Dr. Pamela Smith, ND 

Dr. Pam has a family practice at The Nest Family Wellness Centre which offers naturopathic and midwifery care. She combines science-based natural medicine with conventional medical therapeutics. Learn more about Dr. Pam and the services offered by her clinic here, or book an appointment at www.drpamelasmith.com.

Check out the latest Ask Dr Pam Q&A and posts by topic below as well as her health and wellness posts.

Ask Dr Pam   

How should I introduce foods to my baby or child if I’m concerned about them having an allergic reaction?


80-90% of children with true food allergies are allergic to one or more of the following: dairy, eggs, peanuts and other tree nuts, shellfish, soy, and wheat. Food sensitivities can be triggered by the same list but can also be from a variety of other sources. Most sensitivities do not show up in obvious ways until a few days after ingestion so even if your baby initially did well on a food, continue monitoring them. Cooking the majority of your baby’s first foods can reduce the risk of allergy development.

One way to slowly introduce a food you are concerned about is to place it on their cheek away from their mouths for 10-20 minutes to see if any redness or swelling develops. After this, wait 12-24 hours and monitor for symptoms, if none occur, then can try a small amount of their lips and again monitor for symptoms. This is a good strategy for first introduction of common food allergies such as peanuts – always chose natural non-hydrogenated peanut butter.

It is ideal to speak with your healthcare provider if you are concerned about food introduction. (DO NOT consume tree nuts if you as the mother have an allergy!).

See this post about identifying signs of allergies.

Related posts:

How to be allergy free, naturally
The difference between colds, flu’s and allergies
How to tell if your baby or child has an allergy
How to tell if you have an allergy as an adult
When it is safe to introduce tree nuts to small children
Tips for introducing new foods to children