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Diseases & Conditions : Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology

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Soy Allergy Diet for Children

General guidelines for soy allergy

The key to an allergy-free diet is to avoid giving your child the foods or products containing the food to which he/she is allergic. The items that your child is allergic to are called allergens.

A soy allergy is an abnormal response of the body to the proteins found in soy. Soybeans are classified as a legume. Other foods in the legume family are navy, kidney, string, black, and pinto beans, chickpeas (garbanzo beans), lentils, carob, licorice, and peanuts. Sensitivity to peanuts is the most common, but soybean sensitivity is also prevalent. Sensitivity to one legume can often be in association with sensitivity to another legume.

FOODS

ALLOWED

NOT ALLOWED

Breads & Starches

Breads, baked goods, cereals not containing soy ingredients

Potato chips or popcorn cooked in soy oil (NOTE: Most soy oil does not contain soy protein, which causes soy allergy, because the soy protein is removed during processing. Thus, soy oil generally does not cause allergy symptoms. However, those with soy allergies should check with their physician about consuming products containing soy oil or processed with soy oil.)

Plain macaroni, rice, barley, rye, wheat, oats, or grits

Breads, crackers, cakes, rolls, or pastries containing peanuts, peanut oil, soy flour

Processed and "natural" cereals which contain soy ingredients

Soy pasta

Vegetables

Fresh, frozen, or canned vegetables (except those listed as not allowed) without sauces or breading containing soy ingredients

Soy beans, soybean sprouts

Any vegetables prepared with sauces or breading containing soy products

Fruit

All fresh, frozen, or canned fruits and juices processed without soy products

Fruit drink mixed or sauces/toppings for fruit which contain soy ingredients

Beverages

Soft drinks

Tea, coffee

Fruit juice

Soy-based formulas, coffee substitutes with soy, instant coffee, hot cocoa mixes, malt beverages, fruit drink mixes made with soy ingredients

Meat & Meat Substitutes

Any fresh or frozen beef, chicken, lamb, pork, turkey, veal, or fish served without prepackaged sauces, breading, or gravy

Pork link sausage, deli/luncheon meats made with soy

Commercially prepared meats where soy is used as a meat extender

Meat or cheese substitutes which contain soy: tofu/bean curd, natto, miso

Textured vegetable protein (TVP)

Milk & Milk Products

Milk, cheese, cottage cheese, or yogurt without soy products

Milk drinks or milk substitutes that contain soy

Soups & Combination Foods

Homemade soups and commercial soups that do not contain soybeans

Soy is used in many canned soups, commercial entrees, and combination foods

Desserts &Sweets

Ice cream, gelatin, cookies made without soy ingredients

Baked goods, such as cakes or cookies which contain soy flour

Soy products may be used in some commercial ice creams and other frozen desserts

Hard candies, nut candies, fudge, and caramels made with soy flour

Fats & Oils

Butter, margarines, shortening

Margarine and butter substitutes

Some salad dressings, mayonnaise, sauces, or gravies containing soy products

Roasted soybeans or "soy nuts"

Condiments & Miscellaneous

Sugar, honey, molasses, catsup, mustard, jelly, jam, plain sugar candies, syrup, pickles

Commercial vegetarian products and meat substitutes

Heinz Worcestershire sauce, Lea & Perrins sauce, fermented soybean pastes (miso and natto)

Soy sauce, tamari sauce, granola, or breakfast bars made with soy

Imitation bacon bits made with soy

How to read a label for a soy-free diet

Be sure to avoid giving your child foods that contain any of the following ingredients:

  • Hydrolyzed soy protein

  • Miso

  • Shoyo sauce

  • Soy flour

  • Soy grits

  • Soy nuts

  • Soy milk

  • Soy sprouts

  • Soy protein concentrate

  • Soy protein isolate

  • Soy sauce

  • Tempeh

  • Textured vegetable protein (TVP)

  • Tofu

Other possible sources of soy or soy products:

  • Flavorings

  • Vitamin E contains soybean oil

  • Hydrolyzed plant protein

  • Hydrolyzed vegetable protein

  • Natural flavorings

  • Vegetable broth

  • Vegetable gum

  • Vegetable starch

To avoid soy and soy products:

  • Contact the manufacturer to identify the natural flavorings in foods. Ask if they use soy as a carrier protein for the natural flavoring.

  • Contact the company to identify¬†vegetable broths, gums, and starches, as they have the potential to be soy.