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Posted on 05-14-2012

Good morning!

It's really important for you to become educated on baby food allergy especially if you are concerned that your baby may have such an allergy or someone in your own family has. A baby that is suffering from a particular food allergy will experience the symptoms that are specific to that allergy. Also, common symptoms may be experienced as well - they include rashes, constipation, gas, inability to sleep, diarrhea, hives, excessive irritability and chronic eczema. Keep in mind that continuing to provide your baby with the allergen will possibly increase the severity of his symptoms and reactions in the future to come.  

The big step of weaning your baby and giving her new foods is both exciting and scary.  That apprehensive feeling that you will have with each new step in your child's life is made more stressful in the weaning process because of the potential of infant allergies.  There has been a great deal of concern and awareness raised about milk allergies in babies and that awareness has helped parents diagnose and deal with this difficult health issue in the home.  But there is another kind of infant food allergy that is even more common but not nearly well known.  That is the infant allergy to rice.

This is not good news because rice is one of the most common types of baby foods that parents use to introduce food to a new baby.  Many baby foods and formulas are rice based.  That is why it is good to be aware that rice can represent a significant allergy risk to your infant.  The medical community has done its research and found that rice can actually be blamed for more episodes of food protein-induced enterocolitis syndrome (other wise known as infant food allergies) than milk or soy products in a baby's diet.

One reason that symptoms of rice allergies in the digestive tract of an infant are often misdiagnosed as food poisoning or some other dire ailment and the treatments given are in response to the wrong problem.  That is because symptoms of infant rice allergies are often more severe than milk or soy allergic reactions.  So if your baby is experiencing dramatic and sometimes violent gastric reactions to food, it could be the rice in her diet rather than a milk or soy allergy giving her trouble.

It is significant that babies that are breastfed for the first six months to a year of their lives do not exhibit this same allergic reaction to rice when they do go through the weaning process later in infancy.  The majority of babies who demonstrate food protein-induced enterocolitis syndrome as result of an infant rice allergy do so before they are six months old.  One significant conclusion that we can draw from this finding is that parents can feel "in the clear" to feed their babies rice based products a little later in infancy.  The care that should be taken is in the first year of life when the little one's immune system and digestive tract are still relatively immature.

The second and most significant finding of these studies is that if it is possible, the best way to shield an infant from food protein-induced enterocolitis syndrome is to continue breastfeeding at least until the child is six months old.  While breastfeeding is not 100% certain to keep your baby from getting any food allergy, it can help avoid a rice based allergy so you can include rice in the baby's diet when she is weaned later in the first year of life.

Have a blessed day!


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