After all those months of enjoying exclusive breast feed, your baby is finally starting a new milestone – eating solids! While this is a big moment in any baby’s life, it is also a time when new parents are extremely conscious and confused about what all baby should eat.
Babies need a lot of nutrition to help them develop better, and their diet plays a very important role in their overall growth and development.
All babies have a different reaction to food, and while something may have worked perfect for your elder one, your second one may be completely averse to it! From lactose intolerance to allergies to sudden reactions, there can be various complications when it comes to introducing food to your baby, most of which you may be unaware of.
Soy allergy is one such reaction that parents often notice in babies.
To help you understand better, here are the basics of soy allergies, how to detect them, and simple ways you can help your kid tackle it better.
What Brings On Soy Allergy?
Soy allergies are common in both kids and infants. Sometimes, the body’s immune system regards certain proteins found in soy as invaders that may be harmful to the body, and creates antibodies to fight them. This is when this sort of allergy kicks in.
When an individual affected by soy allergies consumes a product that contains soy, the immune system gets into an overdrive and releases chemicals known as histamines. These are designed to protect the body from the ‘harmful’ soy proteins, which causes an allergic reaction.
Soy allergies, along with peanuts, tree nuts, wheat, fish, shellfish and cow’s milk make up for a large percentage of all food allergies. It is believed that these allergies are one of the many food allergies that begin early in life and get resolved by the age of three. Typically, these allergies are usually detected in infants by 3-4 months of age.
Various Types Of Soy Allergies:
1. Soy Lecithin Allergy:
Soy Lecithin is a food additive and is non-toxic in nature. It is used in the production of foods that require a natural emulsifier. Most commonly, it is used to improve shelf life of some products. It also helps to control crystallization of sugar in chocolates and reduces the splattering of oil while frying certain foods. Individuals allergic to soy may tolerate soy lecithin in most cases.
2. Soy Protein Allergy:
Soy is known to contain at least 21 different proteins that cause asthma-related allergic reactions.
3. Soy Milk Allergy:
Almost 50% children affected by slow-onset cow’s milk allergy are also allergic to soy. If your child is being formula fed, make sure you pick up hypoallergenic products from the market. These hydrolyzed foods have proteins that are broken down, and therefore, they do not trigger allergic reactions.
4. Soy Oil Allergy:
Soybean oil usually does not contain the allergen protein. Therefore, it is safe to be used by those affected by allergies in most cases.
5. Soy Sauce Allergy:
Soy sauce also contains wheat in addition to soy, which may often make it difficult to understand if the allergic reaction is being triggered due to soy or wheat. Soy sauce contains histamines which may result in histamine poisoning. This can cause inflammation around the mouth, and possibly dermatitis too.
Signs and Symptoms:
Depending upon the type of allergy and also the amount of consumption of the allergen, the signs and symptoms may range from mild to severe.
Some of the most common signs and symptoms associated with soy allergies are:
- Skin reactions
- Hives and eczema
- Itching and swelling
- Fever blisters
- Abdominal pain
- Breathing problems
- Nausea and vomiting
- Crying and irritability (in case of infants)
- Runny nose
- Anaphylactic shock (very rare)
There is no known ‘treatment’ for soy allergies. The affected individual has to avoid consuming foods that contain soy, which may trigger the reaction. One of the best ways to handle these kind of allergies is to read food labels and avoid anything that contains soy.
Another way to avoid this, especially if you are a foodie, is to familiarize yourself with foods that contain soy and double check with the staff when eating out at restaurants.
Foods to Avoid:
Living with soy allergies is tough, and it’s not just about skipping the tofu and soy sauce. The list is endless if you want to avoid any allergic reaction.
Here are food items you should definitely stay away from to avoid soy allergies:
- Textured vegetable protein
- Soy protein
- Soy milk
- Soy yogurt
- Soy sprouts
- Soy grits and nuts
- Soy fiber
- Soy sauce
- Shoyu sauce
- Soy cheese
Foods That May Contain Soy:
In the food industry, even the most simplest of foods may contain certain chemicals, preservatives and additives, and may also contain traces of food allergens that may be enough to trigger off a reaction.
Here is a list of some of the most common foods that may contain soy traces:
- Vegetable oil
- Worcestershire sauce
- Processed meats
- Deli meats
- Infant formula
- Low fat peanut butter
- Baked foods
- Cookies, crackers and breads
- Canned tuna
- Canned meats
- Canned broth and soup
- High protein energy bars and snacks
Often, food manufacturers don’t directly list down the presence of soy in their foods. Some traces of soy may be pointed out by some other names including:
- Monosodium glutamate
- Glycine max
- Hydrolyzed vegetable protein
- Make sure you always read the labels before picking up any food product.
- Be extra careful when eating at Asian restaurants as these tend to use a lot of soy extracts in their food preparations.
- Check with your child’s doctor to understand the type of allergy your child is affected with.
- Remember the foods that your child can and cannot eat.
While it may seem a little daunting at first, avoiding these kinds of soy allergies are easier than they look like. In case there is a sudden reaction, make sure your child gives immediate medical attention at the earliest.
Hope our article helps you deal with soy related issues now. Do share your valuable feedback with us:
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