Common food intolerances 

What’s the difference between allergy and intolerance? If your child has a food allergy, they have symptoms because their immune system reacts to the substance they are eating. On the other hand, it’s not clear what causes food intolerances. Although vomiting is one sign of a food allergy, for example, allergies are less common than intolerances, and often cause swelling as a primary symptom. If your child has a physical reaction to a food, it’s most likely caused by a food intolerance.

The foods behind 90% of allergic reactions are peanuts, tree nuts, fish, shellfish, milk, eggs, soy, and wheat. Many of these substances are also the main causes of food intolerance, but they would trigger different symptoms in an intolerant person versus an allergic person.

Some examples of food intolerance symptoms include headaches, digestive problems, skin issues, behavioral changes, and respiratory disorders. Common food intolerances include:

  • Lactose or milk
  • Sulfites
  • Wheat or gluten
  • Corn
  • Soy
  • Eggs

Allergic reactions often happen right after eating the food, and you don’t usually have to eat very much to trigger a reaction. With a food intolerance, the reaction happens slowly and might only occur if you eat a lot of the food or you eat the food frequently. Food intolerances, unlike allergies, are never life-threatening.

While food intolerances in young children are very uncommon, and are never life-threatening, if your child shows signs of a food intolerance or allergy, it’s still a good idea to let their pediatrician or family doctor know.

  • Li, James T.C. “What’s the difference between a food intolerance and food allergy?” Mayo Clinic. Mayo Clinic. October 10, 2014. Web.
  • Hardman, Geoffrey; Hart, Gillian. “Dietary advice based on food-specific IgG results.” Nutrition & Food Science. Emerald Group Publishing Limited. Web. 2007.
Get the Ovia Parenting app
Get our app at the Apple App Store Get our app at the Apple App Store Get our app at the Google Play Store Get our app at the Google Play Store