Egg Allergies in Babies: The Complicated History and How Free to Feed Can Help

You’re doing everything you can to help your baby with food allergies. You’ve cut the top two infant food allergies: dairy and soy. Cutting those two out of your diet is tough work, but producing safe breastmilk is worth it. Sadly, some babies continue to show symptoms and signs of discomfort.


What’s next? For a lot of parents, it’s egg.

For others, it’s grains or wheat – but that's for another day…


After cutting dairy and soy, the last thing you want to do is cut egg. Eggs are packed with protein and help you stay full. We know staying full isn’t an easy task when you're breastfeeding either!


And what about breakfast?


Free to Feed is here to provide your family with the information you need to successfully continue breastfeeding your baby with food allergies. Today, we’ll be looking at all the things related to egg allergies in babies.


The History and Science of Egg Allergies in Babies Is Confusing


As with everything baby food allergy-related: egg allergies are complicated. It’s been studied and studied with different results over the years, leading to more confusion and frustration for parents. All the questions — how and when to reintroduce what type of egg to your sweet baby — still plague parents because of its confusing history.


We’re going to take a look at a few research studies as well as the most recent scientific evidence on egg allergies in infants to help us understand more.


One study introduced pasteurized eggs to infants around 4 months old — with established eczema — who had never eaten an egg. They stopped the study early for ethical reasons due to a high frequency of allergic reactions and one case of anaphylaxis. [1] Can anyone say scary?


Maybe don’t feed your baby eggs at 4 months old if they already have eczema and you don’t know why — yikes! Fortunately, we have a few encouraging studies to share.


The Beating Egg Allergy Trial (BEAT) evaluated high-risk infants (meaning a first-degree relative tested positive for an egg allergy). This study gave babies pasteurized eggs from age 4-12 months. Babies who received eggs had significantly lower chances of developing IgE food allergies to eggs. [1]


(If we just confused you, make sure to look at our blog, What You Need to Know About Infant Food Allergies for more information on IgE vs. Non-IgE food allergies.)


In the Prevention of Egg Allergy with Tiny Amount Intake (PETIT) trials, they took high-risk 6-9 month-old babies and fed one group heated egg powder and another squash. At 1 year of age, immune reactions were significantly less common in babies who had eggs (8%) compared to babies who did not get eggs (31%). [1]


A 2017 study found that babies eating small amounts of egg daily, starting at 6 months of age, prevented egg allergy in high-risk infants. [2] This is promising, people! It shows the value of not withholding eggs from your baby — if they don’t react to them.

We know you’ll eliminate every food possible to be able to keep your baby healthy and continue breastfeeding. And now you have some good news: scientific studies prove that proper introduction can prevent egg allergies in babies.


The current Center For Disease Control (CDC) recommendations for introducing foods (including allergens) begin at 6 months of age.[3] But remember, food allergy parents need to wait 6 months since the last reaction to that particular food. Keywords: proper reintroduction.


Now let’s talk about some of the symptoms of egg allergies so you can know what to look for.


The Main Symptoms of Egg Allergies in Babies


What symptoms do egg allergies cause that maybe others don't? Oh, that was wishful thinking again... Unfortunately, symptoms overlap, and eggs don’t necessarily have their own unique list. We know – everything with baby food allergies isn’t easy. And, you’re the most resilient parents we know!


So let’s cover the main symptoms of food allergies in babies: [4]

  • Reflux

  • Vomiting

  • Rash

  • Eczema

  • Diarrhea

  • Constipation

  • Mucousy stool or bloody stool

  • Colic

  • Failure to thrive

Did you notice the rash symptom is bolded? It’s important to mention that a 2020 study shows that egg allergies often presented in infancy are accompanied by hives, swelling, and gastrointestinal issues. [5] This is valuable information because if cutting dairy and soy didn’t clear up your baby's skin, egg could be the cause.

Let’s talk about that beautiful baby skin you’re trying to improve. Rashes or hives can present in many different forms:

  • Red blotchy patches

  • Raised red areas

  • Skin-colored welts

  • Bumps on the skin

  • Itchy areas

All these symptoms of rashes or hives can come and go, which can leave parents feeling frustrated or confused. We recommend keeping a food journal when trying to find your baby's trigger foods. Noting when they consume food and when they react can give you insight into their specific food trigger.

Use our Free to Feed App to help keep track of your and baby’s food intake, symptoms, and more — all in one place! (Right now, you’ll find a web page, but the brand new app is coming SOON!)


Other or Hidden Names for Egg: The Importance of Label Reading


Just like every food allergy, you have to be careful about the other or hidden names for eggs in packaged and processed foods. Eggs can also be found in prescription medications, sauces, and more. (Stay tuned for our Free to Feed vitamin that will be free from all top 12 infant food allergies!)


Foods covered by Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have to label “contains eggs,” but there are many companies not under the FDA that sell products that contain eggs.


Other or hidden names that may contain egg:

  • Albumin

  • Apovitellin

  • Artificial Flavoring

  • Fat Substitutes

  • Lecithin

  • Lysozyme

  • Mayonnaise

  • Meringue

  • Ovalbumin

  • Natural Flavoring


This list could go on, but we hope this helps you understand how important label reading is. This whole baby food allergy thing is tricky, but we’re here to help you on your journey.


How to Get an Official Egg Allergy Diagnosis for Your Baby


Two scientific tests are available to test your baby for egg allergies. One is a blood test and the other is a skin prick test. Skin prick tests or blood tests are not commonly performed until the baby is at least 6 months because results are often inaccurate at younger ages.[6]


If your baby is continuing to have symptoms and is older than 6 months, it’s okay to advocate for your baby and request allergy testing. We don’t want to disappoint you, but if it comes back negative, it might not mean they (or you) can have those foods: they might have a non-IgE food mediated allergy. A non-IgE food mediated allergy won’t be able to give you that official diagnosis — only an IgE mediated food allergy will.


As Dr. Trill works away on creating test strips to use for cow’s milk and soy in breastmilk, we hope to make it easier for parents to test for allergens themselves. Imagine being able to test your breastmilk and feel that reassurance it’s safe for your food allergy baby! A breath of fresh air, we know. The more information you have, the better outcome for your family. And we're here to help in as many ways as we can.


Finding Answers For Your Food Allergy Baby: The Right Resource Backed by Science

If you’re committed to breastfeeding your baby with food allergies, Free to Feed is here for you! We’ll give you what you need (backed by science) to help your family.


We know the challenges an allergy diagnosis brings to families.


You’re cutting foods...

You’re reading every label...

You’re scared of what the next diaper will look like…


It’s really hard and we’re here for you.


Every food allergy story is different and we want your story to have a fast happy ending.


Try out a one-on-one consult today to see if maybe cutting eggs is your next move or if an elimination diet will work best for your family.


Free to Feed is Rooting For Your Family!

Sources:

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6266759/

  2. https://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/140/Supplement_3/S193

  3. https://www.cdc.gov/nutrition/infantandtoddlernutrition/foods-and-drinks/when-to-introduce-solid-foods.html

  4. https://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/122/Supplement_2/S105

  5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK538192/

  6. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15482519/