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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    What are the benefits of breastfeeding toddlers with food allergies?

    Is there still goodness in breast milk in the 1st, 2nd and 3rd year of child's life?

    Does it benefit children with multiple food allergies one being dairy?

    Does breastfeeding cause children to become fussy eaters.
  • Find a professional to answer your question

  • 2

    Thanks

    I have been a paediatric registered nurse for over twenty years. I am trained asthma educator, early childhood nurse and currently work in the area … View Profile

    Yes breastmilk has immeasurable goodness in it for as long as you continue to feed your child and congratulations for continuing to feed your child. Continuing to feed your child is beneficial for all the goodness that breastmilk provides your child that will and can never be replicated by formulas or other milk products. Continuing to breastfeed your child does not cause them to be a ‘fussy eater’ and once they reach 6 months then introducing solids into their diets is what is recommended currently. There is no specific benefit for treatment of food allergies by continuing to breastfeed children but breastmilk is benificial in so many other ways.
    The best way to treat multiple food allergies is to avoid these foods, seek professional help with a paediatric immunologist/allergist for correct diagnosing and also a dietitian specialising in food allergy. 
    For further information please see the ASCIA website. www.allergy.org.au

  • Anonymous

    Jennie thankyou so much for your quick reply. I very much appreciate it. I'm so joyed in your reply to breastfeeding as I would love her to stop when she is ready and not be forced. We started  eliminating everything we knew from her diet from six months. She saw two different immunologists and two dieticians and now she is finally being seen to by a pediatrician and a  paediatric immunologist and dietician which advised fortified soy milk and stop breast feeding due to being a fussy eater, underweight for her height, calcium content and fat. I have read so many worrying things over soy. She has been taking vit D, calcium, probiotic, plus vitamin and mineral suppliments for 14months now. But will continue breastfeeding and give her calcium fortified oatsmilk with meals as well as high protein and calorie foods. Do hope she loves bananas again one day.

  • Joy Anderson

    Dietitian, Nutritionist

    Joy is an Accredited Practising Dietitian and Accredited Nutritionist, as well as an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC). She has a special interest in … View Profile

    I would second what Jennie wrote about breastfeeding. In my experience of helping mothers breastfeed, over the last 27 years, fussy toddlers who are forced to wean from breastfeeding do not necessarily start eating more solids - they tend to get even less food and weight issues are worsened. It seems logical that taking away that source of food will make them eat more solids, but it doesn't usually work like that.

    Breastmilk is always good nutrition regardless of the child's age and for a fussy, allergic child, it can be the main thing keeping them healthy. In addition, breastfeeding is far more than food transfer - there is a big emotional component, especially for toddlers and this is just as important as nutrition.

    The main nutrients of concern for predominantly-breastfed toddlers are iron and calcium. Breastmilk will provide just about the rest. So encourage meat or meat alternative foods, and it might be easiest to use a crushed calcium supplement added to the child's food or drink for calcium (such as half a 600 mg tablet), rather than trying to get them to drink a lot of calcium-fortified beverage. Other than what these are fortified with, they do not have much nutritional value and simply replace nutrient-dense foods that the child might otherwise consume. Good idea to encourage high-protein foods and check that there are also some fats to ensure good intake of fat-soluble vitamins.

    Good on you for continuing to breastfeed. Keep going as long as you and your child are enjoying it.

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