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Weaning

Allergies

Weaning is a special time for you and your baby. It's important that you do it safely. Your baby will be trying foods for the first time, so you may not know how they will react.

Introduce foods that can cause allergic reactions one at a time and in very small amounts. This way you can spot if any reaction occurs. 

If you think your baby has had a reaction to any food or ingredient please call 111 for advice and see your GP to ask for a referral for further assessment.

Please do not remove food groups from your baby's diet without medical advice as this may leave them without a nutrients they need to stay healthy. 

The following are high allergen foods. They can be introduced from around 6 months as part of your baby's diet, just like any other foods:

  • Cows' milk (in cooking or mixed with food)
  • Eggs (eggs without a red lion stamp should not be eaten raw or lightly cooked)
  • Foods that contain gluten, including wheat, barley and rye
  • Nuts and peanuts (serve them crushed or ground)
  • Seeds (serve them crushed or ground)
  • Soya
  • Shellfish (don't serve raw or lightly cooked)
  • Fish

Once you are sure your baby does not have a reaction to each food type, keep offering it as part of your baby's diet.

Dive Deeper

Signs of a Food Allergy

Allergy UK advise that the following signs may be seen in a child who suffering from a food allergy.

What Are the Symptoms of Food Allergy in Babies and Children?

  • A flushed face, hives, a red and itchy rash around the mouth, tongue or eyes. This can spread across the entire body.
  • Mild swelling, particularly of the lips, eyes and face.
  • A runny or blocked nose, sneezing and watering eyes.
  • Nausea and vomiting, tummy cramps and diarrhoea.
  • A scratchy or itchy mouth and throat.

Please call 111 to seek medical advice if any of these signs appear after your child has eaten.

Read more about signs of a food allergy

If Your Child has a Diagnosed Food Allergy

If your baby has a diagnosed food allergy, such as Cows Milk Protein Allergy, you will be advised by your baby's dietician on how to wean safely. Please make sure to speak with your baby's dietician before starting to wean them as they will want to monitor their progress and ensure your baby is safe.

If you do not have a dietician please speak to your GP before weaning your baby and request a referral.

The video below has a mother talking about weaning her baby who has a cows milk protein and corn allergy. 

If you have a family history of food allergy, asthma, eczema or hay fever or your baby has eczema please speak to your GP before starting to wean. This is because you may need to be particularly careful about introducing foods which could trigger a reaction.

 

Read more from Allergy UK

Allergies can cause a rare and severe reaction called anaphylaxis. This is a medical emergency and you should call 999 immediately if you see any of these symptoms in your baby.

  • Wheezing or chest tightness, similar to a severe asthma attack.
  • Swelling of the tongue and throat restricting the airways. This can cause noisy breathing (especially on breathing in), a cough or a change in voice.
  • A sudden drop in blood pressure (called hypotension) leading to shock.
  • Dizziness, confusion, collapse, loss of consciousness and sometimes coma.

Who can Help?

You can contact the Healthy Child Programme by calling Just One Number on 0300 300 0123 or texting Parentline on 07520631590. Our opening hours are 8am-6pm Monday-Friday (excluding bank holidays) and 9am-1pm on Saturdays.

To speak to other Norfolk parents and carers, you can join our online community forum below.

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