If your child has been diagnosed with an egg allergy you will need to adapt how you cook and shop for food. With adequate knowledge, your child will be able to follow a healthy and nutritious diet.
What is an Egg Allergy?
A food allergy occurs when the body’s immune system identifies an allergen in the body. Our body is reacting to the protein found in the egg yolk or egg white. As the body fights the invasion, the body produces antibodies that trigger the allergic response.
Reading Food Labels
All foods, including ice cream, baked goods, cereals, cookies, beverages, condiments, and baking mixes can be may with egg. Other products that may be made with egg derivatives include salad dressings, hot dogs and candy. There also may be products and food ingredients that contain egg products, but whose names don’t always include the word egg. Look for key words like “coagulant”, “emulsifier”, and “binder”.
In January 2006, all food manufacturing companies were required to place on their labels if a food contains egg or egg products. Be sure to examine food labels for these egg-based ingredients:
Egg white solids
Feeding Your Child
If your child has an egg allergy be sure to avoid the following foods:
- Baked Goods – waffles, muffins, baking mixes, crackers, pretzels, French toast, pancakes, cakes, meringue, doughnuts, breads and rolls, cookies, cream-filled pies. Remember that the shiny yellow glaze effect on many baked goods is achieved by using egg products.
- Beverages – latte, coffee, wine, root beer, beer, eggnog, Orange Julius
- Breaded or batter-fried foods – meatloaf, sausage, breaded meats (such as chicken nuggets), meatballs
- Commercial egg substitute – many of which are made with egg whites
- Desserts – marshmallow candy, icing, custard, chocolate candies filled with cream fillings, pudding, sherbet, ice cream, gelatin desserts
- Pasta – egg noodles, macaroni, spaghetti, vermicelli
- Salad dressings and sauces – Caesar dressing, cream sauces, tartar sauce, mayonnaise, béarnaise sauce, hollandaise sauce
- Soups – noodle soups, consommé, Chinese egg-drop soup, clear soups and broth
Cooking without Eggs
Use one of these egg alternatives in your recipes:
- 1 teaspoon yeast dissolved in ¼ cup warm water
- 1 ½ tablespoons water + 1 ½ tablespoons oil + 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 packet gelatin + 2 tablespoons warm water (don’t mix until ready to use)
Eating Out with an Egg Allergy
At restaurants, ask the server and manager for a detailed description of the ingredients in the foods you order. Try to order more basic foods on the menu.
Shopping for an Egg Allergy
The health food aisle in your local grocery store or a health food store may offer a wider selection of foods. Look for foods labeled “vegan” – they are made without eggs or dairy products. Cross-contamination is a concern as well. For example: Fried chicken does not contain eggs but the oil it was fried in may contain egg residue from another food item.
Egg Allergy Diet: Foods That Might Contain Eggs
- Baked goods – breads and rolls, crackers, doughnuts, French toast, muffins, pancakes, pretzels, waffles
- Beverages – beer, cappuccino-style drinks, Orange Julius, root beer, Ovaltine, egg nog
- Desserts – brownies, cakes, cake mixes, cookies, cream-filled pies, custard, ice cream, icing, pudding, sherbet
- Egg substitutes – these are often not a “substitute” for eggs at all, just substitutes for whole eggs that still contain egg whites
- Foods prepared using bread or batters – chicken nuggets and other breaded meats, meatballs, meatloaf, sausage
- Pasta – egg noodles, macaroni, spaghetti
- Salad dressings and sauces – Béarnaise sauce, Caesar dressing, cream sauces, Hollandaise sauce, mayonnaise, Newburgh sauce
- Soups – noodle soups, clear soups and broth, Chinese egg-drop soup
- Sweets – chocolate candies filled with cream filling, marshmallow candy, fudge