Gluten and Your Baby
Is it good that your baby formula can be gluten-free?
Gluten is a problem for some adults, especially those with autoimmune illnesses like Celiac disease. The protein found naturally in grains like wheat, rye, barley, and some forms of oats can do damage to the intestinal lining if they are allergic to it. This can also lead to a vitamin B12 deficiency where you have low energy as oxygen is not moving through your bloodstream as well.
Can Your Baby Have Gluten?
Babies can consume gluten. In fact, breastfed babies are actually exposed to trace amounts of gluten because it is in the breast milk. Babies who consume gluten-free infant formula or start most solids that are gluten-free have a delayed exposure to it. That doesn’t necessarily mean that it is good or bad for most babies.
There are some babies, however, that are sensitive or even allergic to gluten. Symptoms vary from baby to baby, so it may be difficult to diagnose at first.
What are Symptoms of Gluten Sensitivity or Celiac?
Stomach problems are typical signs of a gluten allergy. This can include:
- Abdominal pain
- Oily bowel movements with strong odor
- No weight gain, weight loss
Some children may not show signs of digestive troubles. Symptoms may be delayed and come later in their childhood, or even in their adult years. In extreme cases, a baby will break out in hives and swelling.
Your baby will not miss gluten. It has no flavor nor nutritional importance to your baby’s diet. As a child gets older, they will come across foods with hidden gluten that can disrupt their well-being. Be sure to consult with your pediatrician if your baby has any of the symptoms. If your baby is not on a gluten-free baby formula, a change may be better for your baby as well as you.