Diseases & Conditions : Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology
Peanut Allergy Diet for Children
General guidelines for peanut allergy
What is most important for an allergy-free diet is to not give your child the foods or products that contain the item that he or she is allergic to. The items that your child is allergic to are called allergens.
A peanut allergy is an abnormal response of the body to the proteins found in peanuts. In order to not eat foods or use products that contain peanuts, it is important to read product labels. Peanuts are very different from tree nuts. But some people with peanut allergies also need to avoid tree nuts, such as walnuts, almonds, and cashews.
Federal law requires that all foods regulated by the FDA must list peanuts as an ingredient if they contain peanuts. The lists below may not include all foods or products to stay away from. But they can help guide your decisions. It is up to you to carefully read all food labels.
How to read a label for a peanut-free diet
Be sure to avoid giving your child foods that contain any of the following ingredients:
Arachis hypogaea. This is the scientific name for the peanut plant.
Cold pressed, expressed, or expelled peanut oil
Nu-Nuts artificial nuts
Peanut protein hydrolysate
Foods that may contain peanut protein
African, Chinese, Indonesian, Vietnamese, Thai, and other ethnic dishes
Chili and spaghetti sauce
Chocolate in candy or candy bars
Flavoring (natural and artificial)
Hydrolyzed plant protein
Hydrolyzed vegetable protein
Ice cream and frozen yogurts
What to know about other possible sources of peanuts or peanut products
Studies show that most children with allergies can safely eat foods containing peanut oil, unless it is cold pressed, expressed, or expelled peanut oil. Don't give your child cold pressed, expressed, and expelled peanut oil. Ask your child's healthcare provider if it's safe to give your child foods containing or cooked in other types of peanut oil.
Some products have warning labels such as "may contain peanut" or "made in a facility the may have processed peanuts." Ask your child's healthcare provider if your child should stay away from products with these statements.
Peanuts are very allergenic. They have the potential to cause a fatal reaction if eaten by a child who is allergic to them.
Ethnic foods, commercially prepared baked goods, and candy can be cross-contaminated with peanuts. This is because peanuts are often used in these types of foods.
Peanut butter, peanut flour, or both have been known to be used as thickeners in homemade chili and spaghetti sauce.
Be aware that foods made with hydrolyzed plant and hydrolyzed vegetable protein may contain peanuts.
Nu-Nuts artificial nuts are peanuts that have been deflavored and reflavored with a nut such as pecan or walnut.