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Published Date: 30-Nov-2008

Peanut Allergy Diet for Children

General guidelines for peanut allergy

The key to an allergy-free diet is to avoid giving your child the foods or products containing the food to which he or she is allergic. The items that your child is allergic to are called allergens.

A peanut allergy is an abnormal response of the body to the proteins found in peanuts. In order to avoid foods that contain peanuts, it is important to read food labels. Peanuts are very different from tree nuts. Still, some people with peanut allergies also need to avoid tree nuts, such as walnuts, almonds, and cashews.

How to read a label for a peanut-free diet

Be sure to avoid giving your child foods that contain any of the following ingredients:

  • Artificial nuts

  • Beer nuts

  • Cold pressed, expressed, or expelled peanut oil

  • Goobers

  • Ground nuts

  • Mixed nuts

  • Monkey nuts

  • Nu-Nuts artificial nuts

  • Nut pieces

  • Nutmeat

  • Peanuts

  • Peanut butter

  • Peanut flour

  • Peanut protein hydrolysate

Foods that may indicate the presence of peanut protein include

  • African, Chinese, Indonesian, Vietnamese,¬†Thai, and other ethnic dishes

  • Baked goods

  • Candy

  • Cereals

  • Chili, spaghetti sauce

  • Chocolate (candy, candy bars)

  • Crackers

  • Egg rolls

  • Enchilada sauce

  • Flavoring (natural and artificial)

  • Hydrolyzed plant protein

  • Hydrolyzed vegetable protein

  • ice creams, frozen yogurts

  • Marzipan

  • Mexican dishes

  • Mole sauce

  • Nougat

Other possible sources of peanuts or peanut products

  • Studies show that most allergic children can safely eat foods containing peanut oil, unless it is cold pressed, expressed, expelled peanut oil. Avoid giving your child cold pressed, expressed, and expelled peanut oil. Ask your child's health care provider if it's safe to give your child foods containing, or cooked in, other types of peanut oil.

  • Peanuts are very allergenic and have the potential to cause fatal reactions if ingested by peanut allergic children.

  • Ethnic foods, commercially prepared baked goods, and candy can be cross-contaminated with peanuts, since peanuts are frequently used in these types of foods.

  • Peanut butter and/or peanut flour have been known to be used in homemade chili and spaghetti sauce as thickeners.

  • Be aware that foods made with hydrolyzed plant and hydrolyzed vegetable protein may contain peanuts.

  • Nu-Nuts artificial nuts are peanuts that have been deflavored and reflavored with a nut such as pecan or walnut.


Online Medical Reviewer: MMI board-certified, academically-affiliated clinician
Online Medical Reviewer: Pierce-Smith, Daphne, RN, MSN, CCRC
Last Review Date: 09/10/2014
© 2000-2014 The StayWell Company, LLC. 780 Township Line Road, Yardley, PA 19067. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.
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