Children all across the nation will soon be on the hunt for colorful eggs cleverly hidden by the Easter bunny in all sorts of nooks and crannies. The Easter egg hunt is often the favorite part of the holiday for many children, as it combines the classic game of “hide and seek” with yummy treats.
While finding hidden items is a big part of Easter, it is also a big part of daily life for those that suffer from food allergies.
The FDA’s food allergen label law requires manufacturers to label foods that contain one of the top eight food allergens (peanuts, eggs, milk, wheat, soy, tree nuts, fish, and shellfish). However, there are products and foods that are not covered by the law, so it’s important for families and children with food allergies to know how to read ingredient labels. Some items that may include hidden allergens are:
- Foods not regulated by the FDA
- Certain medications
- Cosmetics and personal care products
- Pet products, such as toys and food
Just like Easter eggs can be hidden anywhere, allergens can be hidden in any of these products, so it’s critical to always read labels and use caution. Ingredients made from common food allergens can go by many names on labels, and they can be just as dangerous to food allergy sufferers as the allergen itself. It’s important for those with food allergies to know the details of their allergy and learn what words are used to describe the allergen on ingredient labels.
Be sure to learn how to properly read ingredient labels for your allergen. It may also be helpful to make a list of “also known as” names and use it to double-check ingredients when you go grocery shopping.
For example, those with an egg allergy should avoid products labeled as made with: albumin (also spelled albumen), ovalbumin, surimi, lysozyme, meringue, and mayonnaise. All of these products are derived from eggs.
Easter Tip: If your child is allergic to eggs, consider using plastic eggs, dyeable ceramic eggs, wooden eggs, or another egg substitute for the Easter egg hunt.
Want more tips for celebrating Easter safely with food allergies? Click here to read our previous blog, “Celebrating Easter and Passover with Allergies.”
If you would like more information on food allergies, or have questions about resources are available to people with allergies, give us a call. Or, if you are looking for an allergist, we’d love to meet you. We can be reached at 212-729-1283 or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.