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Can I take my 12–month-old son off his specialized formula?
Q: I would like to take my 12–month-old son off formula, but he has an allergy to milk protein and soy-based formulas that causes a mild to severe case of hives on his face, neck and hands. The pediatrician suggested rice milk. Are there other alternatives?
A: You may not be able to wean your son from the specialized formula you’re using for awhile, Becky, because these symptoms indicate a condition that could get worse if challenged at his age. If he had problems with rice cereal, which is usually very gentle on a baby’s system, I can understand your hesitation to use it as an alternative.

I would recommend continuing with your current formula for at least another six months in the hopes that this additional time and maturity will lessen the reactions from these foods. You could also consult with a pediatric nutritionist who specializes in food allergies and can offer specific weaning solutions. However, before making any changes to his diet, talk to your pediatrician.

Please be very careful and real all food labels as your son begins table foods, Becky. Many processed foods contain casein (cow’s milk proteins), and soy-based products or oils. I would also be cautious around peanut products until you can safely establish that your child can tolerate nuts and other legumes.