Childhood Nutrition and the Development of Hay Fever   

Nutritional support for growing kids can help to reduce their chance of developing allergies and hay fever. 

Childhood allergies are on the rise and hay fever is becoming a more serious problem every year. Currently, a lot of research is being conducted into how to reduce the impact of these problems, especially in babies and children.

In 2007, research was conducted into the effect of breastfeeding on the development of a range of allergies. 1500 children from 0 to 5 years old were included in the study and the results demonstrated that asthma, wheezing, hay fever and eczema were all much less likely to develop in children who were exclusively breast fed, opposed to partially breastfed or formula fed. The study provides further support for the value of breast milk and the incredible nutritional value it has for babies. (1)

More recently it has also been discovered that the amount of antioxidants a child receives can help to protect against development of allergies and hayfever. Over 2400 8 year old children participated in a study that analysed diet and blood samples to find out about the importance of antioxidants. Children that had higher intake of beta-carotene, a fabulous antioxidant found in carrots, were much less likely to present with hay fever. Another study found that mothers who consumed higher intakes of fruit and veggies during pregnancy lead to lower levels of allergy in their children (2). The effectiveness of good nutrition is also supported by research stating that kids who began to take a high quality multivitamin supplement before the age of 4 had a decreased risk of being sensitive to some foods or developing allergies (3).

This research highlights the importance of a diet that is high in a range of colourful fruit and veggies, in order to provide their growing bodies with effective antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. This combination can help to reduce the likelihood of developing allergies and hay fever in children.