Thursday, February 5, 2009
Are written guidelines available for special diets (milk-free, egg-free, peanut-free, wheat-free, soy-free, tree nut-free, shellfish-free)?
Several mothers of children with diagnosed food allergies asked me what they should avoid. The answer is not as simple as it sounds because the same food substance can go under several names. In 2004, the FDA took a step in the right direction by requiring manufacturers to declare the presence of ingredients from the three food groups that are designated as "major food allergens" (tree nuts, fish, Crustacean shellfish). Still, parents and patients must be label-readers. Here are two good guides: one from the University of Virginia and the other from the Food Allergy Network. Both are good reading. I hope these help.