Tomatoes are one of those maligned foods that can strike fear in the hearts of new parents (and parents who have been around the feeding baby solid food block before) because we have been told that they are “highly allergenic”
The fact is, the true allergy risk in offering babies tomatoes is practically non-existent. Babies may get a rash from eating tomatoes (as they might when eating citrus for example) but seldom is this a true allergic reaction.
The presence of a rash is not necessarily caused by a true allergic reaction rather the appearance of a rash is typically due to the acidity of the tomato. Tomatoes pose no risk of anaphylactic shock but they may cause baby to develop a rash around the mouth and bottom.
Please be sure to always consult your baby’s pediatrician about potential food allergies and in regards to offering baby new foods to eat.
According to Healthline:
A tomato allergy is a type 1 hypersensitivity to tomatoes. Type 1 allergies are commonly known as contact allergies. When a person with this type of allergy comes into contact with an allergen such as a tomato, histamines are released into exposed areas such as the skin, nose, and respiratory and digestive tracts. In turn, this causes an allergic reaction.
Despite the fact that tomatoes and tomato-based products are some of the most heavily consumed foods in the western diet, tomato allergies are extremely rare. An individual with a tomato allergy is also prone to allergic reactions with other nightshades, including potatoes, tobacco, and eggplant. Often, people with a tomato allergy will have a cross-reaction to latex as well (latex-fruit syndrome).
Tomatoes that have been cooked in some form or another tend to be less acidic and are a better option for including in baby’s diet. Offering baby a little slurp of tomato soup or a mild tomato sauce (gravy for my Italian friends out there 🙂 ) might be the best way to introduce tomatoes to baby. Of course, if baby has any sensitivities, waiting until around 12 months of age is probably best!