7 Factos sobre a alergia alimentar em crianças

7 Facts about food allergy in children

It is important to keep children safe. As food allergies are increasingly common, on this Children's Day we share 7 facts about food allergy in children.

  1. Are food allergies common in children?

Food allergies affect about 5-6% of children in Western countries, with an increase in cases in recent decades, which is why they are now considered a public health problem in practically all developed countries. (1)

  1. What are the most common food allergies in children?

About 75% of allergic reactions in children are caused by eggs, peanuts, cow's milk, fish, and nuts, and in continental Europe the most common food allergies in children are due to milk, eggs, and peanuts ( 1, 2).

Allergy to cow's milk protein (CMPA) is the most common cause of food allergy in the pediatric population in developed countries, affecting 2% to 3% of children, being lower among breastfed babies (0.5%). (3)

  1. Milk allergy or intolerance?

Cow's milk protein allergy (CMPA) is more common in children than lactose intolerance. Although they are both caused by milk, it is important to distinguish them:

- CMPA is more common in children and involves an immune system response, which reacts to milk protein as if it were a life-threatening aggressor.

- Lactose intolerance is more common in adults and involves the gastrointestinal system, occurring due to lack of the enzyme (lactase) necessary for the digestion of lactose (milk sugar). (4.5)

  1. What are the symptoms of an allergic reaction?

Food allergy can manifest itself in different ways, affecting different systems and organs, triggering from mild to very serious reactions that can be life-threatening.

They can be manifested, for example, by growth retardation (in babies and children) or weight loss, bloody and mucus-filled stools, red and itchy patches of skin, eczema, swelling of the eyes and mouth, difficulty breathing, vomiting, abdominal pain, cramps, diarrhea. (4)

  1. How are food allergies diagnosed?

In case of suspicion of allergy, you should always contact a doctor, preferably an immunoallergist. The diagnosis of allergy is usually made through skin reaction tests and blood tests. (4)

  1. How is a food allergy treated?

The treatment of food allergies is based on the prevention of reactions by eliminating the foods and ingredients responsible for the occurrence of symptoms from the diet. In order for the diet to be efficient, it is important to pay extra attention to reading food labels and to be careful to avoid cross-contamination in food preparation.

In the case of allergic babies, it is recommended that the breastfeeding mother also follow the same diet, since the allergic proteins that the mother ingests pass through breast milk. (4)

  1. Is a food allergy that starts in childhood lifelong?

The persistence of food allergy is variable and depends on the specific food allergen (6). Children, in particular, can outgrow a food allergy over time. This is common in allergies to milk, egg, soy, and wheat, and allergies to peanuts, nuts, fish, shellfish, and sesame are more difficult to overcome (7,8).

All Fidu products are free from the 14 main allergens and their traces, because we want to provide tasty and safe alternatives for everyone, regardless of their dietary restrictions.

Have you tried our products?

IMPORTANT NOTE: The content of this article is for informational purposes only. If you suspect any type of allergy, seek medical advice.


(1) Vieira, R. (2015). Food Allergens: A Synoptic Study. New University of Lisbon.

(2) EAACI. (2012). Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Public Declaration. European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.

(3) Lifschitz C, SH (2015). Cow's milk allergy: evidence-based diagnosis and management for the practitioner. European Journal of Pediatrics, 174, 141-150.

(4) SPAIC Food Allergy Interest Group, 2019. Food Allergy: Concepts and Advice and Precautions, 2nd Edition. Lisbon: Portuguese Society of Allergology and Clinical Immunology with support from Thermo Fisher Scientific and BIAL Laboratories.

(5) Turnbull, JL, Adams, HN, & Gorard, DA (2015). Review article: The diagnosis and management of food allergy and food intolerances. Alimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics, 41, 3–25.

(6) Wang, J. (2010). Management of the Patient with Multiple Food Allergies. Current Allergy and Asthma Reports, 10(4), 271–277.

(7) FARE (Food Allergy Research & Education). Food Allergy Myths and Misconceptions. Available at: https://www.foodallergy.org/

(8) Tang, M., & Allen, K. (2017). Managing Kids' Food Allergies for Dummies (Allergy & Anaphylaxis Australia). John Wiley & Sons Australia, Ltd.