Baked Milk and Egg
In many cases, children allergic to milk and egg are able to tolerate baked products. It is not uncommon for a child with milk allergy to be able to eat breads, hamburger buns, and pastries that have been baked with milk. Likewise children who react to a scrambled egg may be able to safely eat waffles, pancakes, and pasta noodles. Heating of the food changes the structure of the allergic protein. In some children this change in the protein structure may render the food tolerant while others may still react severely. With egg allergy, there is a tremendous variation based on the degree of cooking, the amount of egg used in the recipe, and what the egg was mixed with. This is why a child may tolerant a waffle from the freezer but not a freshly cooked waffle at a restaurant. New research shows that children tolerant to baked forms of the egg are more likely to outgrow it later.
A big dilemma; how does a parent know if a child can tolerate baked food products?
We do not recommend experimenting with this at home. What often happens is there may be an accidental ingestion. For instance at a birthday party, the child by accident eats some cake. The parents are terrified but observe the child and all is fine. This is an important clue the baked egg may be tolerated. However, most food allergy parents are so vigilant that accidents do not occur. This is when an in office food challenge may be helpful. A baked milk or egg product is prepared according to a specific recipe and the child is fed the food under our direct supervision (see food challenge).
Food challenges SHOULD NEVER be done at home.
Discuss with a Food Allergy Specialist doctor if you would like to consider a baked food challenge for your child.
See a recent interview on KVUE on egg allergy and flu shots
American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology
The Food Allergy Network
American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology
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