Bananas are one of the first foods we give to our babies when introducing solids.
We all know that bananas are easy to smoosh, they’re packed with nutrients and their sweetness is a hit with almost every wee one. What you might not know is that some children can be allergic! A banana allergy is fairly uncommon, but can be just as serious as any other food allergy so (without sending you into a panic), it is something to keep in mind when introducing new foods.
The banana allergy takes two forms. The first is an allergy to bananas caused by an allergic reaction to tree pollen, in many cases birch pollen. The second, and usually more severe reaction, develops because the allergens in bananas are similar to the allergens in latex. This is called the latex-fruit allergy, and people with it may also be allergic to avocado, kiwi and mango, among other fruits.
Read more: Symptoms of a Banana Allergy
Common symptoms of a tree pollen-related banana allergy include an itchy mouth and throat, as well as digestive upset after consuming the fruit. However, for those who may have other allergies (like latex-fruit allergies), it can become serious— resulting in anaphylactic shock in extreme cases!
Oh geez, well now that we’re all freaked out …
WHAT’S THE GOOD NEWS?!
The good news is that children can often grow out of banana allergies (always make sure to check with a doctor and never assume it is safe to test it on your own). However, if you’re like me and you had the misfortune of developing a banana allergy as an adult, you’re probably stuck with it. Usually, adult-onset banana allergies are for life … super banana bummer!
Before you start mourning the scrumptious yellow fruit, know that you should ALWAYS be allergy tested by a physician before giving up the potassium-laden treats for good. Though you or your child may have experienced an itchy mouth after a banana, during spring it’s not uncommon for the bananas to be accidentally coated with pollens, triggering a histamine reaction. When in doubt, hold off on eating any until you can ask your doctor!
For more information, be sure to do a solid Googling (search terms like birch pollen allergy and latex-fruit allergy) and checking out a few of the sites below, and make an appointment with your doctor if you suspect you or your child may have an allergy.