Egg allergy is one of the most common cause of food allergies in children. For many children, egg exposure may
only cause swelling, throat swelling, difficulties breathing, and even death.
Overall, egg white is more allergenic than egg yolk – but egg allergic patients usually are sensitive to both parts of
the egg. Some egg allergic individuals are able to tolerate very small amounts of eggs in baked goods, while
others will react to trace amounts of eggs. Egg proteins have been detected in breast milk.
Approximately 80-85% of children will lose their egg sensitivity - but it can take many years. Overall, it appears
that the majority of people with cow's milk allergy will outgrow their food allergy, but it can take many years.
According to a study published in 2007 in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, egg allergy resolved
in 11% of children at age 4, in 41% by 8 years of age, in 65% by age 12, and in 82% by 16 years of age. It is
thus important to re-appraise food allergies periodically with a board certified allergist to safely determine if the
allergy has gone away.
Currently, the only effective treatment for egg allergies is avoidance. Research is ongoing to determine whether
allergy shots or allergy drops (sublingual immunotherapy) may be of benefit.
Avoid foods that contain:
- Egg (dried, powdered, solid, white,yolk)
These foods may contain eggs
- Egg substitutes
- Orange Julius drinks (may contain flavor enhancer which contain milk and egg)
- Pastries and other baked goods–egg is often used to give a shiny glaze (avoid all shiny baked goods)
- Salad dressing
Egg allergic individuals should avoid the flu vaccine and yellow fever vaccine.
Be careful! Some egg substitutes actually contain eggs. For example, Egg Beater is made from egg whites. Make
sure you read the food label careful before using a product. One totally egg free substitute that works well is called
Ener-G egg replacer which can be purchased directly from ener-g.com or at your local health store.
You can make your own egg substitute:
- Mix the following ingredients in a bowl, then whisk well before adding to recipe
- ½ teaspoon of potato starch
- ½ teaspoon of cornstarch
- ½ teaspoon of tapioca flour
- 6 teaspoons of water OR 5 teaspoons of water + 1 teaspoon of oil
Egg alternatives: each of the following alternatives is equal to 1 egg:
- 1 tablespoon of apricot puree
- 3 tablespoons unsweetened apple sauce or other fruit puree + 1 teaspoon of baking powder
- 1 teaspoon of yeast dissolved in 1/4th cup of warm water
- 1 banana (try this with cake recipes)
- 2 tablespoons of water + 1 tablespoon of cornstarch + 1 tablespoon of soy milk powder
- 2 tablespoons of water + 1 packet of unflavored gelatin, use immediately after mixed
The alternatives above work well for recipes requiring 2 eggs or less, but may not work well for recipes that
require more than 2 eggs (such as quiche). In these instances, you can try replacing each egg with 4 tablespoons
of pureed silken tofu and 1 teaspoon of baking powder.
Make sure to check out the coping with food allergies page for school and traveling tips, and useful links including
sites that sell allergy safe foods, medic alert bracelets. There's even a link to a website that will translate food
allergy words in just about any language you can imagine!
Savage JH et al. The natural history of egg allergy. J Allergy Clin Immunol 2007;120:1413-7.
Updated 6 Jan 2009
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