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Archive for March 2008

Common Foods That Should Wait Until Baby Is A Certain Age


(not an allergen but may cause botulism in infants under 1yr old)

After 1 year

Peanut Butter  

After 1 or 2 years*

(Tree) Nuts
(also may pose a choking hazard)

After 1 or 2 years*

Citrus or Acidic Fruits
Just because a fruit, like tomato, is not in the citrus family does not mean that it is not acidic!
Not an allergen but may cause rash & digestive upset due to acidity.  Using a dash of lemon or pineapple juice in a whole fruit puree is NOT the same as giving a baby pureed or sliced oranges, pineapple et al.

After 1 year


After 1 year

(possible allergen and not very nutrient rich)

After 1 year

Egg Whites
(many pediatricians will say it is fine for an older infant to have baked goods that include eggs)

After 1 year

Whole Milk 
Lactose and milk proteins may cause allergic reactions and may also cause tummy troubles as they are hard to digest – yogurt and cheese are exceptions – see below.  Milk also hinders proper absorption of iron; iron is crucial during the 1st yr.!

After 1 year

Many suggest that for the infant who has had no issues with gluten in Oats and/or Barley, and who has no history of wheat allergy or gluten intolerance, that offering wheat products (such as wheat toast) is fine around  8+ months – Read more at our topic  Wheat for Baby

After 9-10 months or 1 year

(not a high allergen but may pose a choking hazard – use extreme caution if offering your older infant or toddler grapes)


After 10 months or 1 year**

(may be a high allergen)

After 1 or 2 years***


After 1 year – if at all



Potential causes for colds and allergies

There are significant differences in the causes of allergies and infectious conditions, such as the common cold. However, both begin with a similar immune system reaction. The immune system produces antibodies to neutralize, metabolize or eliminate a substance the body identifies as foreign.

In the case of a cold, infection or flu, the foreign bodies are harmful bacteria, fungi, viruses or parasites. The immune system’s response to these invaders helps the body to lessen or prevent damage from these harmful substances. For instance, during a cold, nasal discharge can last up to two weeks. Drainage of this type is a normal part of the body’s response to viral upper respiratory infection.

In the case of allergies, the immune system launches a similar attack against a harmless substance, such as pollen or dust. Because the body processes are so similar, the symptoms people experience with allergies often mimic those of a cold or infection. These include sneezing, congestion, watery eyes and fatigue.

Allergic reactions are caused when a person comes into contact with an allergy to which they are sensitive. The most common allergens include:

  • Pollen. Given off seasonally by trees, grass and weeds, pollen is responsible for triggering most cases of allergic rhinitis (hay fever). The plant most commonly associated with pollen allergies is ragweed.

    Ragweed Pollen

  • Dust mites. Many people with dust allergies are actually allergic to dust mites – microscopic insects that live in dust. Like most airborne allergens, dust mites often trigger allergic rhinitis symptoms in sensitive people. People allergic to pollen, mold or animal dander (shed dead skin) may also experience symptoms when exposed to dust.
  • Foods. Almost any food may cause an allergic reaction. However, only eight foods cause 90 percent of allergic reactions: soy, wheat, tree nuts, peanuts, milk, eggs, fish and shellfish. These reactions can range from mild to the severe and life-threatening anaphylactic shock.
  • Animals. People with animal allergies have sensitive immune systems that react to harmless proteins in animal dander, saliva or urine. Allergies to furred or feathered animals are common especially among people with other allergies or asthma. From 15 to 30 percent of people with allergies have allergic reactions to cats or dogs, according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America.
  • Mold. Allergic reactions to mold can occur during all seasons. The spores are spread by both air and wind under both dry and humid conditions depending on the mold type. It is common for people to have mold allergy if they or another family member are allergic to pollen or animal dander.


  • Latex. Allergies to latex products (e.g., balloons, rubber gloves, rubber balls, condoms) are caused by proteins in rubber tree sap. There are two different types of reaction to latex. The most common is a red and itchy rash (contact dermatitis) that breaks out where latex contacts skin. In some cases latex allergy may cause the intense allergic reaction anaphylaxis. Sometimes people with latex allergy also experience reactions to tropical fruits, nuts, avocado, raw potato, tomato or celery.
  • Drug allergies. Allergies to medication can cause a variety of symptoms from hives to the severe breathing problems associated with anaphylactic shock. Drug allergies are different from side effects.
  • Insect stings. Most insect stings are caused by bees, wasps, hornets, yellow-jackets and fire ants. These insects have venom that may act on the human circulatory system causing the blood vessels to dilate or become wider. People with allergies to insect venom may experience anaphylactic shock following a sting.

Allergies can affect anyone regardless of age, gender, race or socioeconomic factors. There is a link between heredity and the development of allergic disease. If both parents have allergies, their biological child has a 75 percent chance of developing allergies, according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. If one parent has allergies, the child’s chance of allergy development is 50 percent. However, parents and children do not necessarily share the same allergies.

It was once thought that people would, or could, outgrow allergies.  Although allergies may seem to spontaneously improve, in reality, it is believed that they become dormant and have the potential to return at a later time. There is a tendency for allergies to become less severe after age 40 and become more severe after age 60.

Other factors that may produce allergy symptoms are environmental irritants (e.g., smoke, perfume), hormones and stress.




A good guideline for distinguishing between a cold and an allergy is time. Colds get better over time, generally in 7 to 10 days, while allergic reactions can last for months. Eating nutritious foods, getting adequate rest, and drinking plenty of water will help to alleviate cold and flu symptoms.

While colds are usually just inconvenient, allergies can be serious conditions. Some forms can lead to chronic respiratory diseases, such as asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Other allergies can produce a potentially life-threatening reaction called anaphylactic shock that involves difficulty breathing and a drop in blood pressure.

Although allergies themselves do not involve infection, they can lead to infections. For instance, symptoms caused by allergic rhinitis, if untreated, can cause fluid to build up in the ear, leading to recurring ear infections (otitis media).

Symptoms Cold Flu

Fever Rare Characteristic, high (102-104°F); lasts 3-4 days

Headache Rare Prominent

General Aches, Pains Slight Usual; often severe

Fatigue, Weakness Quite mild Can last up to 2-3 weeks

Extreme Exhaustion Never Early and prominent

Stuffy Nose Common Sometimes

Sneezing Usual Sometimes

Sore Throat Common Sometimes

Chest Discomfort,
Mild to moderate;
hacking cough
Common; can become severe

Complications Sinus congestion or earache Bronchitis, pneumonia; can be life-threatening

Prevention None Annual vaccination; amantadine
or rimantadine (antiviral drugs)

Treatment Only temporary relief of symptoms Amantadine or rimantadine within 24-48 hours after onset of symptoms




March 2008

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