Food Allergies

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Are you struggling to understand the in’s and outs of food allergies for yourself or your kiddo? If you are wanting more individualized support you can book with one of our dietitians.  Read along for an in-depth explanation of IgE mediated allergies, the common allergens associated with this, food labelling info and tips, and the new recommendations for introducing common allergens for infants! 
What is an IgE Mediated Food Allergy?
IgE mediated food allergies are a specific immune reaction to food proteins that results in the production of the antibody immunoglobulin E (also known as IgE) being produced. This creates a series of reactions and symptoms which can all trigger an anaphylactic response – which is a dangerous whole body allergic reaction. 

IgE Mediated Symptoms may include the following:

What are the symptoms?

  • Itching skin and eyes
  • Hives 
  • Eczema 
  • Nausea, vomiting and diarrhea
  • Congestion and coughing 
  • Asthma symptoms: difficulty breathing and wheezing

​Are you feeling overwhelmed and anxious when thinking about how to properly balance your or your child’s diet? You’re not alone you can book with one of our dietitians to help with making sure your little one is getting the proper nutrients they need. 

There have been identified foods that are commonly associated with these reactions also known as the priority food allergens. Priority food allergens are foods that are associated with 90% of allergic reactions in Canada. 

Picture of eggs


  • The yolk and the whites of an egg are both considered allergenic parts. 
  • Often used in battered/fried foods, pastries, and as an ingredient for its binding properties in other processed foods. 

If my child is allergic to eggs from a chicken, will they be allergic to other kinds of eggs?
Eggs sourced from a chicken have similar proteins to those found in other kinds of bird eggs that are commonly consumed such as ducks, quails, and geese. For these reasons, if there is an allergy present for eggs from chickens, reactions may occur for other eggs as well!

In some cases, individuals can consume eggs that have been highly heat processed such as being incorporated into a cake, however it is important to consult an allergist prior to making any assumptions.

Picture of dairy products

Can be found in:

  • butter
  • cheese
  • cream 
  • yogurts
  • it can also can be a component of baked goods, glazes, soups, and sauces. 

What is the cause?
Allergic reactions to milk are associated with the protein found in cow’s milk. This protein is similar to those found in other milks such as goats and sheep milk. Often a similar reaction is likely to occur for other mammals’ milk if an individual has an allergy to cow’s milk protein.

Picture of shellfish

Crustaceans and molluscs are the two categories that are classified as shellfish. 
Crustaceans are characterized by their hard shell and joint legs with examples being:

  • Crab
  • Lobster
  • Shrimp

Molluscs are commonly defined by their hinged shell with typical examples being: 

  • Clams
  • Muscles
  • Oysters
  • Scallops
  • But can also be octopus, snails and squid

Fish must be labelled with their common names such as tuna or halibut. 

Picture of nuts

Peanuts & Tree Nuts
Peanuts and tree nuts are a part of different food families, meaning that if someone is allergic to one, they do not necessarily have an allergy to the other. 

Peanuts are legumes grown underground rather than from a tree, and are commonly found in baked goods, cereals, snack foods such as granola bars or trail mix, sauces, 

Tree nuts can be: 

  • almonds
  • brazil nuts
  • cashews
  • hazelnuts
  • macadamia nuts
  • pine, nuts
  • pecans
  • pistachios
  • walnuts

* In Canada these are mandatory that they are labelled using these names*

What is not considered a tree nut?

  • Coconut and nutmeg

meaning that individuals who have a tree nut allergy are not necessarily going to have an allergy to these foods. 

Mustard seeds are used for liquid and powdered mustards, and also can be found in spices or seasonings, sauces, and powdered soups and in other condiments or salad dressings such as relish. 

Picture of soy products

Often found in broths and bouillon cubes, cereal, baked goods and sauces such as teriyaki. 

Where does soy come from?
Soy sources from the type of legume called soybeans. This allergen is most commonly found in infants. 

Wheat & Triticale
Used to make flours (both white and whole wheat), and as ingredients for breads, cereals, pastas, sauces and even seasonings. 

What is triticale?
This is a hybrid grain that is formed by combining wheat and rye and can cause a reaction for those who experience wheat allergies. 

Wheat allergies are commonly found in infants and in these cases are usually outgrown, however adults wheat allergies are typically lifelong.  

Are wheat allergies and celiac disease the same thing?
No! A wheat allergy and celiac disease are different conditions both having different kinds of reactions within the body. 

  • Wheat allergies are an immune reaction in which the body produces antibodies in response to the wheat protein which can ultimately be life threatening 
  • Celiac disease is a different immune reaction that damages the lining of the intestine which occurs from gluten, the specific protein found in wheat and other grains causing malabsorption 

Where does sesame come from?
Sesame comes from a plant that contains seeds known as sesame. Other names for sesame include benne seed, gingelly, and sesamol. 

Often found in breads such as bagels, other baked goods, cereals, dips, and spreads like hummus. 

Picture of corn

Corn is found in a variety of foods, with the most common group being processed foods. These include baked goods, candies, canned fruits, cereals, cookies, flavoured milk, jams and syrups, and luncheon meats. 

Sometimes it is not always clear if corn is present in a food product. Other ingredients that may indicate the presence of corn in an ingredient list include:

  • Caramel
  • Dextrose and dextrin
  • Fructose
  • Malt syrup
  • Modified food starch and vinegar 

Corn can even be found in non-food related items such as…

  • Adhesives (i.e., envelope stickers)
  • Food wrappers
  • Toothpaste
  • Crayons and paint

Looking for more support? Book with one of our registered dietitians. 

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