Text Box: exposure to an allergen, but once the water reaches the top of the bucket, it overflows. At that point, the body can't tolerate the allergen anymore, and you may get a severe reaction."

Since food allergies tend to be genetically inherited, you won't be able to prevent them completely. But you may be able to ward them off until your child is older and less likely to be susceptible. You can do this by delaying his exposure to the eight foods that are responsible for 90 percent of all food allergies: cows' milk, eggs, wheat, peanuts, other nuts, soy, fish, and shellfish. Since babies tend to outgrow their susceptibility to some food allergies as their bodies develop, you may be able to give them a miss altogether if you wait until your baby is a year old to introduce foods that are most likely to be a problem.

Text Box: What causes food allergies?
A baby will inherit the tendency to be allergic, but not the specific allergies. For example, if you have hay fever or pet allergies, your child has a 30 percent chance of having some sort of allergy as well, although maybe not the same ones you have. That probability jumps to 60 percent when both parents have allergies. "Parents may have allergies to one group of things and the child another," says Michael Marcus, director of pediatric pulmonology, allergy, and immunology at Infants' and Children's Hospital of Brooklyn.

It's highly unlikely that a child will react severely to a food the first time he eats it. That's because his body needs to have seen the food before to recognize it as an intruder. Usually a child will start to react only after repeated exposure to a food. "Think of allergies in terms of a bucket that is filling up with water," says Marcus. "The body can tolerate a minimal amount of Text Box: February 2006
Text Box: What Causes Food Allergies and How to Prevent them– from babycenter.com
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8. Remember that you have needs too- We have needs, and it is our responsibility to get them met. If you’re feeling frustrated, or unappreciated, instead of walking around feeling angry and misunderstood, figure out a way to get those needs met. Talk about them, ask for support, and be specific. And remember most people can’t read minds so you have to communicate with them to get those needs met. Added Bonus: Teaches your child how to effectively meet their own needs.

9. Give yourself permission- Why do we feel like bad mothers for wanting to do something for ourselves? Every woman who I have ever talked to that wants to express an unhappiness about being a mother feels the need to qualify it by saying “Well, of course I love my child more than anything in the world but…”. Of course you do, but it doesn’t mean that you can’t be unhappy about the way something is going or how you feel. This is how you feel right now, there is nothing wrong with that, you’re a normal

mother. Give yourself permission to feel the way you do and do something for yourself to feel better. Even if that means stepping back from your child for a couple of hours. .
Added Bonus: Teaches your child to recognize and healthily deal with their emotions.

10. Be a role model- When you ask most parents what they want most for their children they say that they want them to be happy and

successful contributing adults. The very best way to ensure that comes true for your child is to be a role model. If you want your child to be confident, get their needs met, be sure of who they are, and happy with their life, just remember that they learn that from you. . Added Bonus: Teaches your child to act with integrity.

Being a mother in today’s modern world is tricky business. We are bombarded all day long with messages of what makes a “good mother”. Just forget all that, and be true to you. Being joyful, present, and authentically you is the very best gift you can give to yourself and your child.

Text Box: Experts used to believe that breastfeeding a baby would help delay or prevent food allergies, but that has changed. It turns out that trace amounts of some trigger foods, such as peanuts or eggs, eaten by the mother can show up in breast milk and be passed on to the baby.

When your baby gets old enough to start eating solids (usually at around 6 months), take special care to introduce new foods in small quantities and space them out over a few days. This is especially important if your baby has been breastfed and may have been exposed to trace amounts of a food allergy trigger for months. By taking this approach to introducing solids, you'll be better able to identify the problem food and eliminate it from his diet if your baby does have a severe reaction.