Common childhood food allergies

Research suggests food allergies affects between five to eight percent of children with the most common food allergies including milk and egg allergy.1,2 Many children outgrow their food allergies.1 For example, cow’s milk allergy, typically resolves between the age of three to five years.2 However, certain food allergies, such as peanut allergy, can be life-long.1 Some key facts about common food allergies are listed below:

Food AllergyNumber of children thought to be affectedTypical age that a child outgrows the food allergy
Milk

Up to 1 in 30 children

By twelve months of age, approximately half of all cow’s milk-allergic children are able to tolerate cow’s milk

Eggs

Up to 1 in 20 children

By the age of three, approximately half of all children allergic to egg are able to tolerate eggs

Peanuts

Approximately 1 in 165 children

Only a small number of children will outgrow their peanut allergy

Tree nuts (include walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts, cashews)

Approximately 1 in 200 children

Around 10% of children will outgrow their tree nut allergy

Fish and shellfish

Approximately 1 in 500 children

It is unlikely children will outgrow this food allergy

If you have any concerns, please discuss these with your healthcare professional.

References

  1. Kagan RS. Environ Health Persp. 2003;111(2):223-225.
  2. Venter C and Arshad SH. Pediatr Clin N Am 2011;58(2):327-349.

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Managing food allergies

Your toddler’s food allergy can be managed by avoiding the food or foods your toddler is allergic to. Regardless of the nature of your toddler’s food allergy, it will be important to make sure you find good alternative sources of protein, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins and minerals to make sure their diet remains nutritionally balanced.

The impact of avoiding specific foods will vary as some food allergens are more commonly present in foods than others. You should always seek advice from your healthcare professional before removing any foods from your toddler’s diet, as during the early years of life, balanced nutrition is essential for their growth and development.

For further information on how to read food labels, and manage cross contamination when eating out and in your home click here. Again, your healthcare professional will be able to help you with this.

Why not also take a look at our cookbook, which has been designed for children with food allergies.

Reference

  1. NHS Choices, 2012: http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/food-allergy/Pages/living-with.aspx Accessed 10th February 2014.

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RXANI130244c Date of preparation: February 2014

RXANI130244e Date of preparation: February 2014

RXANI130244f Date of preparation: February 2014