People who choose egg free diets typically do so for one of two reasons; either they are vegans or they have an allergy to eggs. In the second case, they must be extremely diligent to avoid not only whole eggs, but all products that contain eggs. This sounds a bit simpler in theory than it is in practice.
Egg allergy symptoms may include any of the common symptoms of food allergies, including skin rashes or hives, gastrointestinal distress, or breathing problems, to name a few. In rare cases, a life-threatening reaction called anaphylaxis may occur.
Read Labels Carefully
Nutrition labels offer a variety of useful information, but the most important part for parents of kids with food allergies is the list of ingredients. Eggs are sometimes listed as eggs, which can make avoiding a product fairly easy, but there are other words than can mean that portions of eggs, or eggs in an altered form, have been used. It is vital to educate yourself, and your child, when old enough to be responsible for their food choices, to be alert for the presence of eggs in any form.
Some words that you may find on a nutrition label indicating the presence of eggs or an egg product are: albumin, egg whites, egg yolk, dried egg, egg powder, egg solids, egg substitutes, eggnog, globulin, livetin, lysozyme, mayonnaise, meringue, ovalbumin, ovomucin, ovomucoid, ovovitellinor Simplesse.
Beyond Scrambled, Poached, and Over Easy
When dining in restaurants or in the homes of friends, you must be especially careful about food choices. Be sure to ask about the ingredients, but remember that often, the servers at restaurants are somewhat unfamiliar with food preparation. Since many restaurants and home kitchens use a variety of factory produced products, even the cook may not be fully aware of each and every ingredient. When in doubt, choose simple foods without added sauces to minimize the chances of serving your child something with eggs or egg derivatives.
Where You’d Least Expect Them
Although it is fairly obvious that egg noodles need to be off limits, few people are aware that a glass of root beer may pose a problem. Some beverages, including coffee, wine, and root beer, are sometimes clarified with egg. In time, parents of children with egg allergies become great detectives, locating the offending item in the most unexpected places.
Baked goods, except those made using egg-free baking powder are not allowed, and be on the lookout for baked products that have a shiny appearance. That glaze usually indicates the presence of eggs. Desserts in general tend to contain at least some eggs. Custard, pudding, ice cream, and marshmallows all contain eggs. To be safe, stick with fresh fruit — it’s the healthiest way to satisfy a sweet tooth, even for those with no food allergies.
Casseroles are risky since usually, the creamy sauce that makes them so appealing contains eggs. Vegetables are a great, healthy choice, but never battered and fried. Typically, veggies are dipped in whipped egg before they are floured and fried.
Consult With a Professional
Although it takes some getting used to, learning to live with food allergies gets easier with time. Try to teach your child about the many ways that eggs can sometimes be hidden in their foods and beverages. You won’t be able to supervise every meal, so it is important to empower your child with knowledge. Schedule a consultation with your child’s pediatrician or a pediatric dietician for a complete listing of egg containing products.