Friday, May 21, 2010

Eggs and Infants

I was recently talking to my cousin about her kids and how they are allergic to practically everything. One thing that was brought up was the fact that her boys are allergic to eggs. Eggs are in practically everything from bread, noodles, to meatloaf. Some parents, like my cousin, did not know that you weren’t supposed to allow your infants or young children to eat eggs. Babies will often times have an allergic reaction to eggs. If this happens make sure you are not giving them food with eggs in it. There is good news however, many children outgrow this allergy by the age of 5 and turn out just fine. The allergy is a reaction to the protein in the egg whites, but in some cases babies and children are allergic to the protein in the yolk. Some signs of allergies to look out for include: Skin- hives, eczema, flushing, or swelling; Digestive system- belly pain, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, or itching around the mouth; Respiratory system- runny nose, wheezing, or difficulty breathing; and finally Cardiovascular system- rapid heartbeat, low blood pressure, or heart problems. These are all important signs to look for if you think that your child might have an egg allergy. “Kids who are allergic to eggs can become experts at avoiding eggs in the foods they eat. But it can be hard sometimes, so a kid should feel free to ask a parent or other grown-up for help in figuring out if a food is safe. For instance, egg substitutes are actually not OK for kids with egg allergies because they contain egg whites.”
Here's how eggs, in their many forms, are listed on food labels:
·         dried egg
·         egg white
·         egg white solids
·         egg yolk
·         egg solids
·         powdered egg
·         whole egg

The following ingredients also should be avoided if you have egg allergy:
·         albumin
·         globulin
·         livetin
·         lysozyme
·         ovalbumin
·         ovoglobulin
·         ovomucin
·         ovomucoid
·         ovotransferrin
·         ovovitella
·         ovovitellin
·         silici albuminate
·         Simplesse
·         Vitellin

One thing I found to be interesting are the different substitutes you can use in place of an egg. On kidshealth.org it gives some great suggestions as to how you can bake without using an egg!  For every egg called for in the recipe, substitute it with:  1 ½ Tablespoons oil and 1 teaspoon of baking powder.

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