- NUTRITIONAL WELLNESS
- KNOW YOUR SERVING
- BODY SMART
- MEAL PLANNING
- TIPS & TRICKS
- UNDERSTANDING FOOD LABELS
An allergy is a false alarm triggered by the body’s immune system as a response to harmless substances in our environment, e.g. pollen, or protein in food. As a result, our bodies generate specific antibodies in response to the “foreign substances” (known as antigens). When the body comes into contact with these substances again, an allergic reaction such as itching, skin rash, stomach pain or breathlessness is triggered by the release of substances resulting from a reaction between the antigens and antibodies.
Which foods trigger allergies?
You should exclude any foods from your child’s diet that cause them to have an allergic reaction. Ask your doctor for a full allergy examination to avoid your child having to exclude essential foods, e.g. cow’s milk, unnecessarily from their diet.
Allergies are often triggered by:
- Cow’s milk, hens’ eggs and soya in infants
- Cow’s milk, hens’ eggs, fish, soya, nuts and cereals in children
- Vegetables, fruit, spices, nuts, hens’ eggs, cow’s milk and fish in adults
Food allergies that emerge in babies and toddlers often disappear by the time the child goes to school. This is provided that the food in question has not been absorbed by the body over a long period of time.
Read the list of ingredients carefully.
The list of ingredients will help you to spot allergens present in packaged food. Since November 2005, the most common allergens such as cereals containing gluten, shellfish, eggs, fish, peanuts, soya, milk, nuts, sesame seeds, mustard and celery have had to be clearly declared by law. For many years, Nestlé has been providing consumers with extra information in addition to the basic list of ingredients. Ingredients known to frequently trigger allergies or intolerances are specified on the packaging, even if the product may only contain traces of these ingredients, as they may find their way into the product, e.g. as a result of other products being made on the same production line. Take a look at our allergen and product information. This is where you will find detailed information about whether any of your favourite food products are available free from specific allergens.
Alternatives for people allergic to cow’s milk
Milk and dairy products using sheep’s and goat’s milk are an alternative for people allergic to cow’s milk. Soya provides a substitute for cow’s milk in cooking and baking. In the retail market, there are other foods labelled as “non-dairy”. Suitable alternative toppings for bread include:
- Non-dairy margarines
- Cold meat
- Puréed fruit
- Vegetable pastes
If your child cannot consume any milk or dairy products, you can still ensure they get the calcium they need by getting them to drink mineral water that is high in calcium (more than 150mg calcium/litre), such as Nestlé PURE LIFE, calcium-enriched dairy-free fruit juices and dairy-free calcium supplements. The subject of food allergies is huge and one that we cannot hope to cover here in sufficient depth. Further information is available from the Deutsche Allergie- und Asthmabund e. V. (DAAB) [German Allergy and Asthma Association]. Visit www.daab.de to find out more.