Baked Milk and Egg Can Speed Up Resolution of Food Allergies
Studies show that in some cases, children with food allergies to milk or egg are able to tolerate baked products with those foods in them. Some children with milk allergy can eat certain pastries and breads that have been baked with milk. Similarly, a child who reacts to a scrambled egg may have no problem eating particular waffles, pancakes and pasta. Why? Because heating the food (to at least 350°F for at least 30 minutes) changes the structure of the allergenic protein. In some children this change in the protein structure can make the food tolerable while others might still react severely.
When thinking about giving a baked egg product to an egg allergic person, there is a tremendous variation to consider 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 tolerate a waffle from the freezer but not a freshly cooked waffle at a restaurant. New research shows that children tolerant to baked forms of egg and milk are more likely to outgrow that allergy as they get older.
In order to determine if your child can tolerate baked milk or egg, a food challenge is required.
How a Food Challenge is Performed
All food challenges are done the same way. A small amount of the baked food is given. The patient is observed for 15-30 minutes and a larger portion is given and then observed again. This is repeated 3-5 times until the child has consumed a meal sized portion of the food. The amount varies by age. If there is any reaction at any point, the challenge is stopped, the reaction treated and it is a positive challenge. If the child gets to the end, it is a negative challenge and the child can eat the baked products.
- Food challenges should never be done at home. Consult a Food Allergy Specialist doctor who may recommend a carefully monitored food challenge.
- If the food challenge is successful, the baked foods that meet the requirements (milk or egg is the third ingredient or lower and the food is baked at 350°F for at least 30 minutes) must be eaten regularly several times a week for a prolonged period of time to keep the risk of a reaction very low.
Once your food allergic child completes a food challenge with negative results, you will feel doubly good knowing that ingesting baked milk or egg can actually help resolve the allergies sooner. Imagine no longer having to tell your child to AVOID, AVOID, AVOID the food. Instead your child will be more at ease and happier, while simultaneously moving toward the hope of no more food allergies.