Diagnosed rates of food allergy seem to be on the rise. An allergic response is caused by the immune system reacting to a protein or proteins within a food. Symptoms of food allergy can range from relatively minor skin irritations to serious respiratory reactions.
From country to country the foods most commonly associated with allergy vary, however in general peanut, egg, fish, shellfish and dairy seem to be the most common food allergens.
Allergy to kiwifruit is possible, and seems to take two forms. Adults who are allergic to birch pollen may also have a mild reaction to kiwifruit, while children with other food allergies, such as peanuts, can also have an allergy to kiwifruit. The good news is that unlike other common food allergens, kiwifruit doesn’t tend to be hidden in foods and is easily avoided if necessary.
Infant feeding guidelines now recommend that early exposure to food allergens (between the age of four and six months) is recommended to help desensitise the immune system to potential allergens – even for infants considered “at risk” of developing food allergies. It’s important to introduce new foods to infants one at a time, with a period of two to four days before introducing the next new food, and monitor them carefully for signs of a reaction, seeking emergency treatment immediately if the reaction is severe.