Eat to beat egg allergy

Written by Catherine Saxelby on Wednesday, 21 November 2012.
Tagged: allergies, guides, healthy cooking, healthy eating, tips

Eat to beat egg allergy

Allergy to egg is the most common food allergy in babies and young children, affecting about 1 to 2 per cent of preschool children. It is usually due to IgE allergy antibodies against egg proteins. It generally becomes apparent between the ages of 6 and 15 months, when egg is given for the first time as solid.

Unlike peanut allergy, it is generally mild, resulting in symptoms such as hives around the mouth or on other parts of the body, often in places where the skin is in contact with egg.

A less common symptom is abdominal pain and vomiting which occurs soon after eating egg products.

White or yolk?

Allergy can occur to both egg white and yolk. Egg white is more likely to cause a reaction than the yolk. If your child is allergic to egg white and needs to avoid egg white, it is simplest to avoid both egg yolk and egg white.

Eggs from other birds such as ducks, quail or geese are also likely to cause a similar reaction as hen eggs in egg allergic individuals.

The good news is that egg allergy is the allergy most likely to fade over time, with around 80 per cent of children being free of it by the time they start school.

Eggs turn up in many surprising places

When a child in the family is diagnosed with an allergy to eggs, you suddenly discover how many foods contain eggs. This is because eggs have many useful functions in both the kitchen and in manufacturing - eggs do a great job as a binder, setting agent and raising agent.

There are many unexpected places where eggs turn up including:

  • egg noodles
  • waffles
  • pancakes
  • pikelets
  • milk puddings and baked custard
  • macaroons
  • some biscuits
  • certain types of pastry e.g. choux pastry in cream puffs
  • the shiny glazing on rolls and breads like Challah
  • some icings
  • marzipan
  • some soups eg Chinese egg drop soup, Greek avgolemono
  • Hollandaise sauce
  • Mayonnaise
  • tartare sauce
  • some creamy salad dressings
  • commercial sauce mixes
  • gourmet ice creams
  • meat loaf
  • mince rissoles
  • burgers
  • meat jelly (aspic)
  • marshmallows

Checking the label

You need to thoroughly scrutinise all food labels for any ingredient containing egg or derived from egg. Watch out for these terms on the ingredient list on the back of the label:

 

 Powdered egg, dried egg, yolk, egg white, egg lecithin, albumin, ovalbumin, globulin, livetin, ovomucin, ovomucoid, silica albuminate, vitellin, ovovitellin
Catherine Saxelby

About the Author

Catherine Saxelby knows nutrition! She is an accredited nutritionist, food commentator, blogger and award-winning author. Her latest book Catherine Saxelby's Food and Nutrition Companion answers all those tricky questions on healthy eating, diets and supplements. It draws together a lifetime of advice and gives you all you need to know to eat right! It's a complete A to Z. A handy desk go-to reference.