Babies and food allergies

5min read

Baby looking up

Babies are more likely to have an allergy if there is a history of asthma, eczema or hayfever in the family. A food allergy typically causes an immediate reaction after eating the food – usually seconds or minutes after eating it.

Signs and symptoms

There are many signs that your baby has an allergy including itchy skin (hives or rash) and itchy and/or swelling tongue and lips. Other symptoms include sneezing, blocked or runny nose, shortness of breath, coughing or vomiting. It is important to seek medical advice if your baby shows any of these signs. Your baby may also have a tightening of the throat, difficulty breathing, feeling faint or a pale and clammy appearance. Please do call 111, your GP or visit A & E if your baby displays any of these signs.

Common food allergies

  • Citrus fruits (e.g. oranges), Seed fruits (strawberries) and Kiwi fruit
  • Cow’s milk
  • Eggs
  • Fish and shellfish
  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Soya
  • Tomatoes
  • Wheat

The effects of a food allergy

  • Stomach pain or colic
  • Bloating
  • Wind
  • Diarrhoea and occasionally vomiting

The most common food intolerances are the same as for allergies. Introduce these foods after your child has reached six months, and try them one at a time monitoring your child very closely to check for a reaction of any sort, in which case you should consult your GP or if it’s a very severe reaction (such as difficulty breathing or any swelling occurs) take your baby to the local Accident and Emergency department.

Other organisations that may be useful:

For more advice on baby food allergies visit the NHS website

Further resources

It may help to chat to other parents on our forums to find out how they are dealing with this issue within their family life. You can also talk to us via our live chat service, email us at or call us on our helpline on 0808 800 2222 to speak to trained family support worker.