Nausea and vomiting
It might look like something your child ate didn’t sit well, or it might be tempting to chalk his or her symptoms up to the latest stomach bug going around, but a food sensitivity is worth considering if you start to see a pattern. If every time your child has eggs for breakfast, or milk in his cereal he feels nauseated, for example, it’s worth mentioning to your pediatrician. Often times a food sensitivity will first reveal itself as an upset stomach, and parents might not see the correlation between the food and the symptom until the cycle has repeated itself a few times. If you do start to notice a pattern, try keeping a food diary and take notes about when and how often your child reacts to the food. Keep in mind that the first reactions to a food are often mild and will build in intensity with more exposure, so it’s important to bring it to your pediatrician’s attention sooner rather than later. Make sure you stop falling for these 13 dangerous myths about food allergies.
Diarrhea and stomach pain
A common sign of a sensitivity or intolerance is digestive upset such as stomach pain and diarrhea. This can be mistaken for a number of illnesses, so parents should be aware of any patterns between food and stomach pain or bowel movements they witness in their children. One of the most common intolerances for infants is milk protein, and a common symptom is green, mucousy stool that might contain streaks of blood. (This comes from the irritation the protein causes within the intestinal lining, and will resolve once the offending protein is no longer in the infant’s system.) For nursing mothers, part of the resolution will include eliminating dairy products from their diets, as the protein excretes through breast milk. The list is extensive, but some common names for milk protein on ingredient lists are whey, casein, caseinates, lactulose, buttermilk, and artificial butter flavoring.