Food and Nutrition

Spinach Allergy in Children? Spinach Allergy Vs Intolerance Symptoms

Foram Modi
3 to 7 years

Created by Foram Modi
Updated on Oct 30, 2018

Spinach Allergy in Children Spinach Allergy Vs Intolerance Symptoms
Reviewed by Expert panel

I had heard about a case, where a 7-year-old boy was admitted to the hospital for severe wheezing and shortness of breath. No one in the family could figure out what happened until the doctor asked what happened. And this what the family said, "He was fine before he had his lunch and after two-three bites of lunch he started wheezing and had difficulty in breathing." [ Helpful Read: Health Benefits of Spinach (Palak) for Children ]

"So what was for lunch," the doctor asked again.

"Palak," the family replied in unison. Palak, spinach in Hindi, the doctor understood that the child is not only spinach intolerant but is severely allergic to spinach. So what is spinach allergy and what does it mean for the allergic person. Some people have allergies to cooked spinach and have spinach sensitivity. Baby allergic reaction to spinach is also heard of. 

What Is Spinach Allergy?

It is not common to have spinach allergies but it is not that uncommon as well to have spinach allergies. There are certain proteins and nutrients that are present in spinach, which are not recognized by the person who is allergic to spinach and hence the spinach reaction like inflammation of tissues and shortness of breath. 

What Is Spinach Intolerance?

Spinach intolerance symptoms are not life-threatening but it can sometimes be "lifestyle-threatening" since they can make it a difficult, uncomfortable or painful life. Spinach intolerance is of two types - digestive intolerance and immune intolerance.

In Immune Intolerance:

  • A person's body will experience an immune reaction to eating spinach.

  • Immune food intolerance symptoms are unique and vary from person to person thus it is difficult to list symptoms.

  • With an immune intolerance, a person will feel unwell.

In Digestive Intolerance:

  • A person will be unable to digest, absorb, or process spinach.

  • With digestive spinach intolerance, one of the most common symptoms is stomach bloating and stomach pain.

Spinach Allergy Vs. Spinach intolerance

If your child is spinach intolerant then he or she can have spinach in other forms like boiled spinach kneaded in the dough, but if your child has spinach allergy then it is better to remove spinach from the diet altogether.

Symptoms of Spinach Allergy:

  • Abdominal cramps

  • Skin rashes

  • Nasal congestion

  • Inflammation of bodily tissues

  • Flushing of the face

  • Shortness of breath and wheezing

  • The sudden reduction of blood pressure and unconsciousness

Symptoms of Spinach Intolerance:

Signs & symptoms of spinach intolerance include the following ...

  • Nausea

  • Diarrhea

  • Vomiting

  • Crampin,

  • Skin irritation

How to Treat Spinach Allergy?

  • Make dietary changes by removing spinach from the diet.

  • This does not have to be a permanent change if your child has the intolerance but if you feel that he or she is allergic then it is better to remove spinach from the diet completely.

  • Some people who have spinach intolerance are able to eat small amounts of spinach or spinach that has been prepared in a particular way (cooked spinach or boiled spinach, for example) while other people will experience discomfort.

Parentune Tip: Spinach is one of the most nutrient-dense foods available, so it is important to find alternate sources of the nutrients that are found in spinach.

Alternative food items to spinach : Some of the other alternatives to spinach include:

  • Arugula

  • Romine lettuce

  • Watercress

  • Escarole

  • Kale

  • Turnip green

However, these alternatives should only be tried after a consultation with your doctor.


Did you like the blog on spinach allergies? Would you like to read more about some uncommon allergies caused by food that are rich source of micronutrients ? Please do share your views and feedback in the comments section below as we would love to hear from you.


This content has been checked & validated by Doctors and Experts of the parentune Expert panel. Our panel consists of Neonatologist, Gynecologist, Peadiatrician, Nutritionist, Child Counselor, Education & Learning Expert, Physiotherapist, Learning disability Expert and Developmental Pead.

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| Jul 11, 2017

i have given boiled spinach with moong dal for my 11 month kid... first 2 times nothing happened but 3rd time he vomitted and felt discomfort for whole day, shall i stop giving or continue? Pls suggest

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| Jul 11, 2017

Stop for few days than try once again

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| Jul 11, 2017

Thank you for reply

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| Jul 13, 2017

it really very important to know about the allergic foods and it is difficult to figure out the symptoms. The blog is very helpful thank you for the nice explanation.

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| Nov 22, 2020

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