Throwing a party where little ones are in attendance is always a project. You have to make sure that not only they are entertained, but that they have foods and drinks to keep them interested and well fed. There are some definite staples when it comes to party foods and little kids. Pizza, birthday cake, and candies are all favorites of your pint sized guests. But what if one, or all of these foods could potentially be deadly?
According to The Food Allergy Research & Education, U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), food allergies resulted in “more than 300,000 ambulatory-care visits a year among children under the age of 18.”
Dr. Clifford Bassett, a leading allergist in New York City says that food allergies are nothing to play with.
“Food allergic symptoms can be quite variable, from very mild to severe and potentially life-threatening,” Bassett said. “In mild cases, itchiness after ingesting a food, especially a fresh fruit, can resolve quickly without treatment. In fact in most cases, 90 percent of the time, your skin is an early warning system and hives, itchiness, redness, and flushing can indicate a food reaction, especially one that requires immediate attention and treatment. “
The signs of a food allergy consist of respiratory problems, vomiting, diarrhea, skin irritation, and swelling. Symptoms will usually occur within minutes to hours of consumption.
“Many sufferers can outgrow food allergies by school age,” says Basset. “Examples may include cow's milk and eggs. Unfortunately, only 20 percent or so of the time do food allergy sufferers outgrow peanut, nut, shellfish, or fish reactions.”
Dr. Basset suggests reminding parents to let you know of any allergies their child may have before coming over.
“Children with food allergies, especially when away from home, need to carry approved safe foods and/or snacks,” instructs Dr. Basset. “Keep a written food allergen list for them, on their person, or at school, etc.”
To help you keep your party a safe place for little ones with food allergies, we compiled a list of foods that contain the major eight food allergens in the U.S. Be sure to keep these potentially deadly foods away from the kids with foods allergies and have a replacement snack for them so they can still feel included in the fun.
The Reason: Milk
Being allergic to milk is not the same as being lactose intolerant. While a lactose intolerance will cause digestive issues, being allergic to cow’s milk means that you are likely allergic to the proteins found in milk. Milk’s curd contains most of these proteins (about 80 percent) and whey contains the other portion. If a child were to eat a cheese pizza, a common party food, their bodies would process the proteins from milk as invaders, kicking the body’s immune system into high gear and causing the outward allergic reaction.
The Reason: Eggs
Whether you are baking from scratch or using a boxed mix, eggs are always involved in cake. Being allergic to eggs has to do with a bad reaction to the proteins in eggs. Specifically, most people have an issue with the proteins in the egg whites, but some do have problems with the yolk itself. Most kids develop this allergy early in life but typically outgrow it by the age of five years old. This does not make it any less dangerous however if a child consumes eggs and they are allergic to them.
For more dangerous food allergies, click here.