Food allergies can cause nutrition gaps


The first mission in creating safe meals for children with food allergies is avoiding the offending ingredient. But, there can be a downside to diets that miss out on the nutritional value found in foods kicked off the menu. A study in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (JAND) cautions that inappropriate elimination diets can induce vitamin and mineral deficiencies, anemia and other symptoms affecting a child’s growth and nutritional status.

“Food allergies and intolerances are on the rise,” said registered dietitian Vandana Sheth, spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. “But it’s important that we identify that kids are actually allergic (through proper testing) before we avoid those foods unnecessarily.”

The eight foods that account for more than 90 percent of childhood cases of food allergies include milk, eggs, soy, peanuts, tree nuts (such as walnuts, almonds, pecans), wheat, fish and shellfish. Food intolerances such as lactose and gluten add even more children to the at-risk list for nutrient deficiencies.

“A parent should always offer a variety of different foods within a food group,” said registered dietitian Cheryl Orlansky, president of the Greater Atlanta Dietetic Association. Gluten-free grains inlude rice, corn and quinoa. Sheth says if a child is allergic to peanut butter, substitute sunflower seed butter.

Registered dietitian Toby Amidor, author of The Greek Yogurt Kitchen said, “If you skip dairy, you skip its nine essential nutrients. Studies show people with lactose intolerance may tolerate up to a cup of fluid milk, which has 12 grams of lactose. Cheeses, Greek yogurt and cottage cheese are much lower in lactose.”

Mind the gap

The food allergy study in JAND measured the benefit of dietary counseling in preventing and correcting nutrient deficiencies in children with food allergies. Results from the multi-center study in Italy showed that advice on what foods to eat to help fill in the gaps helped kids get enough calories, protein and other needed nutrients. “I think it’s fascinating,” said Sheth. “They showed that dietary counseling really helped and growth patterns were improved.”

Sheth said, “A lot of kids outgrow allergies to eggs and milk by age 16. But other allergies such as nuts may be life long.” Her knowledge comes first hand. Her son was diagnosed with over 20 food allergies as a child. “Now he’s a healthy JV football player. He’s down to four or five allergies including all nuts. I always feed the team so I can keep an eye on what he’s eating!”


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Living

Country music Hall of Famer Mel Tillis dead at 85
Country music Hall of Famer Mel Tillis dead at 85

Country Music Hall of Famer Mel Tillis died early Sunday morning in Ocala, Florida, according to his publicist, Don Murry Grubbs. He was 85. In his six-decade career, the singer recorded more than 60 albums, had three dozen Top 10 singles and wrote several hit songs that are now regarded as classics, the Tennessean reported. During the 1960s,...
Watch: Chance The Rapper spoofs NHL in ‘SNL’ skit
Watch: Chance The Rapper spoofs NHL in ‘SNL’ skit

Chance The Rapper does not like hockey. In a word, he was “cold.” In a hilarious skit on “Saturday Night Live,” the rapper plays an NBA sideline reporter, Laslo Holmes, pressed into duty as a rinkside reporter for a game between the New York Rangers and the Edmonton Oilers. “It’s very cold all around here,&rdquo...
Ryan Seacrest denies inappropriate behavior with stylist
Ryan Seacrest denies inappropriate behavior with stylist

LOS ANGELES, CA – DECEMBER 04: Radio & TV personality Ryan Seacrest attends 102.7 KIIS FM’s Jingle Ball 2015 Presented by Capital One at STAPLES CENTER on December 4, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jonathan Leibson/Getty Images for iHeartMedia) Posted Sunday, November 19, 2017 by RODNEY HO/rho@ajc...
Bill Murray resurrects 'Caddyshack' character in Facebook series about baseball
Bill Murray resurrects 'Caddyshack' character in Facebook series about baseball

Carl Spackler is back. Bill Murray played the hilarious golf course groundskeeper in “Caddyshack,” determined to keep a pesky gopher from ruining his lush fairways. He will play a similar role in “Bill Murray and Brian Doyle Murray’s Extra Innings,” an unscripted series that debuts Monday on Facebook, Entertainment...
Bark, or chirp, before entering
Bark, or chirp, before entering

The moment I laid eyes on Daffodil, I vowed I would give her a good home. I found her at an adoption event for more than 50 rescued rabbits, sponsored by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals two winters ago. A silver rabbit, Daffodil looked more like a wild hare than any domestic bunny I’d ever seen, and I was instantly...
More Stories