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Tree Nut Allergy Diet for Children
General guidelines for tree nut allergy
When your child has a food allergy, he or she must follow an
allergy-free diet. This means your child can't have the food they are allergic to, or
any products containing that food. The items that your child is allergic to are called
tree nut allergy is the immune system's abnormal response to the proteins found in tree
nuts. Tree nuts include almonds, pecans, walnuts, and cashews. It's important to read
food labels to be able to stay away from foods that contain tree nuts.
Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act (FALCPA) requires U.S. packaged food
items to state clearly on the label if they contain tree nuts. FALCPA requires that the
specific nut be identified on the label, such as almonds. Some people with a tree nut
allergy need to stay away from all tree nuts (listed below). Other people may be able to
eat some tree nuts, but not others. Talk with your child's healthcare provider about the
right decision for your child.
Some food makers voluntarily
include labels that say "may contain tree nuts" or "may be made in a facility where tree
nuts are processed." Again, some people who are allergic to one tree nut aren't allergic
to all tree nuts. Check with your child's healthcare provider to see if your child
should stay away from all tree nuts.
lists below may not contain all products with tree nuts. But they can help guide your
decisions. It is important to always read all food labels.
How to read a label for a tree nut-free diet
away from foods that have any of these ingredients:
Gianduja (a creamy mix of chocolate and chopped
toasted nuts found in premium or imported chocolate)
Litchi, lichee, or lychee nut
Mandelonas (peanuts soaked in almond oil)
Marzipan or almond paste
Natural nut extract
Nut butters (for example, cashew butter or
Nut oil, nut pieces, or nut meal
Nut paste, such as almond paste
Pine nuts (pignolia)
with your child's healthcare provider about the need to stay away from peanuts.
information about tree nuts
Artificial nuts are peanuts that have been
deflavored. They are then reflavored with a nut such as pecan or walnut.
Filberts are hazelnuts.
Some natural extracts can contain tree nuts.
These include pure almond extract and natural wintergreen extract. A child who is
allergic to filberts or hazelnuts should not eat foods with these in them.
Imitation or artificially flavored extracts are
safe to use.
Ethnic foods, commercially prepared baked goods,
and candy can be cross-contaminated with nuts. This is because nuts are often used
in these types of foods.
Tree nuts are being added to a growing variety
of foods. These include barbecue sauces, cereals, crackers, and ice creams.
Foods that don't contain tree nuts could be contaminated during
manufacturing. Unfortunately, advisory labels such as "processed in a facility that
also processed tree nuts" or "made on shared equipment" are not regulated by the FDA.
They are voluntary. Companies are not required to include them. Discuss with your
doctor if you may eat products with these labels or if you should avoid them.
There are some foods and products that are not covered by the
FALCPA law. These include:
Foods that are not regulated by the FDA
Cosmetics and personal care items
Prescription and over the counter medicines and
Toys, crafts, pet foods
When you are not at home
For your child's general safety:
Always carry 2 epinephrine auto-injectors. Make sure you
and those close to you and your child know how to use them.
If you don't have epinephrine auto-injectors, talk with
your healthcare provider to see if you should carry them.
Wear a medical alert bracelet or necklace with your
When you are eating out:
In a restaurant, food may be cross-contaminated with tree
nuts. Always ask about ingredients at restaurants. Do this even if these are
foods that your child has eaten in the past.
Stay away from buffets with tree nuts to avoid
cross-contamination of foods with shared utensils.
Online Medical Reviewer:
Daphne Pierce-Smith RN MSN CCRC
Online Medical Reviewer:
Raymond Kent Turley BSN MSN RN
Date Last Reviewed:
© 2000-2018 The StayWell Company, LLC. 800 Township Line Road, Yardley, PA 19067. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.