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Powerful Information on Wheat and Grains for Your Food Allergy Baby

You’ve cut the top two infant food allergies — dairy and soy — and still aren’t seeing the results you hoped for. It can be daunting and confusing trying to figure it out on your own. Free to Feed understands, and we’re here for your family.

It’s time to get to the bottom of your baby’s food sensitivities.

For many parents, after cutting dairy or soy, the next food group is either eggs or wheat. You can read more on eggs here. Cutting any food group out of your diet is no easy task, but removing wheat and grains brings it to the next level.

Wheat is in everything from breads and pastas to cakes and sauces. This makes eliminating wheat from your diet that much harder. You’ll be label reading like never before!

But we love supporting parents along the way. We’re going to look at the difference between wheat and grains, common symptoms of wheat allergies, and what getting a diagnosis looks like. This journey doesn’t last forever, but we’re glad you found us to join you.

What’s the difference between wheat, grains, and gluten?

Wheat comes from seeds in the grass family Poaceae, and it’s the most widely consumed grain in the world. This is one of the reasons it’s extremely difficult to remove wheat from the diet — it’s everywhere!

You know we’re all about educating parents to empower them on their food allergy journey. Part of this is clearing up confusing topics, such as gluten sensitivity versus wheat allergy. Wheat is one of the top allergies affecting both adults and children.[1]

Gluten is the protein that is found in grains such as wheat or barley.

Gluten sensitivity is not the same thing as a wheat allergy. A wheat allergy is typically triggered by an IgE immune response.[2] Said another way, the response is Ig-E mediated, hence is classified as an allergy. Remember there are two main categories for food allergies; IgE-mediated and non-IgE- mediated. (Read more about IgE food allergies versus non-IgE here.)

Wheat is considered a grain. Common grain categories include: [3]

  • Wheat

  • Oats

  • Rice

  • Corn

  • Barley

  • Sorghum

  • Rye

  • Millet

Whole wheat is packed with an important nutrient called selenium. Certain types of meat contain high amounts of selenium (like chicken, beef, or turkey) — so you can still get this important nutrient in your breastfeeding diet from a variety of sources. If you’re a vegetarian or vegan, selenium can be found in sunflower butter or brazil nuts. Read more on how to nutritionally makeup for foods you’re cutting here.

Your baby might only react to wheat, might react to all of these grains, or somewhere in between! Every baby is unique and it can take some digging to find out all the food triggers.

Signs of Wheat & Grain Allergy in Your Food Allergy Baby

Symptoms for children's food allergies are similar, which doesn’t make life easier, unfortunately.

The most common infant food allergy symptoms:[4]

  • Reflux

  • Vomiting

  • Rash

  • Eczema

  • Diarrhea

  • Constipation

  • Mucousy stool or bloody stool

Seeing these symptoms in our baby is heartbreaking and finding the culprit is a difficult journey. This is why we created Free to Feed — to help families like yours. We’re happy to provide you a little more information on wheat allergies, especially in infants. If you’ve cut dairy and soy, and still notice any of these symptoms, wheat or grains may be causing these issues for your little one.

Studies found that infants begin to vomit, have a pale skin tone, and become lethargic (tired, sluggish) within 1-4 hours after eating wheat. When a reaction occurs this fast, it’s often diagnosed as food-protein-induced enterocolitis syndrome (FPIES), a non-IgE- mediated food allergy. [1]

Don’t worry, you won’t be tested on any of this! But this gives parents valuable insight: reactions this soon after wheat consumption could be caused by FPIES.

While parents often feel most concerned about food allergy symptoms in their babies, the stress of making sure you’re not consuming allergens takes a toll. We want you to feel confident while breastfeeding your baby with food allergies.