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When Your Child Has a Food Allergy: Egg

When a child has an egg allergy, eating even a small amount of egg can cause a life-threatening reaction. For that reason, your child must avoid eggs and any foods that contain them. This sheet tells you more about your child’s egg allergy. You’ll learn what foods your child should avoid, what to look for on food labels, and how to cook without using eggs.

Common foods with egg as an ingredient.

Egg Allergy: Foods to Avoid

Many of the foods your child eats daily may contain eggs. Some of the most common include:

  • Many baked goods, such as brownies, cakes, cookies, muffins, pastries, and some pies (cream or meringue). Some children are not allergic to eggs in baked goods; your child’s allergy doctor can tell you more

  • Batter-fried and commercially breaded food such as chicken nuggets

  • Breadcrumbs and commercial breads made with eggs or brushed with egg whites as a glaze (avoid any pastry product with a clear glaze)

  • Custards, puddings, and some ice creams and sherbets (check the label)

  • Drinks such as eggnog, Ovaltine, and Orange Julius

  • Eggs in any form (yolks, whites, dried, powdered, and egg solids)

  • Egg noodles or commercially processed cooked pasta (most dry, boxed pastas don’t contain eggs, but be sure to check the label)

  • All commercial egg substitutes, such as Egg Beaters

  • Marshmallows, marzipan, and nougat

  • Mayonnaise, unless the label plainly says it’s eggless, and some salad dressings

  • Meatballs, meatloaf, and some sausages

  • Meringue

  • Pancakes and waffles

  • Clear soups clarified with egg white and soups containing egg noodles

  • Tartar sauce, hollandaise, and other cream sauces

  • Frozen vegetables in sauce

What to Look For on Labels

In addition to the word “egg,” look for the following on package labels:

  • The words “binder,” “coagulant,” and “emulsifier,” which can mean a product contains eggs

  • Albumin (egg protein)

  • Globulin

  • Lecithin (This is an egg product, but most lecithin in processed foods comes from soy. To be safe, check with the manufacturer.)

  • Livetin

  • Lysozyme (a protein found in egg white)

  • Any words beginning with ovo or ova, such as ovalbumin, ovoglobulin, ovomucin, ovomucoid, ovotransferrin, and ovovitellin

  • Simplesse (a fat replacement)

  • Vitellin

Allowed Foods

Your child can eat these foods without worry:

  • All cereals and grains, such as oatmeal and rice

  • All fresh, frozen, or dried fruits and vegetables

  • Baked, broiled, or roasted meats, fish, and chicken

  • Beans, lentils, and soups without egg noodles or eggs

  • Butter, vegetable oil, eggless mayonnaise and salad dressings

  • Commercial or homemade breads without eggs (sourdough, French, and Italian baguettes are usually egg-free)

  • Dairy foods, such as milk, cheese, cottage cheese, and yogurt unless your child’s doctor says otherwise

  • Gelatin, fruit crisp, and ice cream and sherbet made without eggs

  • Homemade cakes, cookies, muffins, pancakes, and waffles prepared without eggs

  • Tofu and other soy foods

Common Substitutes for Egg Products

Most natural food stores and some grocery and specialty stores carry egg-free products and egg replacer (this doesn’t contain eggs and is not the same as an egg substitute). You can also find sources of eggless foods on the Internet.

When baking at home, use one of the following for each egg called for in recipes:

  • 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1 tablespoon water, 1 tablespoon vinegar

  • 1 teaspoon apricot puree

  • 1 teaspoon yeast dissolved in 1/4 cup warm water

  • 1½ tablespoons water, 1½ tablespoons oil, 1 teaspoon baking powder

  • 1 packet gelatin, 2 tablespoons warm water, mixed just before using

  • 1 teaspoon flaxseed meal, 1 tablespoon water

Talk to Your Child’s Doctor About Vaccines

The flu vaccine and yellow fever vaccine contain traces of egg protein. Ask your child’s doctor or allergist whether these vaccines are safe for your child.

There are many areas of ongoing research that focus on understanding allergies and allergic reactions. Please check with your doctor about new research findings that may help your child.

If Your Child Has ANY of the Symptoms Listed Below, Act Quickly!

If one has been prescribed, use an injectable epinephrine (such as EpiPen, Adrenaclick, Twinject) right away. Then call 911 or emergency services.

  • Trouble breathing or a cough that won’t stop

  • Swelling of the mouth or face

  • Dizziness or fainting

  • Vomiting or severe diarrhea

 

 
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