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Salicylates and amines ca cuase symptoms in breast fed babies

Symptoms for babies & children tend to be more dramatic and as babies can only express them selves in limited ways, it can be hard to know what is triggering the problems. This is complicated by the fact that whole food allergies or intolerances can have the same similar symptoms.

Naturally occurring food chemicals such as salicylates, amines, glutamates and also food additives can pass through to a baby via breast milk. Although more diluted compared to when ingested directly.


Often breast feeding mothers of babies displaying these symptoms start by eliminating the top allergens such as dairy and soy then if the symptoms are not improved enough further whole food restrictions are often added such as eliminating egg and wheat as well as nuts. By this time the diet is very restrictive and may or may not have uncovered the significant food triggers.


To avoid over restriction, find nutritional alternatives to ensure lost nutrients are replaced and review possibility of undiagnosed Food Chemical or FODMAP Issues, it can be very useful to have a thorough nutritional assessment especially given the higher nutrient needs during breast feeding.  

When babies start solid food, the salicylate etc content ingested is much more concentrated, and it can be at this point that symptoms may become more obvious. Allergies to whole foods can also be occurring, and medical assessment should be sought for any allergy type reactions that may occur after food is consumed. See this link regarding whole food allergy symptoms.

See below for the common salicylate | amine | glutamate | food additive  symptoms in babies.



  • Reflux

  • Stomach pain

  • Bloating

  • Excess wind/ trapped gas

  • Constipation or diarrhoea

  • Mucous poos

  • Green poos (can be flouro green)

  • Colitis: blood in stools/ nappy

  • Very frequent poos

  • Colic pain/ lower abdominal pain


  • Congestion

  • Sinus

  • Runny or blocked nose

  • Asthma

  • Hoarse voice


  • Eczema

  • Rash | itchy rash

  • Hives

  • Super sensitive skin

  • Cradle cap

  • Nappy rash


  • Disturbed sleep

  • Wakefulness

  • Can't resettle self when awakes

  • Difficult to get asleep

  • Frequent night waking


  • Irritable behaviour

  • Colic/ screaming

  • Can seem to be over active or hyperactive

If you feel there are some food/medications that may be triggering reactions such

  • paediatric pain liquids (Very high in added flavour, colour and preservatives)

  • tomatoes

  • herbs and spices

  • spicy foods such as curries

  • juicing

  • rich foods

  • Food high in preservatives for example many gluten free foods

  • Coke

Then it may be worth considering food chemicals- eliminating the significant sources in your diet can often bring about improved symptoms very quickly in a breast fed baby. Seeing a specialist Dietitian used to working with breast feeding mothers' food chemical intolerance is important to work out an individual diet plan for you and replace lost nutrients with suitable food alternatives that also take into account any avoidance of whole foods such as dairy and soy.



Joy Anderson. Food-sensitive babies: dietary investigation for breastfed babies. Specialist Dietetics and Lactation services, 2019.

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