The Top Food Allergens Kids Need To Avoid

Sometimes it is easier to give in to your kids and let them eat whatever they want for the sake of getting some sort of nutrition in them. But some of your child’s favorite foods might be causing them more harm than good. Even if your child does not have any diagnosed food allergies, you can improve his or her behavior, skin, and overall health by avoiding certain foods. Here are the top foods that cause allergies in children, and as a parent, you should limit or avoid giving it to them at all.



Shellfish and fish are biologically different, so a child with a shellfish allergy might do just fine with fish. A shellfish allergy occurs when the immune system reacts to a protein found in shellfish such as shrimp, crab, lobster, clams, oysters, or squid. If your child has been diagnosed with a shellfish allergy, they may experience a reaction when they eat shellfish touch it or even breathe it in. Keep ephedrine on hand for emergency situations.

Artificial Food Coloring


According to research, artificial food coloring, such as yellow number five and other food coloring dyes, have been linked to hyperactivity and attention deficit disorders in children. While your child may not experience an actual allergy attack from consuming artificial food coloring, he or she may benefit from removing these foods from their diet. Common foods with artificial food coloring include boxed macaroni and cheese, fruit snacks, cheese-flavored crackers, and candy such as lollipops and other sweets.

Tree Nuts


A tree nut allergy is different from a peanut allergy as peanuts are technically considered to be a legume. Examples of tree nuts include almonds, walnuts, pecans, cashews, and pine nuts. Symptoms, when ingested, may include difficulty swallowing, itching or swelling of the eyes, mouth, throat, or skin, nausea, shortness of breath, and abdominal pain. Tree nut allergies are often life-threatening and are among the most common causes of anaphylaxis in the United States. Reading product labels and avoiding all contact with tree nuts is the best way to prevent an attack from occurring.



Your child may be allergic to certain types of fish, such as salmon, tuna, or white fish, while others are just fine to consume with no noticeable reaction. An allergy test can detect which fish is safe and which should be avoided. But if your child has been diagnosed with a fish allergy, it might be best to avoid all types of fish altogether. Be sure to indicate your child has an allergy anytime you visit a restaurant, so no fish comes in contact with your child’s food. Keep medication or ephedrine on hand at all times in case of an emergency.

Organophosphate (OG) Pesticides

Organic-Love To Know

While not a true food allergy, pesticides are dangerous to growing and developing children. Organophosphate pesticides are found in conventional or non-organic foods and have been linked to neurological damage in children. Symptoms may include seizures, paralysis, and tremors. They are found in many foods children frequently eat such as apples, oranges, apple and orange juice, bananas, carrots, peaches, pears, potatoes, and tomatoes. The best way to avoid organophosphate pesticides is to buy organic produce whenever possible.



Peanut allergies in children have been on a steady rise over the last few years. A study done a couple of years ago discovered that the number of children with a peanut allergy tripled between 1997 and 2008. Children in Canada and the United Kingdom have also experienced a similar jump in peanut allergy cases. Although approximately twenty percent of all children will outgrow this allergy, it can be a scary time while your child is young. Be sure to read all product labels carefully to make sure they do not contain peanuts.



Soy is another common food allergen and is often found in many infant formulas and other processed foods that kids eat. Most children who develop an allergy will do so by age three and may outgrow it at the age of ten. Soy allergy symptoms include rashes or hives, an itchy feeling in the mouth, a stuffy or runny nose, diarrhea, nausea or vomiting, and wheezing or coughing. If you think your child has a soy allergy, an allergist may perform a skin-prick test or a blood test.


Huffington Post Australia

Approximately two to three percent of children experience an egg allergy, but fortunately, many children will outgrow it as they get older. Eggs are added to many packaged foods including mayonnaise, cakes, sweets, and even egg substitutes, which can make them hard to avoid. Luckily a consumer protection act went into effect in 2006 requiring labels to be marked with the statement 'may contain eggs,' making it easier for parents and children to avoid eating any product containing eggs.  Symptoms may include hives or other skin conditions, gastrointestinal distress, vomiting, and swelling when consumed.


Dr. Mercola

A milk allergy is different from being lactose intolerant, which occurs when the body does not properly digest milk. But both conditions exhibit similar reactions. Symptoms of a milk allergy may include hives or red spots, skin rashes, trouble breathing, frequent illness, diarrhea, colic in babies, vomiting, hoarseness or tightness in the throat, and coughing. Your child may react to a milk allergy up to a week after they are first exposed to it. Swelling of the throat or mouth requires immediate attention. Check for milk in unsuspecting products, such as packaged foods. Safer alternatives include almond, soy, oat, cashew, or coconut milk, again depending on the child's nutritional needs and if they have other allergies, such as to tree nuts.

Wheat Or Gluten

Dr. Mercola

Wheat and gluten might be the hardest food to avoid feeding your child as it is a favorite ingredient in many children’s foods. The most common symptom of a wheat or gluten allergy is gastrointestinal distress. Your child may become bloated, constipated, or have diarrhea. They may also start developing skin rashes or bumps on their arms, legs, face, or trunk of their body. Read ingredients carefully and look for gluten-free or wheat-free pizza crusts, bread, and chicken fingers.


    HealthPrep Staff