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Corn Allergy

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General Guidelines for Food Allergies 

Your child has a corn allergy.  His/her diet should not include corn or any products that contain corn.  You will need to read all labels very carefully. Corn products may be hidden in foods that you would not suspect. Corn can be part of many foods or drinks in the form of sweeteners or cornstarch.

Corn products are most likely to be found in:

  • cereals
  • syrups
  • jams
  • luncheon meats
  • baked goods
  • canned fruits
  • jellies
  • candies
  • snack foods
  • regular sodas/beverages
  • cookies
  • infant formulas 

The following label ingredients indicate that there is likely corn in the food:

  • corn
  • corn meal
  • hominy
  • masa
  • grits
  • maltodextrins
  • sorbitol
  • vinegar
  • popcorn
  • high fructose corn syrup
  • corn syrup solids
  • corn flour
  • corn starch (mazena)
  • dextrose
  • food starch
  • vegetable starch
  • corn oil
  • corn sweetener
  • baking powder
  • maize
  • corn alcohol
  • dextrin
  • vegetable gum
  • modified gum starch
  • vegetable protein  

The following charts will help you choose foods for a corn allergy diet.  Remember this is not a complete list.  You will need to read all food labels to learn which food and drinks contain corn or corn products. You do not need to avoid the foods listed below unless they contain corn. Most people can tolerate hydrolyzed corn protein but use caution if there has been a severe allergic reaction to corn.

FoodFoods to use:Foods to avoid:
Vegetables and Vegetable Juices
  • Fresh, frozen or canned plain vegetables (except corn)
Read labels carefully
  • Corn, corn products, hominy
  • Vegetables with sauces or gravies made with corn or corn starch
Milk, Milk Products & Formulas
  • Skim, low fat, whole milk and buttermilk
  • Plain unsweetened yogurt
  • Infant formulas: Enfamil Lipil, Similac Advance, and Alimentum Ready-to-Feed are examples of formulas that may not contain corn. Use only the ready-to-feed type of Alimentum formula because the powdered form contains corn maltodextrin. Your medical provider may also recommend another brand or type of formula which is suitable for your child. Formula ingredients frequently contain "corn syrup solids," but if these products are recommended by your medical provider it may be because the allergic component of corn (protein) has been removed during processing. Always consult your child's physician before switching to a different type or brand of formula.
  • Ice cream, flavored yogurt, chocolate milk, pudding
  • Chocolate flavored drinks and Carnation Instant Breakfast
  • Pedialyte
  • Hydrolyzed casein formulas: Nutramigen and Progestimil
Meat, Poultry, Fish, Eggs, Legumes, Peanut Butter & Cheese
  • Fresh meat, fish or poultry
  • All natural cheese, single sliced cheese, "easy cheese," pasteurized processed cheese spread, American, cheddar, sharp and parmesan cheeses
  • Eggs
  • All fresh legumes: beans, peas, lentils
  • Natural peanut butter without added corn syrup
  • Any processed meat, chicken or fish: luncheon meats, hotdogs, Spam
  • Most egg substitutes
  • Velveeta pasteurized cheese products
  • Peanut butter with corn syrup
Fruits and Fruit Juices
  • Fresh, frozen unsweetened fruits and juice packed canned fruits
  • Fresh unsweetened juice
  • Fruits canned in heavy syrup
  • Sweetened juices
  • Fruit drinks and fruit punches
  • Lemonade made with corn sweeteners
Breads, Cereals and Starches
  • Bread or rolls
  • Hot and cold cereals
  • Crackers
  • Pasta
  • Potatoes
Read labels carefully. There are some exceptions to some of the above. They can be used if they do not contain corn starch, corn syrup, corn meal, baking powder, or any ingredient indicating corn.
  • Cornbread and cornmeal
  • Bread products sweetened with corn syrup
  • Bread products made with baking powder
  • Most sweetened cereals contain corn
  • Grits, hominy, maize
  • Store bought baked goods
  • Tacos, tostadas shells and corn tortillas
  • Toaster pastries
  • Ramen noodles, packaged potato and pasta products
  • Frozen pancakes, waffles and French bread
  • Soups that do not contain corn starch, corn syrup, corn meal, baking powder, or any ingredient indicating corn
  • Most canned or dried soups
Read labels carefully
  • Vegetable Oil, Safflower Oil, Olive Oil, Canola Oil, Peanut Oil
  • Sour Cream, Butter, Cream Cheese
  • Bacon, Lard, Shortening
  • Margarine without corn oil
  • Mayonnaise
  • Salad dressings without corn derivatives
  • Margarines with corn oil
  • Salad dressings with corn derivatives
  • Corn oil
Check labels for corn and corn products.
  • Mustard
  • Pickles
  • Jalapeno peppers
  • Salt, pepper and other herbs
  • Onion powder
  • Corn syrup and othe rsyrups, corn starch
  • Chocolate and strawberry syrups
  • Caramel and vanilla extract, along with some flavorings
  • Spaghetti sauce
  • Ketchup
  • Taco dinners, picante sauces, Taco seasonings
  • Cough tablets and throat drops
  • Powder coffee creamers
  • Baking powder and yeast
  • Popcorn

Disclaimer: This information is not intended to substitute or replace the professional medical advice you receive from your child's physician. The content provided on this page is for informational purposes only, and was not designed to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease. Please consult your child's physician with any questions or concerns you may have regarding a medical condition.

Reviewed: 08/2009

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