What are the Different Types of Infant Food Allergies?

A. Pasbjerg
A. Pasbjerg
Infants can often develop an allergy to eggs.
Infants can often develop an allergy to eggs.

While any food can potentially cause an allergic reaction in an infant, there are several types of foods that cause the majority of them. Peanuts and tree nuts are often the cause of infant food allergies. Dairy products made from milk are another common culprit, and giving babies eggs too early may also lead to an allergy. Seafood, particularly shellfish, is also known for being an allergen. Products made from wheat, citrus fruits, or soy are also often to blame.

Many babies are allergic to the proteins in cow's milk.
Many babies are allergic to the proteins in cow's milk.

One common cause of infant food allergies are nuts. Tree nuts such as pecans or walnuts can potentially lead to a reaction. Peanuts, though they are technically a groundnut in the legume family, should also be avoided as children can develop severe and potentially life-threatening allergies to them if they are introduced into the diet too early.

Milk products may also lead to infant food allergies. Cow's milk in particular is known to induce an allergic reaction in some babies, and should not be introduced when the child is too young. Certain formulas can contain cow's milk, however, so the parents of allergic formula-fed infants may need to explore alternative products such as those made from soy.

Allergies to tree nuts, like walnuts, are one of the most common types of allergies.
Allergies to tree nuts, like walnuts, are one of the most common types of allergies.

Another of the types of infant food allergies are egg allergies. The proteins in the egg white are the portion which usually leads to a reaction; the yolk rarely has any negative effects and is typically safe for younger babies to eat. Pediatricians generally recommend that introduction of the whites to babies be delayed until they are past their first birthday.

Some allergies may be genetic.
Some allergies may be genetic.

Many infants are allergic to seafood products. Some children can develop allergies to regular fish like salmon or tuna. More frequently, shellfish like shrimp or crab are too blame. Reactions to shellfish can often be severe, so introduction of these types of foods are usually not recommended until children are older, at least 2 or even 3 years old.

People with a fish allergy would have a reaction after eating salmon.
People with a fish allergy would have a reaction after eating salmon.

There are several other foods which commonly cause infant allergies as well. Many infants cannot tolerate soy, which can be particularly difficult for those also allergic to milk, as finding alternative formulas can be challenging and soy milk cannot be used as a replacement. Wheat is another common allergen; parents of infants with this allergy may need to substitute products made with other grains like rice, oats, or barley. Citrus fruits and juices are another well-known source of allergic reactions in infants.

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    • Infants can often develop an allergy to eggs.
      Infants can often develop an allergy to eggs.
    • Many babies are allergic to the proteins in cow's milk.
      Many babies are allergic to the proteins in cow's milk.
    • Allergies to tree nuts, like walnuts, are one of the most common types of allergies.
      Allergies to tree nuts, like walnuts, are one of the most common types of allergies.
    • Some allergies may be genetic.
      Some allergies may be genetic.
    • People with a fish allergy would have a reaction after eating salmon.
      People with a fish allergy would have a reaction after eating salmon.
    • Wheat is a common allergen for both infants and adults.
      Wheat is a common allergen for both infants and adults.
    • Many infants cannot tolerate soy products.
      Many infants cannot tolerate soy products.