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Diet for Children with a Nut Allergy

Updated on October 4, 2012
Whitney05 profile image

Whitney is a mom trying to evoke a healthy, happy life for herself and her family.

The number of children with nut allergies have definitely increased, if not doubled in the past decade.

There is no reasoning to the increase in nut allergy, but it is thought that genetics have some involvement in the allergy. It's also thought that children who are introduced to nuts before their immune system is ready are also more likely to obtain a nut allergy.

There are no one child prone to developing the allergy, but studies have shown the boys are more prone than girls.

Throat tightness, shortness of breath, and hives are the main symptoms of a nut allergy, but nearly 80% of children also experience respiratory and other reactions.

Not all nuts affect children with nut allergies the same. Peanuts actually produce the most allergy-triggering components, but walnuts seem to cause more reactions. The studies show that after peanuts and walnuts, cashews, almonds, pecans, Brazil nuts, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, pistachios, and pine nuts, follow in line.

Nut Allergy Diet

Once your child has been diagnosed to have a nut allergy, you want to avoid foods with nuts and peanut proteins.

  • cold pressed, expressed, or expelled peanut oil
  • ground nuts
  • mixed nuts
  • Nu-Nuts™ (artificial nuts)
  • peanuts
  • peanut butter
  • peanut flour

There are many foods that contain nut proteins, so you will want to watch the ingredient labels carefully. Carefully read the labels of various baked goods, candies, cereals, ice creams and frozen yogurts, marzipan, and hydrolyzed plant and vegetable proteins, to ensure that what you purchase does not contain nuts or nut proteins.

When shopping for a child with a nut allergy, it's best to remove all foods in your home with nut proteins. If the food is in the pantry, your child may grab it and eat it by mistake, so it's best that everyone try to maintain a nut-free diet.

Please keep in mind that peanuts are more closely related to peas and beans, and are not considered nuts. If you child has been diagnosed with a peanut allergy, he/she may not be allergic to other nuts.

Disclaimer: Please be aware that the advice in this article should in no way replace that of a licensed physician. If you have any questions, please consult your child's pediatrician


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    • Whitney05 profile image

      Whitney 5 years ago from Georgia

      Thank you Marisa. I have added this to the hub.

    • dinkan53 profile image

      dinkan53 5 years ago from India

      Some of friends are also victims of this allergy. The problem usually happens is ingestion of the allergic item by mistake or unknowingly, for example from a dish from a restaurant. So those allergic must have to be careful by all means. Thanks for sharing this article.Voted as useful.

    • profile image

      Life Doesnt Wait 5 years ago

      You might want to also note that while cold pressed peanut oil will retain some of the peanut proteins, highly refined peanut oil (such as commercially used oil for frying) typically does not contain peanut protein and therefore is usually safe to consume. In addition to baked goods and such, many labels will warn if a product is processed in a plant that also processes peanuts. While chances are that the non-peanut product is safe, there IS risk for cross-contamination.

    • Marisa Wright profile image

      Marisa Wright 5 years ago from Sydney

      Can I suggest you add a clarification? Peanuts are NOT nuts. They're more closely related to peas and beans.

      So if someone has an allergy to peanuts, they probably aren't allergic to any other kind of nuts. And vice versa. I come across so many people who are allergic to peanuts, and they think they can't eat ANY nuts - which is a shame, because almonds and cashews etc are so healthy.