Like many other countries worldwide, children’s food-allergy problem is also growing with an alarming rate in Thailand. Nowadays, it is estimated that approximately 300,000 Thai kids are suffering from this life-threatening disease, while there is still a lot not included, especially those in up-country areas who did not get diagnosed yet.
A Food Allergy usually is an allergic reaction to specific food proteins such as Milk protein, Soy protein, Wheat protein (gluten) and proteins found in Shellfish (such as shrimp, crab, lobster, oysters and scallops). Peanut, Tree nuts, Fish and Eggs can also cause allergy as well. Dieticians call these 8 common allergy-triggered foods as “Top 8 Allergens.
The cause food allergy is various. It can be originated from genes or from abnormal immune system or simply from a lack of proper nutritional knowledge of the mothers. Foods mothers had passed through their babies since during pregnancy and breast-feeding period till their children’s early childhood can significantly affect food-allergy disease.
Most Thai mothers are still ignorant of this last factor. They understand that once start pregnancy calcium is necessary to be supplemented. However, what misunderstood is that calcium should be from cow’s milk only. Thus, they start to take 600 ml of cow milk daily whilst normally they did not as Thais do not drink cow’s milk regularly. These strangely increasing milk protein the mothers consumed, as a result, triggers milk allergy on the babies since they are unborned.
Milk protein allergy has been found increasing recently. Reportedly, 3% of children who drink milk are allergic to it. Not only in Thailand, statistics globally also report the same number.
A Food-allergy prevention could be done by starting at moms’ diet knowledge. Since pregnancy and so long to after delivery untill 12 months, babies should be breastfed. It is suggested to wait until after the first year or when babies are ready that we should gradually give cow’s milk to the babies.
Another way for mothers to reduce the risk of food allergy in children is to have calcium from different sources, other than cow’s milk or other allergens. Find calcium from black sesame, small fish, green vegetable. Or use alternative milk such as rice milk with high calcium like 4CARE BALANCE ORGANIC Rice Drink, for example.
4CARE BALANCE ORGANIC well realize the problem. A lack of understanding in maternal nutrition as well as moms’ and kids’ healthcare among mothers brings about allergy threat to our children. We believe that sufficient education of food and nutrition, from the start of pregnancy till the day children are ready for normal foods, can help prevent or lessen food allergy emergence. We had established an interactive space on facebook page namely “Smarter Moms, Stronger Kids.” It now hits 12,000 likes already.