Food Allergies & Children: Will they outgrow them?


A review of recent literature Will children outgrow food allergy?

Photo from Flickr/adam999

8% of children have food allergies

40% have a history of severe reactions

Milk is the #1 food allergy

  • Only ½ of these show up in testing
  • Asian and black children are ½ as white children to develop a milk allergy
  • 70% of children will outgrow, most by age 5 (although some up to age 16)

Egg is the #2 food allergy

  • Most children (55%) outgrow by age 10, 70% by age 16
  • Studies have clearly shown that children are able to tolerate well cooked eggs (especially in cakes, etc) before raw egg

Peanut & Shellfish allergies are less likely to be outgrown (approx. 20%)

* Allergy tests can help find food allergies, but only food challenge or a clear history of reaction can confirm

Oral immunotherapy has shown higher recovery rates than elimination diet alone

  • Those with multiple food allergies or severe reactions are less likely to recover
  • Those with peanut and fish allergies are less likely to recover
  • Probiotics have also been shown to help modulate allergies, but further studies are needed to determine exact treatment



Child Food Allergies: Current Diagnosis, Treatment, and Management Strategies. Gupta RS, Dyer AA, Jain N, and Greenhawt MJ. Mayo Clinic Proceedings. May 2013. 88 (5): 512-526.

Egg hypersensitivity in review. Hasan SA, Wells RD, and Davis CM. Allergy and Asthma Proceedings: The Official Journal of Regional and State Allergy Societies. Jan-Feb 2013. 34 (1): 26-32.

The epidemiology of milk allergy in US children. Warren CM, Jhaveri S, Warrier MR, Smith B, and Gupta RS. Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology: Official Publication of the Americal College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. May 2013. 110 (5): 370-4.

Kids can outgrow allergies to food, study suggests. Painter, Kim. USA Today. Nov. 19, 2012. Life: 7.

A longitudinal study of resolution of allergy to well-cooked and uncooked egg. Clark, A., Islam S, King Y, Deighton J, Szun S, Anagnostou K, and Ewan P. Clinical and Experimental Allergy. May 2011. 41 (5): 706-712.

Oral immunotherapy for IgE-mediated cow’s milk allergy. Brozek JL, Terracciano L, Hsu J, Kreis J, Compalati, Santesso N, Fiocchi A, and Schunemann. Clinical and Experimental Allergy: Journal of the British Soceity for Allergy and Clinical Immunology. Mar 2012. 42 (3): 363-74.

Oral immunotherapy is effective for desensitization but not for inducing sustained tolerance in the majority of egg allergic children. Campbell, Dianne E. Evidence Based Medicine. June 2013. 18 (3): 104-105.

Probiotics for the prevention and treatment of allergies, with an emphasis on mode of delivery and mechanism of action. Prakash S, Tomaro-Duchesneau C, Saha S, Rodes L, Kahouli I and Malhotra M. Current Pharmaceutical Design. May 17, 2013.

Summary of the NIAID-sponsored food allergy guidelines. Yawn BP and Fenton MJ. American Family Physician. Jul 1, 2012. 86(1): pp. 43-50.


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