When Your Child has an Apple Allergy
January 2, 2016
The most common food allergens are peanuts, tree nuts, milk, egg, wheat, soy, fish, and shellfish. If you or your child has an allergy not on the top list, it can be very difficult to manage. I didn’t realize this until I discovered that my toddler is allergic to apples.
An apple allergy is not a “common” allergy. Thus, when I purchase food for my toddler, I can’t look at the bold “allergens” section on the nutrition label. Instead, I have to look through the entire list of ingredients for apple, apple juice, pectin, and “natural flavors”.
The obvious, safest option is to just make all of his foods from scratch to avoid the whole ingredient list issue. So, this is often what I do. This week, I’m investing in a juicer, because after countless attempts to find a juice free of apples, I have given up the search. Anything with “natural flavors” may contain apples, and juices I’ve previously found to be “safe” seem to change their ingredients regularly.
My son’s allergy is not anaphylactic (so far). If he consumes apples or a product with apples, he gets hives and a terrible diaper rash with awful sores that take weeks to heal. While I’m thankful his allergy is not life threatening, it is still a serious allergy and one that must be accommodated.
Like a peanuts, apples are a prevalent childhood food. Applesauce, apple juice, apple slices, and foods that contain apples are ubiquitous on the toddler scene. People don’t seem to understand the severity of a food allergy, and it becomes awkward to explain at times. However, you can minimize the tension and complex conversation by being prepared with allergen-free snacks for your child.
Since apple slices are a big deal for kids, I substitute orange slices or veggies as a “slice” snack.
As far as “apple sauce” and “apple juice” substitutes, I offer yogurt or a non-apple juice. Getting a juicer has become a necessity because almost every juice contains apples, pectin, or natural flavors as a filler. I understand why: apples are cheap and abundant. However, since my tot can’t have them, I have come to terms with the fact that his juice should be made at home from whole food ingredients.
I’ve found that Capri Sun Roarin’ Waters in Wild Cherry do not contain any apples or apple byproduct. But these pouches, while handy, are mostly water and stevia. Not exactly tasty or nutritious. I get these for convenience from time to time but I’d rather my little drink something with vitamins.
Some Honest Juice pouches do not contain apples, but the pouches are a disastrous challenge to open. But they are an apple free option.
One of the biggest associated allergies to an apple allergy is a “birch pollen” allergy. Birch pollen allergy sufferers are commonly allergic to the following:
- Raw potatoes
My toddler refuses to eat any of those things, anyway, so perhaps he knows he’s allergic or it’s just a coincidence. Either way, if your child has shown a sensitivity or reaction to any of those foods, consult your pediatrician and pay a visit to an allergist, who can test your child for specific allergies.