Feeding the food allergy child
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Department of Clinical Sciences and Community Health, University of Milano, Milano, Italy
Publication date: 2022-05-27
Public Health Toxicol 2022;2(Supplement Supplement 1):A76
Food allergy represents a substantial health problem in childhood. Over 90% of food allergies are caused by: eggs, peanuts, cow’s milk, soy, nuts, shellfish, fish, or wheat. Diet plays a crucial role in both the prevention and management of food allergy. The maternal diet, the microbiome and early life feeding have been investigated for the prevention of allergic diseases. Allergic reactions to foods impair an individual's health and quality of life. The report of poor growth in children with food allergy is relatively common and is generally attributed to the number of foods excluded and the duration of the diet. An impaired growth in atopic children should not be attributed only to a high number of allergens and foods to be avoided, but to a general condition of ‘sub-inflammation’, which unfavourably affects the absorption and utilization of substrates. The dietary management of food allergy requires appropriate dietary choices to maintain adequate growth, starting with special formulas in infancy. Dietitians should provide a comprehensive, individualized treatment plan, considering the medical condition, food avoidance strategies, healthy eating, nutritional requirements, and family life. Individualised strategies should be implemented in terms of food allergy management and prevention since the start of complementary feeding.
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