Eczema in toddlers can pose challenges for both parents and little ones.

One crucial aspect that parents frequently explore is the role of diet and if eczema symptoms improve when avoiding certain foods.

In this guide, we will jump into a specific aspect of this topic—identifying and understanding the “Foods to Avoid with Eczema in Toddlers.”

As a parent or caregiver, navigating the myriad of dietary recommendations can be overwhelming.

This blog post aims to provide clarity by focusing on key food groups and items that are commonly associated with eczema flare-ups in toddlers.

Whether you’re well-versed in eczema management or just beginning this journey, we’ll explore practical insights and holistic approaches to support your baby’s skin.

Understanding Eczema Triggers

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Eczema, also known as atopic dermatitis, is a chronic skin condition that often manifests in early childhood.

Symptoms of eczema usually shows up as itchy skin, itchy rash, sensitive skin or dry skin.

Eczema is often correlated to various factors, including genetics, environment, immune system and gut health, which contribute to its development.

One critical aspect of managing eczema is identifying and mitigating triggers, and diet plays a substantial role in this process.

Most young children tend to outgrow eczema but when steroid cream or cortisone cream are relied heavily, it becomes harder and hard to manage.

This dependency on topical steroids can lead to severe eczema which then morphs into topical steroid withdrawal (TSW).

How does it lead to severe eczema or TSW?

Because steroids give your body the hormones it needs to heal, which is great.

But what happens when you use it for prolonged periods of times?

Your body forgets or becomes lazy to make the very hormones it needs to heal.

This becomes a dependency and the body can no longer heal without the topical steroids.


A. The Influence of Diet on Eczema

  1. Inflammatory Response: Certain foods may elicit an inflammatory response in the body, potentially worsening eczema symptoms.
  2. Immune System Sensitivity: Toddlers with eczema may show sensitivities to specific food allergens, leading to an immune response which shows up as rashes, itchy and/or red skin.
    1. Some parents chose to perform an IgE blood test to find more accurate answers. However, from my experience, they often make the parents more confused.

B. Role of Inflammation in Eczema

  1. Understanding Inflammatory Processes: Eczema is characterized by skin inflammation, and dietary choices can influence the body’s inflammatory pathways.
  2. Impact on Skin Health: Foods that promote inflammation may contribute to the intensity of eczema symptoms. The toddler may experience more itching at night and/or red patches.

C. Individual Variability in Triggers

  1. Unique Responses: Each toddler’s body reacts differently to foods, making it essential to recognize individual triggers.
  2. Observational Approach: Parents are encouraged to observe their child’s reactions to different foods to identify specific culprits. Using a food journal can help you stay organized and find patterns in flare ups.

As we delve into specific food groups and items in the next sections, it’s crucial to approach eczema management with a holistic perspective.

While diet is a significant factor, other considerations, including gut health, skincare products and environmental factors, also play pivotal roles in creating a comprehensive strategy for managing eczema in toddlers.


Foods to Avoid with Eczema in Toddlers

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Eczema in toddlers can often be influenced by their diet.

Identifying and avoiding certain trigger foods is crucial for managing symptoms.

Here are some of the most common food allergy that parents should consider excluding from their toddler’s diet:

A. Dairy Products

Dairy, or cow’s milk, has been linked to eczema flare-ups in some toddlers. The milk proteins and hormones in dairy may contribute to inflammation.

Opt for dairy-free alternatives like:

  • Goat’s milk
  • Plant-based milk
    • Coconut milk
    • Hemp Milk
    • Almond Milk
    • Soy Milk
    • Rice Milk
    • Cashew Milk


Always be cautious when experimenting with different types of milk, especially if your toddler has a nut allergy.

B. Gluten-Containing Grains

Gluten sensitivity can worsen eczema symptoms.

Wheat, barley, and rye contain gluten, so consider gluten-free options such as rice, quinoa, and gluten-free oats for a toddler-friendly diet.

C. Processed Foods and Sugars

Highly processed foods aka junk food, often contain additives and preservatives that can trigger inflammation.

Cut down on sugary snacks and opt for whole, natural foods.

Fruits, vegetables, and homemade snacks are  healthier alternatives that will help the body heal.

D. Citrus Fruits

Citrus fruits may be problematic for some toddlers with eczema due to their acidity.

Replace citrus fruits with non-acidic options like bananas, apples, or melons to minimize potential triggers.

E. Nuts and Seeds

While nutrient-rich, certain nuts like peanuts and tree nuts, and seeds can be allergenic.

Consider nut-free and seed-free alternatives like sunflower seed butter or pumpkin seed butter.

Always introduce new foods cautiously and monitor your toddler’s reactions.

It’s also a good idea to get a skin prick or allergy testing done to confirm of a peanut allergy.


F. Egg Allergy

Egg allergies are pretty common, especially in children.

The food proteins in egg whites and egg yolks can trigger an immune response in some individuals, leading to various symptoms ranging from mild to severe reactions.

For toddlers with eczema, it can be an immediate reaction or trigger a flare up.

Egg allergies are more prevalent in children than in adults, and many older children outgrow this allergy by the time they reach adolescence.


As you embark on an elimination diet, the good news is, you’ll know what works for your child’s eczema.


Tips for Managing Your Toddler’s Diet

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Ensuring a well-balanced and eczema-friendly diet is crucial for managing baby eczema.

We still want to provide your toddler with the vitamins and minerals it needs to clear the skin.

So here are essential tips to consider:

A. Balanced and Nutrient-Rich Diet

Emphasize a diverse range of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins to provide essential nutrients.

Incorporate foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, like fatty fish (salmon, mackerel), flaxseeds, or chia seeds, known for their anti-inflammatory properties.

B. Individualized Approach

Monitor your toddler’s reactions to different foods and identify potential triggers.

This is an important step early on in order to catch any developing allergic reaction.

Using an app or a food diary will help you in the long run.

Consider keeping a food diary to track diet and eczema symptoms, aiding in the identification of specific culprits.

C. Consult with a Professional

Seek guidance from a Pediatrician or a Certified Nutritional Practitioner specializing in eczema nutrition to ensure a well-rounded diet.

Professional advice can help customize dietary recommendations based on your toddler’s unique needs and potential sensitivities.

D. Hydration

Encourage an adequate intake of water to maintain skin hydration from within.

Limit sugary drinks and opt for water or diluted fruit juices as a healthier alternative.

E. Introduce Foods Gradually

When introducing new foods, do so one at a time to observe any potential reactions.

Slowly incorporate new items into your toddler’s diet to pinpoint specific triggers or allergies.

By adopting these tips and maintaining a thoughtful, individualized approach to your toddler’s diet, you can contribute to better managing eczema symptoms.


Holistic Approaches to Eczema Management

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Beyond dietary considerations, holistic approaches can play a significant role in managing eczema in toddlers.

Here are key elements to incorporate into your overall approach:


A. Incorporating Anti-Inflammatory Foods

  1. Try an anti-inflammatory diet, such as berries, green leafy vegetables, and turmeric, to help mitigate inflammation associated with eczema.
  2. Experiment with incorporating these foods into toddler-friendly recipes.


B. Hydration and Skin Health

  1. Emphasize the importance of hydration for overall skin health.
  2. Consider incorporating hydrating foods like watermelon, cucumber, and oranges into your toddler’s diet.


C. Natural Remedies

  1. Explore natural remedies like dead sea salt baths or apply these four skin healing oils, known for their soothing effects on irritated skin.
  2. Be cautious with essential oils, as some may trigger skin reactions on your child’s skin.
  3. Some toddlers see improvement when supplementing with Vitamin D since it is essential for immune health.

Remember, a holistic approach involves considering various aspects of your toddler’s well-being.

While diet is crucial, maintaining a nurturing environment, managing stress, and ensuring proper skincare are equally important in managing flare-ups of eczema.

What Else Can I Avoid?

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Now that you are aware of the foods to avoid with eczema in toddlers, you might be wondering, what else do you need to avoid?

Due to the nutritional gaps left by food allergies and elimination diets, the best way to overcome this is to adopt a wider ranger of fruits, vegetables, carbs and protein.

Instead of avoiding more foods, see if what other healthy foods you can incorporate to fill the gaps of your toddler’s nutritional needs.

For starters, I would recommend supplementing with Vitamin D for it’s immune system benefits.

It will also beneficial to incorporate Essential Fatty Acids (EFA) rich foods to further support the skin and immune system.

If you really want to manage your toddler’s eczema flare ups, for the long run, for the good, then healing from the inside out is the way to go.

If you ready to make a change to help your skin heal, book your FREE Skin Health Audit below!

Trust me, it’s worth it.