foodstuffs are the triggers for allergic reactions in infancy and toddlerhood. The children usually react to only one or two different foods, reactions to many different foods are very rare.
The most important triggers of a food allergy are cow's milk, hen's egg, fish, soy, wheat or nuts – that also means: all products in which these substances occur. Some food allergies disappear, others persist for a lifetime. As a preventive measure, it is recommended that infants be exclusively breastfed for four months and that they not be introduced to complementary foods before they are four months old.
Interview with Mrs. Lammel (DAAB): Nutrition in case of cow's milk allergy
More and more often we hear that a child is allergic to cow's milk protein. But is this really the case?
Pseudoallergic reactions to additives used in food or to naturally occurring ingredients occur very rarely in infants and young children. Because of the numerous examinations required. Search diets they are also difficult to detect at this age.
Older children and adults often have a food allergy as a result of a pollen allergy
In older children, adolescents and adults, a pollen allergy is usually in the foreground. Due to immunological cross-reactions, the body also reacts to certain foods such as fruit, vegetables or nuts, which are similar to pollen in their protein structures.