Editor’s note: I’d advise you (and anyone) to check with your allergist before introducing baked egg to a child with an egg allergy. While some kids are tolerant, some (like my own) are not.
I never thought I’d have a child with a food allergy. My husband and I don’t have any food allergies, and once both kids tried peanut butter without any issues, I assumed they were in the clear, too. But ever since the first time my daughter, Charlotte, gobbled down a plate of scrambled eggs, they’ve been my sworn enemy. Huge red welts swelled up around her mouth, and it was certainly a Mother’s Day brunch I won’t soon forget.
We met with an allergist who confirmed the allergy and prescribed an EpiPen, which is now a permanent part of my bag. But here’s the kicker: he said she could “possibly” eat egg if it’s been baked into a “wheat matrix.” What?
Here’s a quick primer. Egg in meatloaf? You’ll get a reaction, because there’s no wheat. Pancakes do have wheat in them, but they’re not baked, so you’ll get a reaction. But then why is she also reacting to eggs baked into cookies? Ah, because they haven’t been baked every long. *facepalm*
I’ve come to the conclusion that there is egg in freaking everything, so I’ve modified our go-to recipes. I use flax eggs and applesauce and milk as replacements. I bake egg-free muffins and egg-free cookies. It’s an eggy-aware lifestyle for us.
Our three-year-old son, Dexter, is quick to announce that his sissy is “a-wer-gick” to eggs whenever he sees one. We buy eggs sparingly now, because it’s just easier to be egg-free as a household — and not make Charlotte feel left out.
The trouble isn’t in our home — it’s everywhere else. When a child has a severe peanut allergy, people take it very seriously. But what about the kids like my daughter, who *are* allergic, and *do* carry EpiPens, but have yet to experience a scary ambulance trip?Well, people often forget. And they sometimes think it’s (A) just an intolerance, (B) probably not a big deal, or (C) they’ll give an EpiPen to any kid these days.
The thing about a “mild” allergy is that it could become more severe with more exposure. But there are many people who think of peanuts and shellfish as the “main” allergies, and kind of brush egg allergies off as a gluten-free lactose-free sort of “trend.”
There’s a chance that Charlotte will outgrow her egg allergy in a few years, and that would be wonderful. But in the meantime, we’re stocking up on applesauce, freezing batches of special cookies, and letting people know that even minor food allergies are worth investigating.