Beau’s allergic reaction that sent us to the ER began by eating scrambled eggs. After finding out through blood work and skin testing that it was in fact the eggs, I knew that one of the first things I had to do was figure out what he could and couldn’t eat. Being only 11 months old it wasn’t quite as difficult seeing as I had a ton of fruit, veggie, meat, and other choices available in the form of baby foods. But when I began to think about all of the foods that we enjoy on a daily basis, it occurred to me that there are so many more foods out there with eggs in them. As he starts to eat more and more solid finger foods, I worry constantly that there may be eggs hidden in something or that I won’t catch it on an ingredient list.
Luckily, there have been helpful laws passed that any foods produced in the United States must have the word ‘egg’ written on the ingredient list. It used to not be a requirement and you would have to know what all of the other names for eggs or ingredients containing eggs were.
If you have an egg allergy, pay close attention to the foods and drinks that you consume. They seem to show up in some unlikely places. Did you know that eggs are sometimes used to wash baked goods such as pretzels to give them a shiny coating on the top? Or that they’re used to make frothy foamy toppings on some coffees? And don’t forget the more obvious ones such as muffins, cakes, eggnog, and many other baked goods. Avoid foods containing albumin/albumen, meringue, surimi, lysozyme, mayonnaise, and ovalbumin. Not all of the foods we eat are processed in the United States. And if you’re reading this in another country that doesn’t have these laws, or you will be traveling, you’ll have to pay even closer attention each and every time you grocery shop or eat prepared foods. Many other foods containing eggs include egg substitutes, nougat, beer, pastas (for the most part boxed dry pasta don’t contain eggs, but make sure to check!), some marshmallows, Ovaltine, macaroni (although there are brands I’ve found, such as Horizon Organics, that make egg free mac-n-cheese), marzipan, and lecithin.
Here are some handy printouts that I was able to find online. You may want to print one or all of these out and carry them in your wallet/purse for a convenient reminder when you’re looking for new foods.