KidsMD Health Topics

Peanut Allergy

  • Overview

    A peanut allergy is an abnormal response of the body to the proteins found in peanuts.

  • In-Depth

    What foods and ingredients must a peanut-allergic person watch out for?

    Avoid foods with any of the following ingredients:

    • Peanuts
    • Peanut butter
    • Peanut flour
    • Cold-pressed, expressed or expelled peanut oil. (Studies show that most allergic children can safely consume foods containing regular peanut oil.)
    • Ground nuts
    • Mixed nuts
    • Nu-Nuts (artificial nuts are peanuts that have been de-flavored and re-flavored with a nut such as pecan or walnut)

    Peanuts or peanut proteins may also be present in:

    Ethnic foods, commercially prepared baked goods and candy can often be cross-contaminated with peanuts, as well as:

    • Hydrolized plant or vegetable protein (these are often derived from peanuts in imported foods, although they are frequently made with soy protein in the U.S. Contact the manufacturer to be certain).
    • Marzipan
    • Nougat
    • Chili
    • Spaghetti sauce
    • Crackers
    • Egg rolls
    • Ice cream

    Anything else to consider?

    Peanuts are very allergenic, and may cause death if ingested by peanut-allergic children. Vigilance is crucial.

  • Tests

    Lynda Schneider, MD, director of Children's Allergy Program

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