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BABY WITH EGG ALLERGY PROBLEM

BABY WITH EGG ALLERGY PROBLEM
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Egg allergy usually begins in infancy, and often soon after egg is introduced into a baby's diet. Children who are egg allergic will often refuse egg when it is given to them. Egg allergy often disappears by age five to seven years, but can sometimes be lifelong. Egg white, especially if it is raw or poorly cooked tends to cause a more severe allergy than egg yolk. Mildly egg allergic children can often eat food prepared with small amounts of egg, for example cakes, without an immediate reaction. But, these small amounts may aggravate conditions such as eczema, and can prolong the allergy.

Understanding about Egg Allergy?

A food allergy occurs when the body's immune system mistakenly believes a food is harmful and identifies an offending substance, or allergen, in that food. People with an egg allergy react to the proteins in the egg white or the yolk. The body produces antibodies that trigger an allergic reaction as they rush in to fight off the invasion.

Research has shown that up to 8% of children in the United States are affected by food allergies. Eggs are among the eight foods that cause 90% of all allergic reactions in children (milk, peanuts, wheat, soy, fish, shellfish, and tree nuts are the other seven). Egg allergy, which is usually outgrown by age 5, is most often identified when the child first eats eggs or egg products.
Reading Food Labels

It should come as no surprise that baked goods, baking mixes, cereals, cookies, custards, and ice cream are made with eggs, but candies, hot dogs, meatballs, and salad dressings can include egg derivatives as well. There are also many products and food ingredients that contain egg products, but whose names don't always include the word egg. Eggs may be used for a specific function and be listed as "binder," "emulsifier," or "coagulant."

Many foods such as cakes, custard, mayonnaise, icing, salad dressing etc contain egg. However, cakes and desserts etc can still be eaten as long as they are homemade by substituting egg with egg replacer. Egg replacer can be purchased from some supermarkets and health food stores. Just to be safe, avoid all foods containing:

  • Albumin
  • Egg in any form (including whole egg, dried egg, powdered egg, egg solids, egg yolk, egg white, egg white solids, and egg substitute)
  • Globulin
  • Livetin
  • Lysozyme
  • Ovalbumin
  • Ovoglobulin (and any other ingredients that begin with the prefix "ovo," including ovomucin, ovomucoid, ovotransferrin, ovovitella, and ovovitellin)
  • Silici albuminate
  • Simplesse (a fat replacer)
  • Vitellin

Another ingredient, lecithin E322, is found naturally in eggs. But when it's used as a food additive, it's almost always made from soy. If you see this item on an ingredient list, contact the product's manufacturer to determine its source.

Because otherwise nutritious foods may have to be eliminated, it's important to ensure that an egg-allergic child's diet is well balanced. A pediatric registered dietitian can make sure all required nutrients are provided in the food the child is able to eat.

The importance of scrutinizing food labels to determine sources of eggs, egg derivatives, and egg substitutes can't be stressed enough. When you're giving food cooked by someone else to your child, ask about the ingredients.

Feeding Our Baby

Although eggs are used in many products, they may not be listed on the product's label. Some of the foods below contain eggs, and some may contain eggs depending on the recipe. If your child has an egg allergy, your best bet is to avoid them entirely:

  • Baked goods - breads and rolls, pancakes, cakes, cookies, cream-filled pies, meringue, French toast, waffles, doughnuts, muffins, crackers, pretzels, baking mixes, and dessert powders; the shiny yellow glaze effect on many baked goods is achieved by using eggs or egg products
  • Beverages - eggnog, beer, root beer, Orange Julius, Ovaltine, wine, coffee, latte
  • Breaded or batter-fried foods - breaded meats (such as chicken nuggets), meatballs, meatloaf, sausage
  • Commercial egg substitutes - many of which are made with egg whites
  • Desserts - chocolate candies filled with cream fillings, marshmallow candy, fudge, icing, custard, pudding, ice cream, sherbet, gelatin desserts
  • Pasta - egg noodles, vermicelli, macaroni, spaghetti
  • Salad dressings and sauces - béarnaise sauce, hollandaise sauce, Newburg sauce, Caesar dressing, mayonnaise, cream sauces, tartar sauce
  • Soups - clear soups and broth, noodle soups, consommé, Chinese egg-drop soup

This list may make it seem as though kids with egg allergy can't eat much, but there are many ways to offer a safe and nutritious diet. When cooking at home, you can almost always omit eggs from recipes by adding 1 or 2 tablespoons of liquid to balance out the moisture content. Or you can substitute one of these egg alternatives in your recipes. Each of these replaces one egg (these substitutes may not work as well in recipes that call for more than three eggs):

  • 1 teaspoon yeast dissolved in 1/4 cup warm water
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons water + 1 1/2 tablespoons oil + 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 packet gelatin + 2 tablespoons warm water (don't mix until ready to use)

At restaurants, ask the wait staff for detailed descriptions of the ingredients in the foods you order. Simply asking if a food contains eggs or egg products probably won't give you enough information. Try to order the more basic foods on the menu.

When shopping for egg-free foods, health food stores or the health food aisle in your regular grocery store may offer a wider selection. Look for foods labeled "vegan" - they're made without eggs or dairy products. And you may have to think beyond the food itself. For example, even if the batter used in fried chicken doesn't contain eggs, the oil used to fry it may contain egg residue from other foods.

Acquaint yourself with all egg ingredients and products, and you'll likely be able to offer your child a nutrient-rich, tasty diet - and it won't even seem like he or she is missing anything. (by kidshealth.org, Baby.Topresource.NET Reference)

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