Most Common Food Allergies in Children

Keep reading to find out the most common food allergies in children. Additionally, we'll tell you their symptoms.
Most Common Food Allergies in Children

Last update: 01 March, 2019

When the immune system notices an allergen enter the body, it could react and lead to symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, and skin irritations. In extreme cases, it could cause suffocation. That’s why it’s so important for parents to know about the most common food allergies in children.

You should have your child do allergy tests to know if they have problems with any specific food. Unfortunately, food allergies don’t go away once they start. In addition, even if the tests come back negative, people can develop issues at any time throughout their lives.

The best thing you can do is prevent and observe to avoid issues caused by allergic reactions.

8 most common allergens

Everybody is unique. An individual may be allergic to any food, even ones that aren’t on this list. People can also have specific and unusual allergies.

However, there are eight major allergens that have high chances of causing problems. They are:

  • Peanuts
  • Eggs
  • Seafood
  • Milk
  • Soy
  • Wheat
  • Nuts
  • Fish

The last category also includes shellfish and shrimp. Meanwhile, the first category could also include nuts and hazelnuts, as well as products made from peanuts like peanut butter.

On the other hand, although they aren’t included on this list, it’s also common for people to be allergic to certain fruits. For example, the most common food allergies related to fruits are kiwis, strawberries and peaches.

Most Common Food Allergies in Children

Symptoms of the most common food allergies

When your immune system mistakes and labels food as harmful, it creates IgE antibodiesThese cause mast cells or allergic cells to release a chemical into the bloodstream called histamine. This irritates your nose, eyes, digestive tract and skin.

To be more specific, the symptoms that histamine causes are:

  • Lumps on the eyelids
  • Inflammation of the mouth and lips
  • Inflammation of the tongue
  • Hives
  • Anaphylaxis
  • Asthma
  • Rhinitis
  • Bronchospasm
  • Inflammatory skin diseases

“Unfortunately, food allergies don’t go away once they start. In addition, even if the tests come back negative, people can develop issues at any time throughout their lives.”

Time lapses where symptoms appear

Food allergy symptoms will show up immediately or until after five days. It all depends on the type of allergy the child has. They could be mild, moderate or severe.

With severe allergies, outbreaks can happen from touching or inhaling particles of the food. In moderate or mild allergies, they can appear after 30 minutes of eating it. For inflammatory skin diseases, they’ll appear after five days.

What kinds of tests detect allergies in children?

If you want to know if your child has one of the most common food allergies, there are different tests available. 

In addition, you can test your child for other things like chemicals, plants and animals. Of course, make sure to always do this under the supervision of a specialist. The types of tests are:

  • Puncture test. Allergens are applied under the skin.
  • Patch test. The substance goes on as a patch that stays on for 48 hours.
  • Blood tests. Specialists will analyze blood samples to check for antibodies in the child.
  • Provocation tests. The child will be exposed to allergens through breathing, eating, touching or inhaling. In fact, this last one is the most common for food allergies.
Most Common Food Allergies in Children

As a final consideration, it’s important to know that if you already know that your child has a food allergy, you need to tell your pediatrician. Therefore, together you can come up with alternatives to the food your child is allergic to.

For example, this is very important if your child is allergic to dairy products. Dairy’s nutritional components are important for young children’s growth.


All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Hassan AKG., Venkatesh YP., An overview of fruit allergy and the causative allergens. Eur Ann Allergy Clin Immunol, 2015. 47 (6): 180-7.
  • Dunlop JH., Keet CA., Epidemiology of food allergy. Immunol Allergy Clin North Am, 2018. 38 (1): 13-25.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.