This is a common questions parents ask. There are many factors to consider.

  • what is the food?
  • what was the nature and severity of the initial reaction?
  • what is the size of the skin test? What is the blood score?
  • can the child tolerant baked forms of the food?

The good news is most children will outgrow milk and egg allergy. We generally expect 80% of children will eventually tolerate the food and most will outgrow milk/egg allergy by age 5. However as we follow more children into the teenage years, we do see children outgrow the food allergy later as teenagers. A good sign is if the child is able to tolerate baked forms of the food such as waffles and pancakes for egg. Most of these children will outgrow the food allergy later on. 

Unfortunately for peanut allergy the numbers are not as encouraging. Maybe 20% will outgrow peanut allergy and for tree nuts the numbers are even lower, around 10%.

The initial reaction also helps to predict likelihood to outgrow. Milder reactors such as a facial rash have a better chance of outgrowing the food allergy than the severe reactors that had trouble breathing. We also look at the skin test size and blood scores. Those with a large skin test reaction to the food and greatly elevated blood scores are less likely to outgrow. A good sign is to follow the blood score every few years and a downward trend in the scores is favorable. 

At The Food Allergy Specialists, we put all this information together to determine if the food allergy has been outgrown. Often times we will recommend an in office food challenge under our direct supervision (see food challenge). 

Food challenges SHOULD NEVER be done at home.