Eggs are one of the top 8 allergens…
An egg allergy occurs when the body mistakenly identifies egg protein as something harmful, and reacts by releasing immunoglobulin E(IgE) antibodies – which then prompt the release of chemicals known as histamines. When histamines are released, reaction symptoms occur – from a runny nose, itchy eyes or skin rashes, to anaphylaxis, which is extremely dangerous.
It is the white of the egg that contains the egg protein – indeed the white contains 4 proteins that can range from mildly to highly allergenic!
Egg yolk does not contain the proteins that cause an allergic reaction so it is extremely unusual for anyone to be allergic to the yolk of an egg.
Should I feed my baby egg?
- Most paediatricians say that no part of an egg should be fed to a baby less than 1 year of age.
- Some other medical resources are now recommending egg yolk as a great first food for babies – as there are ways of preparing egg yolks so that the white is not eaten.(However, it is possible for some of the egg white protein to still be on the yolk itself!).
- Many paediatricians say that introducing egg yolks is OK when a baby reaches about 8 months of age – as long as the baby has no other allergies, allergy indicators such as asthma, eczema etc., and no family history of allergies, in which case you should wait until your baby is at least 12 months old!
In a baby, an allergy to eggs is tricky to diagnose – so you should be certain to follow The 4 Day Rule when you and your doctor decide it’s OK to introduce egg into your baby’s diet. And if you suspect that your baby may have an egg allergy (or indeed, any food allergy), talk to your doctor about an allergy elimination diet
Baked foods that contain egg…
Many paediatricians will say that,for a baby with no allergenic indicators, using whole egg in a baked food recipe is fine if he or she is at least 8 to 9 months old.
If your baby has ever had any reactions to any foods, it is probably best to use an egg substitute in recipes. If your baby is allergic to eggs, you need to know all the other names for egg products that are used in many foods:
Avoid foods containing any of the following:
- Egg (white, yolk, dried, powdered, solids)
- Egg substitutes
- Lysozyme (used in Europe)
And don’t forget… any shiny or yellow glaze on any baked foods usually means that egg has been used, so be aware – for your baby’s sake!
This information presented to you acts as a guide which contains general information only and is not intended to replace advice from a qualified health professional.
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