Food Allergies

Food allergies are one of the most common types of allergies. A food allergy is a medical condition where your immune system treats something in a food, called an allergen, as if it is dangerous to you. Your body reacts to the food allergen by having an allergic reaction. Check out the allergy page for general information about allergies including signs and symptoms of allergies and anaphylaxis. If you are having symptoms and are unsure if it is an allergic reaction, talk to your family doctor or call 811.

What Foods Cause Allergies? (click to expand) » 

Although any food can cause an allergic reaction, the most common allergens in food are:

How Do I Know if a Food Has an Allergen? (click to expand) » 

Read the nutrition label to find out if a food contains any of the common food allergens. In Canada, food labels must note if any of the common food allergens are in a food. Common food allergens will be listed in either:

  • the ingredient list
  • a “Contains” statement right after the ingredient list.
How Can I Prevent an Allergic Reaction? (click to expand) » 

The only way to prevent an allergic reaction is to avoid the foods that have the allergen to which you are allergic. Check out Health Canada for tips for avoiding common allergens in food.

When Can I Introduce Common Food Allergens to My Baby? (click to expand) » 

If your baby has a low risk of food allergy, you can offer foods that commonly cause allergies (except whole cow milk) at around six months of age. When you introduce any of the common food allergens, introduce only one per day and wait two days before you introduce another common food allergen. If your baby does not have a reaction to the food, continue to offer it on a regular basis.

Some children have a higher risk of developing an allergy if:

  • Their parent or sibling has an allergic condition, such as a food allergy
  • They have a diagnosed allergy condition, such as eczema

If your child is at a higher risk of developing an allergy, talk to your healthcare provider or call 811 to discuss things you can do to help reduce your baby’s risk.

Waiting to introduce foods that commonly cause allergies or avoiding these foods when pregnant or breastfeeding does not help prevent food allergy in your baby. Check out Healthy Eating for Babies and Food allergy vs. food intolerance: What is the difference and can I prevent them? for more information on how to introduce foods that commonly cause allergies.

Services related to this information:

Share This Page:
Last updated: 2024-01-04