How can an egg allergy be managed?

The best way to manage a food allergy such as egg allergies is to simply avoid the allergen. In the case of an egg allergy, you must make sure your child doesn't eat any egg containing foods until they are a little older. Although avoiding eggs may sound easy, eggs are used in a lot of foods. You must make sure your child avoids eggs, cake, meringue, mayonnaise, mousse, custard, cookies, scones, biscuits, French toast, pancakes, torte, pie, cheesecake and others.

Egg is commonly used as an emulsifier in many products, and it helps ingredients to mix. Egg white can also be aerated and made fluffy, as in meringues. You can buy commercial emulsifiers which don't contain egg for home cooking – these emulsifiers might be made from potato starch or tapioca. Apple sauce or puréed fruits like bananas or apricots can also be used as an emulsifier. Other substitutes include combinations of different ingredients:

  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder, with 1 tablespoon of vinegar and 1 tablespoon of water
  • 1 teaspoon of yeast with ¼ cup of warm water
  • 1 ½ tablespoons of water, with 1 ½ tablespoons of oil, with teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1 packet of gelatin with 2 tablespoons of water (mix this together just before using it)

When shopping for food, always check labels for egg or egg proteins (ovotransferrin, ovoalbumin, or ovomucoid). When eating out, make sure to ask whether eggs have been used in the preparation of food.

Oral histamines are generally ineffective ways of managing food allergies. In case your child accidentally eats food which has egg in it, you should have an EpiPen which contains adrenaline. This should be given if your child goes into anaphylactic shock.

As egg allergies rarely last beyond the age of 3 years, you might be able to start introducing egg products into your child's diet when they have reached that age. Make sure to only introduce very small quantities at first, and increase the amounts very slightly daily. If your child begins to display allergic symptoms, simply reduce the amount of egg products in their diet, and attempt to increase them slower. Within a few months, your child may be eating egg products and foods cooked with eggs without problems. This should all be done in consultation with your doctor or a paediatric dietician.

Egg allergies Guide Index:

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