“Dear Dietitian, I was told it is not advisable to give prawn to my 8 months baby, is that true? I am concern about food allergy.”
“ Hi, thank you for your enquiries. In the past, some experts recommended not to introduce highly allergenic foods such as egg, fish and nuts to babies before their first birthday. However, recent evidences have shown that there is no reason to delay the introduction of these highly allergenic foods.
All babies should start having complementary solid food around 6 months, but not before 4 months, when your baby is ready. It is advisable to include a variety of foods including those that may cause an allergy in the first 12 months of life. Studies showed that this may reduce the chance of your baby developing food allergy. Once these highly allergenic foods are introduced, you are encouraged to include them regularly in your baby’s diet.
Always introduce new foods one at a time, around 1 to 2 days apart so that you can identify if any food causes a reaction. Allergy reactions usually occur rapidly within minutes (though they can take up to 2 hours). If a food causes an allergy reaction, you should stop the feeding and bring your baby to seek medical advice.
After all, you should talk to your baby’s doctor before introducing the highly allergenic food to your baby for the following reason(s):
• If your baby has had an allergy reaction to food before
• If your baby has persistent, moderate to severe atopic dermatitis
• If your baby’s sibling has food allergy especially peanut allergy
• If your baby has a positive allergy test to food(s)
Have great fun exploring the new foods with your baby!
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MJ, certified dietitian