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Nutritional management and follow up of infants and children with food allergy: Italian Society of Pediatric Nutrition/Italian Society of Pediatric Allergy and Immunology Task Force Position Statement

Marcello Giovannini1, Enza D'Auria1*, Carlo Caffarelli2, Elvira Verduci1, Salvatore Barberi1, Luciana Indinnimeo3, Iride Dello Iacono4, Alberto Martelli5, Enrica Riva1 and Roberto Bernardini6

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Pediatrics, San Paolo Hospital, University of Milan, Milan, Italy

2 Department of Pediatrics, University of Parma, Parma, Italy

3 Department of Pediatrics, "Sapienza" University of Rome, Rome, Italy

4 Department of Pediatrics, Fatebenefratelli Hospital, Benevento, Italy

5 Department of Pediatrics, Guido Salvini Hospital, Garbagnate, Italy

6 Department of Pediatrics, San Giuseppe Hospital, Empoli, Italy

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Italian Journal of Pediatrics 2014, 40:1  doi:10.1186/1824-7288-40-1

Published: 3 January 2014

Abstract

Although the guidelines on the diagnosis and treatment of food allergy recognize the role of nutrition, there is few literature on the practical issues concerning the nutritional management of children with food allergies.

This Consensus Position Statement focuses on the nutritional management and follow-up of infants and children with food allergy.

It provides practical advices for the management of children on exclusion diet and it represents an evidence-based consensus on nutritional intervention and follow-up of infants and children with food allergy.

Children with food allergies have poor growth compared to non-affected subjects directly proportional to the quantity of foods excluded and the duration of the diet. Nutritional intervention, if properly planned and properly monitored, has proven to be an effective mean to substantiate a recovery in growth.

Nutritional intervention depends on the subject’s nutritional status at the time of the diagnosis.

The assessment of the nutritional status of children with food allergies should follow a diagnostic pathway that involves a series of successive steps, beginning from the collection of a detailed diet-history.

It is essential that children following an exclusion diet are followed up regularly.

The periodic re-evaluation of the child is needed to assess the nutritional needs, changing with the age, and the compliance to the diet.

The follow- up plan should be established on the basis of the age of the child and following the growth pattern.

Keywords:
Food allergy; Nutritional status; Dietary intake; Cow's milk allergy; Follow-up