Food Allergies -- A Growing Problem In The Modern World
Studies have shown that food allergies are becoming more widespread, and no-one seems to be certain why. Also, where many children would previously grow out of any allergies they may have suffered in their early years, this trend seems to be changing and they continue to be burdened by the problem into adulthood.
What can you do to help prevent your child developing an allergy?
There are several precautions you can take to reduce the chances of your child developing a food allergy, and particularly if you have a history of such problems in your family, it's a good idea to follow these recommendations.
Breastfeed your baby
There is no doubt that babies benefit from breastfeeding, especially during the first 6 months of their lives. Try not to use baby formulas during this period. A mother's milk is a safer option than cow's milk and has other proven benefits to health. It contains all the proteins, carbohydrates and fats that your newborn baby needs. Breastfed babies tend to suffer from fewer infections, since the infant will receive protective antibodies from the mother. It is also thought by some scientists that delaying starting your baby on solid foods until about 6 months of age may be helpful.
Be careful what you eat during pregnancy
Especially if your family has a history of allergy problems, it's a good idea to avoid eating nuts while pregnant or breastfeeding.
Do not expose yourself to smoke
Many studies have shown that exposure to tobacco smoke in infancy contributes to food allergies, as well as asthma. As well as not smoking yourself, try to ensure your child grows up in a tobacco-free environment.
Consider taking supplements
Some physicians recommend taking probiotics (beneficial bacteria) during pregnancy, and possibly also whilst breastfeeding. Often found in yoghurt products, although they can also be taken in tablet form,Â probiotics may have some protective effect against allergy development. Although research is still ongoing in this field, it is believed that they are safe for both mother and baby.
Food allergies can be distressing and debilitating. By acting early and taking preventative measures, you can reduce the chances of your child developing them.