Weaning your food allergic baby
With thanks to Allergy UK
To mark National Weaning Week 2020 (4-10 May) Allergy UK, the leading charity for people living with all kinds of allergic disease, has launched a free ‘Weaning Your Food Allergic Baby’ digital support pack designed to help make weaning a child a safer and less frightening experience. The pack contains invaluable information, tips and guidance from a group of experts, nutritionists and bloggers that the charity has brought together, with some additional resources, including a selection of recipe ideas. Below, they highlight five top tips from the pack:
Familiarise yourself with labelling information and the 14 top food allergens
Make sure your child’s diet meets all its nutritional needs during weaning
Make sure you keep track of new foods you introduce and any allergic symptoms in a food diary
Get into a routine around regular mealtimes so your child understands that it is time to eat and eat together if you can
Expose your baby to a variety of colours and tastes to develop their diet
The launch of the new pack follows the release of Allergy UK’s research findings which revealed that a staggering 93% of parents and carers feel there is a gap in reliable information when weaning food allergic children, with a worrying one in ten left to deal with their kids’ allergies through trial and error. These findings come as parents and carers all over the UK struggle to access information and support amid the global Coronavirus pandemic.
For parents and caregivers of a child with an allergy, the majority of emotions felt during weaning are negative, with worry (73%), anxiety (64%) and stress (60%) being the most common. For over half, the biggest weaning fears were what to do in the event of an allergic reaction (54%), what food to introduce and when (54%). The latter spiked to 80% for those yet to start weaning their child, highlighting the level of concern among those approaching that stage of their child’s development.
Almost nine in ten parents and caregivers said a lack of support and information impacted how they felt when weaning their child, with 48% saying the impact was significant. The same proportion (nine in ten) felt there was a gap in reliable information when weaning food allergic children, with some citing conflicting information as a contributor to the problem.
The new pack responds to a call for step by step guidance, a plan of what to feed, portion sizes, signs of a reaction and what to do if a reaction occurs which was expressed by over a third (38%) of parents and caregivers in the research.
The free Weaning Your Allergic Child Pack which has been developed by Allergy UK with the help of sponsors Abbott’s Nutrition Business is downloadable from www.allergyuk.org/weaning.
Weaning Week are featuring two articles on weaning and allergies, from leading paediatric Dieticians, Lucy Upton and Bahee van de Bor on our tips and advice page. Lucy will also be running a FREE allergies workshop on Friday at 10am. You can take part here.
Disclaimer: The views and advice given in this article are those of the guest writer and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Weaning Week or any other organisations represented on this platform