When a party or summer vacation begins to approach, the shopping list thickens and the planning of the menus brings us headlong, especially when we have babies and young children. One of the questions that, as parents, we ask ourselves when preparing holiday menus is when can my son eat seafood.
Obviously, if your child has not tried seafood - or that species of shellfish specifically -, a party or celebration such as Christmas is not the ideal time to test whether he likes it or not, especially because, although it is not very common if there is no family history, shellfish allergy is a relatively common allergy, specifically one of the 7 most common food allergies.
Its symptoms, as in other allergies, can be more or less severe depending on the sensitivity of the individual, although they have a certain tendency to be quite serious symptoms. Moreover, unlike many food allergies that can be overcome over the years, la shellfish allergy, either to mollusks, crustaceans or both, it is usually permanent.
Under normal conditions, and if they do not exist Family history of allergies shellfish can be introduced into the baby's diet as soon as desired, ie when starting complementary feeding.
Although not too long ago it was recommended to wait to introduce the seafood in baby's dietAs with other potentially allergenic foods, there is no scientific evidence to support late introduction as prevention of the development of allergies, so if shellfish are common in the family diet, the baby can start trying them from the 6 months.
The shellfish allergy symptoms they are not the same as a fish allergy. The shellfish can be crustacean (prawns, lobsters, crabs) or mollusks (clams, octopus, squid, mussels, oysters, scallops). When a child is allergic to shellfish, their immune system reacts disproportionately to shellfish proteins. Your body will identify them as harmful invaders and will defend itself by releasing a series of chemicals such as histamine. That can cause symptoms, which vary from child to child, such as:
- Difficulty breathing. You may have wheezing, wheezing
- Insistent cough
- Urticaria on the chest, arms
- Throat tightness
- Vomiting and diarrhea
- Red pimples around the mouth and body
If the child is not cared for quickly and adequately, the symptoms can lead to an anaphylaxis reaction and to faint.
As in all cases in which a potentially allergenic food is introduced into the baby's diet, it is better to:
1. Do not offer any other new food for at least 4-5 days after the introduction of the shellfish.
2. Do not introduce shellfish at dinner, but at lunch, to observe possible reactions.
3. Keep in mind that a serious reaction to shellfish can occur even if the previous reaction was relatively mild or non-existent, since shellfish allergy It can manifest itself even if it has not been observed before when consuming it, generally up to 7 years.
4. Make sure the seafood is well cooked to offer it to babies and young children, so as not to incorporate risks of food poisoning.
Although the high allergenic potential of shellfish may initially be scary, its nutritional composition is very interesting for children, since they contain numerous minerals and trace elements difficult to find in other foods and whose implication in growth and development during childhood makes them great interest.
Selenium, zinc, iodine and copper, in addition to omega 3 fatty acids, are really important in the child's diet, so much so that some of them are essential for intellectual development and for the functioning of the brain and connections. neuronal cells, and shellfish, in addition to fish, contain optimal amounts of these micronutrients.
Whether you are at Christmas or on a special date for the family, follow our recommendations if your child wants eat seafood.
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