What causes a food allergy? What are the symptoms?
A food allergy is caused by the body’s immune system reacting inappropriately to a food or food additive. Symptoms include wheezing, diarrhea, rashes, itching, and headaches.
Are food allergies most common in very young children?
Yes. Food allergies are most common in infants, due to their immature digestive systems. Food allergies are usually outgrown during the preschool years.
Which foods are responsible for most allergies in children?
Although any food may cause an allergic reaction, six foods are responsible for most of these reactions in children.These foods are peanuts, eggs,milk, tree nuts, soy, and wheat.
What steps should be taken if a food allergy is suspected?
If a child’s allergic condition meets USDA’s definition of disability,
what is required?
- Foods that cause allergic reactions should be eliminated from the diet.However, it is important that the diet still contain a variety of foods for healthy growth and development.
- A child should receive a medical evaluation if food allergies are suspected. If the child’s physician determines that the child has a food allergy, a determination should be made of whether the child’s allergic condition meets USDA’s definition of disability.
USDA regulations require that special meals be provided to disabled children whose condition requires special medical food(s), food substitution(s), or textural modification(s). Documentation regarding the child’s disability and the modification(s) required must be provided by a licensed physician.
What is a food intolerance?
food intolerance is an adverse food-induced reaction that does not involve the body’s immune system. Lactose intolerance is one example of food intolerance.A person with lactose intolerance lacks an enzyme needed to digest milk sugar.When that person milk products, gas, bloating, and abdominal pain may occur.
Do food intolerances meet USDA’s definition of disability?
Food intolerances do not fall under USDA’s definition of disability.Child care programs are not required, but are encouraged, to provide food substitutions for children with intolerances who cannot consume the regular meal.Documentation of need and the or foods to be substituted must be provided by a recognized medical authority.