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Peanut Allergy Diet

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General Guidelines for Food Allergies

An allergy free diet avoids all food you are allergic to. The food you are allergic to is called an allergen. Even tiny amounts of allergens can be life threatening.

The Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act (FALCPA) is a law that requires food makers to list common food allergens on food labels in simple terms. Food allergens that must be listed are: milk, egg, peanut, tree nuts, fish, shellfish, wheat, and soy. All food must be labeled. The law does not have rules for labeling foods that may contain or may have touched an allergen. This can make it hard to know if the food is safe. If you do not know what is in the food, do not give it to your child. It can be helpful to call the company that makes the food. Ask them how they prepare their product and ask if there is a chance it may contain or have come in contact with the food your child is allergic to.

Try to prepare baked goods, sauces, soups, and casseroles “from scratch” yourself as often as you can. The Food Allergy Network (1-800-929-4040/ www.foodallergy.org) has many good and easy to make allergy free recipes that will give your child many safe food choices. They also will let you know if the food company has changed their products or if they have things that are not listed on their labels. Always read the label on each food each time you buy it. Call the company that makes the food if you are not sure what is in their product

How to read a label for a peanut free diet

AVOID foods that contain any of these ingredients:

  • cold pressed, expressed, or expelled peanut oil
  • ground nuts
  • mixed nuts
  • Nu-Nutsâ artificial nuts
  • peanuts
  • peanut butter
  • peanut flour
  • peanut starch

Foods that MAY have peanut protein include:

  • African, Chinese, Thai, and other ethnic dishes
  • baked goods
  • candy
  • cereals
  • chili, spaghetti sauce
  • chocolate (candy, candy bars)
  • crackers
  • egg rolls
  • hydrolyzed plant protein
  • hydrolyzed vegetable protein
  • ice creams, frozen yogurts, toffuti
  • marzipan
  • nougat
  • Nut butters, Nutella®
  • sauces

More information

  • Peanuts are very allergenic and have the potential to cause FATAL reactions if eaten by someone with a peanut allergy.
  • Most people with peanut allergy can safely eat foods with peanut oil UNLESS it is COLD PRESSED, EXPRESSED, EXPELLED PEANUT OIL. AVOID COLD PRESSED, EXPRESED, AND EXPELLED PEANUT OIL.
  • Ethnic foods, commercially prepared baked goods, and candy can be cross-contaminated with peanuts since peanuts are frequently used in these types of foods.
  • Peanut butter and/or peanut flour have been used in homemade chili and spaghetti sauce as thickeners.
  • Hydrolyzed plant and vegetable protein may be peanut in imported foods, but is typically soy in foods from the U.S.
  • Nu-Nut® artificial nuts are peanuts that have been deflavored and reflavored with a nut like pecan or walnut.
  • It is unsafe to pick out a “safe” nut from a mixture containing peanuts also.
  • Pet foods can be additional sources for potential exposures.
  • Friends, relatives and class mates must be taught about your child’s peanut allergy. Studies show most teenagers do not tell their friends, so they are unable to help if the individual has a reaction. Help your child talk about their food allergy with you and their friends.

For an updated list of further information, call the Food Allergy Network at 1-800-929-4040 or visit their website at www.foodallergy.org.

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: 11/06

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