How food labelling can help you manage your baby’s allergy

When your baby has been diagnosed with food allergy, you have to pay extra care and attention in understanding the nature of foods that you give him. While preparing foods at home for him, you may have no confusion about what suits him and what doesn’t. It is only when you buy formula or pre-packed food for your baby that you have to be very cautious. This is where the food label of the product assumes a lot of importance.

What is the food label and why you should read it?
A food label is mentioned on the food package and it contains a list of all the ingredients used for manufacturing it. You may have to check for these at the back of the formula package. You can go through the list to see if it contains any item that your baby is allergic to. If yes, it is safe to put it away and search for a suitable product.

In some food labels, apart from the ingredients, you will also see a heading called, “may contain”. This is issued by manufacturers in the interests of parents whose babies have food allergies. It means that particular formula may contain a certain element which might cause an allergic reaction in babies. Please don’t buy any pack that contains these. There could be another heading called, “allergen information”. Here, the manufacturer mentions the potential allergens that could harm the baby.

It is very important to read all these in detail so that you can be sure that you are getting a product that is 100% safe for your baby. If you don’t understand the names of any ingredient or if you aren’t able to understand about the allergic reaction it could cause in your baby, it is highly recommended to take a photo of it and check with your paediatrician right away. He will guide you properly about using it for your baby.

Some common words that you have to watch out for on labels for babies with different allergies

Milk allergy
Don’t buy products that contain the following words:

  • Anything that starts with “lac,” as it indicates the presence of milk proteins
  • Casein and caseinates
  • All dairy products
  • Half & Half
  • Hydrolysates
  • Milk Fats
  • Nougat
  • Quark
  • Simplesse
  • Whey
  • Rennet

Peanut allergy
If your baby has been diagnosed with peanut allergy, please stay safe from products that contain:

  • Anything related to Arachis
  • Any type of nut and oils made from peanut
  • Goober peas
  • Any paste, sauce, paste or powder made from peanut

Egg Allergy
For babies with an egg allergy, please don’t buy products that contain:

  • Anything that ends with “in” (such as albumin, globulin, livetin, ovomucin, etc.) to be on the safe side
  • Anything related to eggs (eggnog, fried egg, whole egg, powdered eggs, etc.)
  • Fat substitutes
  • Surimi

Though soy, wheat, and tree nuts also cause allergies in babies, milk, eggs and peanuts are the more common culprits. That’s why we have given you an overview of what to look at the food labels if you are baby has been diagnosed with these allergies so that you can keep him safe.

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