Family foods – Keeping the common allergy causing foods in your child’s diet
It is important to continue to include the common allergy causing foods in your child’s meals once introduced and beyond one year of age.
This is important to help prevent your child possibly developing an allergy after eating the food. If you feed your child the common allergy causing foods, but your child does not continue to eat the foods, they could develop a food allergy if they have not eaten the food for some time. Ideally you should continue to feed your baby the food at least twice a week as part of family meals, once introduced.
There is no clear research to tell us exactly how much of the allergy causing foods your child needs to eat to prevent food allergy, so it is recommended that you choose small amounts (e.g. 1 teaspoon) to start with and increase the amount as your child grows and eats more.
The important thing is to include the food at least twice a week. If your baby has had what could be an allergic reaction or is allergic to a particular food, do not feed your baby that food.
Once your child is eating the common allergy causing foods, the easiest way to keep feeding them these foods is to include the common allergy causing foods in family meals.
Here are some food ideas for toddlers and family meals
Once your baby is eating textured and soft finger foods, you can introduce healthy family foods and start expanding their tastes.
Include eggs as part of a quick protein rich lunch (e.g. scrambled eggs or add hard boiled to a grazing plate). Eggs can be baked in muffins or nut loaf for homemade snacks.
Add finely ground peanuts to breakfast cereal, salads, mixed into crumbing for making meatballs or homemade chicken nuggets, added to yoghurts or in crumble toppings for desserts. Children under 5 years of age should only be given peanuts as a smooth nut butter or paste or as nuts ground up to be a powder or flour.
Try homemade nut sprinkle which can be added to breakfast cereal, on salads, mixed into crumbing for making meatballs or homemade chicken nuggets, added to yoghurts or in crumble toppings for desserts. Children under 5 years of age should only be given tree nuts as a smooth nut butter or paste or as nuts ground up to be a powder or flour.
Offer milk to drink from a cup and include yoghurt and cheese in meals and snacks.
Offer wheat included in staple foods such as bread, pasta and cereals.
Soy is usually included in commercial breads. You can also add reduced salt soy sauce in fried rice or to dip sushi in. Use tofu in dips or add tofu to stir fries.
Offer fish as part of family meals. Try crumbing fish with egg and breadcrumbs with added ground tree nuts. Tinned tuna and salmon makes a quick pasta topping mixed with cut up cooked vegetables, and fish fingers make a quick lunch.
Try crab cakes. Prawns, pan fried or steamed with noodles and cooked vegetables. Scallops, steamed and chopped and added to rice and cooked vegetables.
Add to crumble toppings. Buy bread topped with sesame seeds, or commercial sesame ‘grisini’ sticks for snacks. Dip vegetables in hummus.
Recipes for your baby
Looking for ideas of how to introduce the common allergy causing foods into your baby's diet? Download our free recipe booklet and go to the ‘1 year and onwards – Toddler and family foods’ section.