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Soy Allergy Diet for Children

General guidelines for soy allergy

If your child has been diagnosed with an allergy to soy it means that your child's immune system overreacts to soy proteins. The allergy may go away when your child is older. But, as long as your child has the allergy, you will have to avoid giving your child the foods or products containing soy (allergen). Soy is a common ingredient in infant formulas and processed foods. The list below describes foods that your child can have and foods to avoid. The list may not include all foods that contain soy proteins.



Not allowed

Breads & starches

Breads, baked goods, cereals not containing soy ingredients

Potato chips or popcorn cooked in soy oil (Note: Most soy oil does not contain soy protein, which causes soy allergy, because the soy protein is removed during processing. Thus, soy oil generally does not cause allergy symptoms. However, those with soy allergies should check with their doctor about consuming products containing soy oil or processed with soy oil.)

Plain macaroni, rice, barley, rye, wheat, oats, or grits

Breads, crackers, cakes, rolls, or pastries containing peanuts, peanut oil, soy flour

Processed and "natural" cereals that contain soy ingredients

Soy pasta


Fresh, frozen, or canned vegetables (except those listed as not allowed) without sauces or breading containing soy ingredients

Soy beans, soybean sprouts

Any vegetables prepared with sauces or breading containing soy products


All fresh, frozen, or canned fruits and juices processed without soy products

Fruit drink mixed or sauces and toppings for fruit that contain soy ingredients


Soft drinks

Tea, coffee

Fruit juice

Soy-based formulas, coffee substitutes with soy, instant coffee, hot cocoa mixes, malt beverages, fruit drink mixes made with soy ingredients

Meat & meat substitutes

Any fresh or frozen beef, chicken, lamb, pork, turkey, veal, or fish served without prepackaged sauces, breading, or gravy

Pork link sausage, deli/luncheon meats made with soy

Commercially prepared meats where soy is used as a meat extender

Meat or cheese substitutes that contain soy: tofu/bean curd, natto, miso

Textured vegetable protein (TVP)

Milk & milk products

Milk, cheese, cottage cheese, or yogurt without soy products

Milk drinks or milk substitutes that contain soy

Soups & combination foods

Homemade soups and commercial soups that do not contain soybeans

Soy is used in many canned soups, commercial entrees, and combination foods

Desserts &sweets

Ice cream, gelatin, cookies made without soy ingredients

Baked goods, such as cakes or cookies that contain soy flour

Soy products may be used in some commercial ice creams and other frozen desserts

Hard candies, nut candies, fudge, and caramels made with soy flour

Fats & oils

Butter, margarines, shortening

Margarine and butter substitutes

Some salad dressings, mayonnaise, sauces, or gravies containing soy products

Roasted soybeans or "soy nuts"

Condiments & miscellaneous

Sugar, honey, molasses, catsup, mustard, jelly, jam, plain sugar candies, syrup, pickles

Commercial vegetarian products and meat substitutes

Some Worcestershire and other sauces, fermented soybean pastes (miso and natto)

Soy sauce, tamari sauce, granola, or breakfast bars made with soy

Imitation bacon bits made with soy

How to read a label for a soy-free diet

Be sure to avoid giving your child foods that contain any of the following ingredients:

  • Edamame

  • Hydrolyzed soy protein

  • Miso

  • Natto

  • Shoyo sauce, Shoyu

  • Soy albumin

  • Soy cheese

  • Soy fiber

  • Soy flour

  • Soy grits

  • Soy ice cream

  • Soy nuts

  • Soy milk

  • Soy sprouts

  • Soy protein concentrate

  • Soy protein isolate

  • Soy sauce

  • Soy sprouts

  • Soy yogurt

  • Soya

  • Soybean (curd, granules)

  • Tamari

  • Tempeh

  • Textured vegetable protein (TVP)

  • Tofu

Other possible sources of soy or soy products

  • Asian cuisine

  • Flavorings

  • Vitamin E, which contains soybean oil

  • Hydrolyzed plant protein

  • Hydrolyzed vegetable protein

  • Natural flavorings

  • Vegetable broth

  • Vegetable gum

  • Vegetable starch

To avoid soy and soy products

  • Contact the manufacturer to identify the natural flavorings in foods. Ask if the company uses soy as a carrier protein for the natural flavoring.

  • Contact the company to identify vegetable broths, gums, and starches, because they have the potential to be soy.

  • Please note: The risk for an allergic reaction to soy lecithin and soy oils is low, but a reaction can occur. Studies show that most people who have an allergy to soy may eat products that contain soy lecithin and soy oils. This is because these substances are fat-based, and people with allergies react to the protein portion of the food. 

Online Medical Reviewer: Blaivas, Allen, J., DO
Online Medical Reviewer: Godsey, Cynthia, MSN, APRN, MSHE, FNP-BC
Date Last Reviewed: 10/1/2016
© 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.