There is no unanimous criterion on when to introduce shellfish into infant food. Some consider that they can be introduced from 6 months onwards, but since it is a highly allergenic food, it is advisable to delay the introduction after 2 years, especially if one of the parents has food allergies.
The risk of developing a food allergy it is determined by various factors such as heredity, allergen exposure, gastrointestinal disturbances, and environmental factors. Genetic inheritance determines in an important way the predisposition to suffer allergies. In the event that both parents are allergic, there is between 47% and 100% that the child is also allergic, and only 13% when neither parent is.
Symptoms of a shellfish allergy are very similar to those of other food allergies:
- Swelling of the face, eyelids, tongue and lips.
- Itchy skin.
- Small blisters, redness especially in the hands.
- Difficulty breathing.
- Vomiting and diarrhea.
The symptoms appear between 15 minutes and two hours after ingestion, or when handling food or simply by inhaling the vapors during cooking; in some cases symptoms may appear after 7 hours.
- Exclude food (shellfish) from the child's diet.
- In very sensitive children avoid inhalation exposure.
- Read the nutritional labeling, especially in soups, sauces, products with flavorings or fish gelatin, fats such as cod liver oil, paellas, etc.
- Avoid seafood and fish restaurants.
There is a wide variety of seafood:
- Crustaceans: lobster, Norway lobster, prawn, lobster, prawn, sea crab, crab, spider crab, crab and barnacle.
- Mollusks: clam, cockle, coquina, mussel, razor, oyster, scallop, limpet, periwinkle, cañadilla, busano, squid, squid, octopus and cuttlefish.
Seafood consumption is important because it provides us with protein, good quality fats and vitamins like vitamin B12, vitamin E, and minerals like selenium, phosphorus, zinc and iodine.
Despite the good nutritional properties of shellfish, it is not mandatory to introduce them in the early feeding of the child, especially if we have doubts about a probable food allergy. In addition to the nutrients present in shellfish (vitamins, minerals and proteins) can be provided by other types of food.
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