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Do allergies make baby wary of food?
Q: My 8-month-old won't eat solid foods. He's only nursing, and that's not enough. What can I do?

The first time I gave him rice cereal, he broke out in hives so I switched brands. Then he caught a cold and didn't want to eat because he couldn't breathe. After recovering he refused to eat.

Last week, he was fed a smashed banana and he broke out in hives. Do you think he's refusing food because he thinks he'll be allergic to it?
Christina Moorpark
A: You may be correct about why your baby has started refusing solids, Christina, especially between the hives and the cold. As both a lactation consultant and a pediatric nutritionist, I will tell you to hold off on introducing any new foods until he is closer to a year.

Although many might not agree, because he is still breastfeeding, the breast milk is providing most of his required nutrients and will continue to boost his immune system, a factor that may lesson the severity of his food reactions later on in life. In fact, the longer he receives breastmilk, the more protection he will get.

I want you to discuss with his pediatrician all of the foods your son is reacting to. Banana is not typically considered an allergen, by the way. I also recommend the website kidswithfoodallergies.org as a great source of education and tips for feeding allergy-prone kids.