Nutrition for children allergic to cow's milk protein
Cow's milk protein allergy is a common disease in young children, which can lead to a number of complications such as malnutrition along with other unusual disorders. Children allergic to cow's milk protein need to be detected in time, handled early and adjusted the menu accordingly.
1. What is cow's milk protein allergy?
Cow's milk protein allergy is the most common disease in children under 1 year old. This condition occurs in babies who are not breastfed but are formula-fed. For formula milk, children must absorb a lot of protein from cow's milk, so some children's body will have an allergic reaction to this protein, also known as cow's milk protein allergy.
Children allergic to cow's milk protein are also prone to malnutrition because when they are allergic to cow's milk proteins, they will be less able to absorb nutrients, so they do not have enough energy to function and serve. for growth and development. Moreover, children will also face gastroesophageal reflux as well as digestive disorders such as prolonged diarrhea and constipation. All of these factors contribute to undernutrition in children.
Clinically, when children are allergic to cow's milk protein, it will manifest in many organs such as skin, respiratory system, digestive system, circulatory system and some systemic symptoms. As for the skin, the child may have atopic dermatitis; swelling and edema of the lips and eyelids; urticaria... When affecting the digestive system, cow's milk protein allergy can cause reflux, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, bloody stools, iron deficiency anemia... respiratory system, the baby will have a runny nose, wheezing, cough... Some other recognizable symptoms such as poor feeding, growth retardation, difficulty sleeping... Some more urgent conditions can be reflex shock. guard .
To diagnose cow's milk protein allergy, you can use milk substitute, stop giving the child suspected allergenic cow's milk, skin prick test, perform specific IgE test, milk test...
2. Menu for children allergic to cow's milk protein
In the process of treating children with cow's milk protein allergy, nutrition plays a very important part, it should be noted and done strictly according to what the doctor prescribes:
Children under 6 months of age: Children should be fed exclusively breast milk for at least the first 6 months postpartum. For children who have been breastfed but still have symptoms of suspected allergy, the mother will now be advised on a diet plan to eliminate allergenic food sources such as condensed milk, cheese... and other foods derived from cow's milk. Besides, mothers also need to supplement some vitamins such as vitamin D and calcium. For babies who do not have breast milk to suckle, they should choose hydrolyzed or amino acid-based formulas. These are milks where the protein in the milk has been removed, helping to reduce the risk of allergies. Because children allergic to cow's milk proteins can develop cross-allergies with proteins from other dairy animals such as goats, sheep or proteins from certain nuts such as soybeans. Therefore, parents should not arbitrarily change their children to goat or sheep milk, but need to take the child to the doctor for advice. Children over 6 months old: At this time, babies can be given solid foods, so pay attention to the ingredients in meals to avoid allergies. Some foods that should be noted are weaning cakes, weaning powders, whey, yogurt, butter, cheese... because these foods contain cow's milk protein. Or some cakes, soups, and snacks may also contain cow's milk protein that parents need to be concerned about.
Cow's milk protein allergy, although not a life-threatening disease, needs attention and early detection to avoid allergies in children. In addition, establishing a scientific, nutritionally complete and dairy-free diet for both mother and child is one of the necessary methods to help children limit this allergy.
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