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Allergies : Spotlight on Soy

An allergy to soybeans is one of the most common food allergies, especially among babies and children. According to Food Allergy Research & Education, a soy allergy generally occurs in early childhood and is often outgrown by age three. The majority of kids with a soy allergy will outgrow it by age 10.

Soybeans are part of the legume family. However, people who are allergic to soy aren't necessarily allergic to other legumes, nor do they have a greater chance of being allergic to other legumes (like peanuts) than they would to any other food.

It can be a challenge to avoid soy, since soybeans are widely used in processed foods. Opt for fresh, whole foods whenever possible, and for packaged items, read labels carefully -- even on products that you purchase regularly. The Federal Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act requires that all packaged foods that contain soy as an ingredient must list it on the label, but ingredients can change without warning.

Avoid foods that contain soy or any of the following ingredients:
  • Edamame
  • Miso
  • Natto
  • Shoyu
  • Soya
  • Soybean (curd, granules)
  • Soy protein (concentrate, hydrolyzed, isolate)
  • Tamari
  • Tempeh
  • Textured vegetable protein
  • Tofu
Be aware that soy products can be found in baked goods, energy bars, canned tuna, low-fat peanut butter, processed meats, sauces, infant formulas, and canned broths and soups. Be vigilant, and always be sure to inform your child's school or caregiver of any food allergies and what to do in an emergency.
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