How to Introduce Food Allergens to Baby

Early and often is the American Academy of Pediatrics recommendation for introducing the 8 common foods that cause allergic reactions to kids. But, if you are wondering how that actually works, this article is for you. We take on how to introduce food allergens to baby, like really.

A quick review: what’s a reaction look like?

First, let’s review what a food allergy reaction looks like. Remember if you suspect a reaction call 911 or go to the emergency room. 

To start, remember that reactions can be mild or severe. Mild symptoms are hives, rash, red splotchy skin or itchy nose. Severe symptoms include trouble breathing, repetitive vomiting, weak pulse. Symptoms usually start 2 minutes to 2 hours after exposure. Anaphylaxis is the most dangerous reaction to a food allergy. It can happen quickly, and it can be deadly. For some people, anaphylaxis can make it hard to breathe or hard for the body to circulate blood. When this happens, the treatment is epinephrine.

Always call 911 if there is a medical emergency.

What should I feed my baby?

Here are some ideas for how to introduce food allergens to baby- like the food part of it. How much do you need to do? What foods? First, we want you to know that the research at this time is limited to peanuts, with some emerging studies about egg. The studies show about 6-7 teaspoons of peanut butter a week is ideal! We don’t know for other foods, but likely about the same. But that is hard! So, just try for as often as you can. Introduce these foods after your baby is already eating other solids too. 

Need more on first foods like what and how? Check out our library of resources on starting solids.

Peanuts

  • Peanut butter thinned out with breastmilk or formula (spoonfed)
  • Bamba (peanut puffs were used in the original studies)
  • Peanut butter mixed into baby cereal
  • BLW? Try strips of toast with a thin layer of peanut butter
  • Peanut & banana puree
  • Avoid pure peanut butter, its a choking hazard

Soy

  • Cooked tofu
  • Mashed edamame
  • Soy yogurt without added sugar

Eggs

  • Soft scrambled eggs
  • Omelet egg strips
  • Egg and avocado

Wheat

  • Soft bread
  • Cereal puffs
  • Soft pastas
  • Softened cheerios or wheat baby cereal 

Milk

  • Whole fat plain yogurt
  • Plain ricotta cheese

Fish

  • Fish patties
  • Sweet potato and fish puree

Shellfish

  • Pureed or finely chopped up shrimp, crab, or lobster
  • Shrimp or crab broth (boil the shells and offer the broth)

Treenuts

  • Mixed nut spread, almond butter or cashew butter: use similar ideas as with peanuts above
  • Avoid whole nuts in young kids as they are a choking hazard

Need more help?

Talk to a Fooblie Coach if you want more support to make a meal or introduction plan.