Parents who are looking to make an appointment with pediatric doctors in NYC often have questions about when to introduce foods to their children that many other children are allergic to. Two common examples of allergenic foods are wheat and peanut butter. According to guidelines from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, there is no benefit to delaying the introduction of these foods, though appropriate caution should be taken.
Experts’ Recommendations for Peanut Exposure
In their study, it was found that children who are allergic to other foods or who have severe eczema are considered ‘high risk’ for developing a peanut allergy. In these cases, it was discovered that early introduction and regular exposure to peanuts could prevent the onset of peanut allergy. It is always recommended, however, that you seek the advice of your pediatric doctors NYC before any such feeding regime. It is also strongly advised that you proceed with allergy testing before proceeding, and you can feed your child peanuts in the doctor’s office under direct supervision. Even so, it is recommended that you begin with small doses of the potentially allergenic food.
Wheat Allergies and Celiac Disease
Experts advise starting with solids anywhere between 4-6 months and that you start with foods that are less prone to lead to an allergic reaction. It is also recommended that you wait several days before introducing a new food. Pediatricians suggest that you start with foods like mashed bananas or mushy baby cereal. Babies under a year old are not to have cow’s milk, but they can have foods with dairy, such as yogurt. If you have any concern about introducing potentially allergenic foods, you should speak to your pediatrician before doing so.
With wheat, there are two specific issues: allergies and Celiac disease. An allergy will cause hives, wheezing, or other classic allergy symptoms, while Celiac disease will cause pain in the abdomen, slowed growth and weight gain, and diarrhea. Unlike with an allergy, it is possible to miss the signs of Celiac disease for a very long time if the symptoms are very mild. Very often, however, the signs will present themselves the first-time baby eats cereal with wheat as an ingredient.
What if Your Child Needs a Gluten-Free Diet?
If your child has celiac disease and needs to abstain from gluten, you will find that there are many products available in the market to substitute for many foods that normally contain wheat. These include types of bread, pasta, cookies, and cakes. For small babies, there are rice cereals available, and for older children, you can use gluten-free oatmeal, quinoa, amaranth and corn grits. Your pediatric doctor NYC can further advise on gluten-free diets if he or she determines that your child needs to abstain from gluten.