As the name suggests, multiple food allergy is a condition where a child is allergic to multiple foods1. Five foods are responsible for most of these allergies. They are eggs, peanuts, cow’s milk, wheat and soy2. Multiple food allergy is also sometimes called ‘multiple food protein intolerance’.
Infants and children with one food allergy are at higher risk of also being allergic to other foods2. Infants with multiple food allergy generally have delayed symptoms and react with breastmilk (although this is very uncommon), infant formula and a range of solid foods1. Symptoms can include3:
- Poor growth and poor weight gain
- Severe skin reactions (atopic dermatitis)
The treatment of multiple food allergy is avoiding consumption of all foods that cause an allergic reaction for your child2. Most formula fed babies will need to switch to a low allergy infant formula, either an extensively hydrolysed or an amino acid based formula1. Breastfeeding mothers may need to eliminate allergy causing foods from their diet. For toddlers and children, they also need to remove those foods that have been identified as causes of allergic reactions. This diet can involve removing lots of different foods. To make sure your child it getting all the nutrients they need, your child may be advised by their healthcare professional to use a low allergy infant formula to supplement what they are eating.
This diet can be challenging and complex. It is, therefore, important that you work together with your doctor and dietitian to make sure that your child is getting the right nutrition.
Multiple food allergy is a condition where a child is allergic to multiple foods. Five foods are responsible for most of these allergies. They are eggs, peanuts, cow’s milk, wheat and soy.
- Allen K et al. 2006. Food allergies in childhood. Med J Australia. Vol: 185 Issue: 7 pages: 394-400
- 2010. Management of the patient with multiple food allergies. Curr Allergy Asthma Rep. Volume: 10. Issue: 4. Pages: 271-277
- Hill DJ, Hosking CS. Infantile colic and food hypersensitivity. J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr 2000; 30 Suppl: S67-S76.