What Are The Most Common Food Allergies for Kids?

Food allergies can be a hot topic among parents. We all want to try and feed our kiddos in a way that promotes good health and big energy! But figuring out what to feed our kids can be tough, especially in the face of common food allergies.

What Are The Most Common Food Allergies For Kids?

Nearly 5% of kids under the age of five have food allergies. The most common of these include:

    • Eggs
    • Milk (dairy)
    • Peanuts
    • Wheat (gluten)
    • Soy
    • Tree Nuts

Even though only 5% of kids have an actual food allergy, which can lead to symptoms like hives, swelling, eczema, difficulty breathing, tightness of the throat — and other super scary symptoms — there are many more that have food sensitivities. 

Food sensitivities are not true allergies. An allergy can appear within seconds after eating a food, while a sensitivity may take up to 48 hours for a reaction to appear. 

One of the main reactions a food sensitivity could have on a child’s body is lead to a condition called “leaky gut.”

What is Leaky Gut?

Normally, the cells in the gut form a tight barrier, only letting safe particles through to the bloodstream. Irritating foods can damage these cells, leading to gaps in this barrier. This allows larger, potentially harmful particles to enter, triggering an immune response—a key factor in what’s often referred to as “leaky gut.” 

Foods that Can Cause Irritation, Sensitivity, and Leaky Gut

Processed foods, sugars, seed oils, additives, and dyes can irritate almost anyone’s gut. 

Gluten and dairy, though, are some of the most common culprits behind discomfort. 

Those with leaky gut might find they’re also sensitive to foods usually considered healthy, like certain nuts, fruits, and vegetables. That doesn’t mean these foods must be avoided forever, but reducing them while healing the gut can be beneficial.

Should You Avoid Foods That Cause Common Food Allergies and Sensitivities?

When it comes to a true food allergy, it is best to avoid these foods and work closely with your doctor to learn how and when to safely reintroduce these foods.

When it comes to food sensitives, here are a few general tips:

  • Steering clear of processed foods and added sugars can be beneficial for almost everyone. Those with suspected food sensitivities consider 4-6 weeks of avoiding gluten and dairy as this is usually the first step in a gut-healing protocol. 
  • Discovering common food irritants might require some detective work! An elimination diet or IgG food sensitivity testing may be tools to help you uncover food sensitivities. 
  • Once you identify foods that are irritating to your child’s gut, it’s wise to eliminate those foods during their gut-healing journey. This isn’t a life sentence without these foods; it’s a temporary measure to minimize irritation and allow the gut to recover. A healthy, healed gut is much more resilient!

Should All Kids Avoid Gluten and Dairy?

Absolutely not! If your child is healthy, shows no adverse reactions to gluten or dairy, and is thriving, there’s no need to cut these foods out of their diet. However, if your child exhibits symptoms that suggest gut sensitivity, it might be worth trying a gluten and dairy-free diet for 4-6 weeks to observe any changes.

Alternatively, you may consider an IgG food sensitivity test to pinpoint specific irritants.

Understanding and managing common food allergies and sensitivities can be a powerful step toward better health for your little ones. It can feel like a daunting journey to take, but you’ve got this!

We are here to support you, mama. You aren’t alone in navigating your child’s gut health!