Easter and Passover traditions often include eggs, either as part of a fun holiday activity or a recipe. For people with life-threatening egg allergies, the key to staying safe is to be aware and prepared for an unexpected exposure.
“Approximately 1-2 percent of young children have egg allergies*,” says Ruchi Gupta, MD, MPH, Associate Professor of Pediatrics & Medicine; Director, Science and Outcomes of Asthma and food Allergy Research (SOAAR); Director, Program for Maternal and Child Health at Northwestern University and Anaphylaxis Community Experts volunteer in Chicago, IL. “Creating traditions without the threat of egg exposure is easy to do. A little planning and creative thinking is what’s required to have a fun and tasty celebration.”
Kids with egg allergies can participate in Easter games and Passover activities. Consider the following ideas:
- Coloring eggs is a safe activity, as long as the person with egg allergies does not eat the eggs. Touching the hard shell poses no threat.
- Instead of placing a hard-boiled egg on a Seder plate, consider using a flower or a plastic egg.
- Use plastic eggs for your egg hunt and fill them with toys, money, stickers, or candy. Just be sure to read candy labels first! You can also use plastic eggs instead of real ones when playing the “egg in a spoon” race.
Getting together with family for the holiday? Be sure to include egg-free recipes when cooking meals and ask about ingredients in recipes made by others.
For each egg required in a recipe, substitute one of these mixtures:
- 1 and 1/2 tablespoons water, 1 and 1/2 tablespoons cooking oil and 1 teaspoon of baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1 tablespoon water and 1 tablespoon vinegar
- 1 teaspoon apricot puree
- 1 packet of plain gelatin mixed with 2 tablespoons of warm water.
Source: Texas Children’s Hospital, Houston, TX
“Easter and Passover celebrations should be fun and inclusive. But, everyone with life-threatening food allergies should be prepared for the unexpected accidental exposure. Preparation includes always carrying two doses of your prescribed epinephrine auto-injector and knowing what the signs and symptoms are of an anaphylactic reaction,” says Dr. Gupta.
* Gupta RS, Springston EE, Warrier MR, Smith B, Kumar R, Pongracic J, Holl JL. The prevalence, severity, and distribution of
childhood food allergy in the United States. Pediatrics 2011 Jul; 128(1):e9-e17.
About Anaphylaxis Community Experts
The Anaphylaxis Community Experts (ACE) program is developed by Allergy & Asthma Network in partnership with the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (ACAAI), National Association of School Nurses and American School Health Association and is sponsored by Mylan Specialty L.P. The program goal is to save lives through showing parents, school staff, emergency responders, and others how to recognize and respond immediately to anaphylaxis symptoms.
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