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Types Of Soy Allergies Your Toddler May Have

Janaki Srinivasan
1 to 3 years

Created by Janaki Srinivasan
Updated on Feb 15, 2018

Types Of Soy Allergies Your Toddler May Have

Soy is a food protein that comes from Soybean, a legume. Peas, lentils, beans also belong to the same family. Many children might develop an allergy to more than one kind of legume but some may develop an allergy to soy alone. This is usually visible when the child starts its first solid food. Soya is an ingredient in many types of food such as bread and baked goods, tofu, soya milk and sometimes it is an ingredient in infant foods as well. Hence it gets very tricky and one has to be very careful in reading labels and buying products if soy allergy is detected.

What is meant by Soy Allergy?

When you are allergic to soy, the body’s immune system reacts to protein in soy because it thinks these are harmful. Therefore the immune system fights hard to shoo them away. This in turn causes an allergic reaction and chemicals such as histamine is released. These then cause a child to have the following symptoms:

  • Breathing trouble
  • Wheezing
  • Coughing
  • Throat infection
  • Swollen lips and face
  • Tingling sensation in the mouth
  • Stomach ache, vomiting and diarrhea
  • Itchy and watery eyes
  • Hives and red spots
  • Drop in blood pressure which sometimes can lead to unconsciousness

5 common types of soy allergies that children may develop:

  1. Allergy to Soy Milk:

    This is very common among babies. In fact most children allergic to cow’s milk are found to be allergic to soy milk as well. However, children tend to get rid of this allergy only after they turn 3
  2. Allergy to Soy Lecithin:

    This is a commonly used by-product and is widely used in food additives. It is non-toxic and is used in products that need a natural emulsifier and to increase its shelf life. Soy lecithin prevents crystallization of sugar in chocolates. But children who are allergic to soy should stay away from soy lecithin. To ensure this, you must carefully read the labels of the products when you buy them
  3. Allergy to Soy Protein:

    Soy consists of 21 types of proteins and some children are allergic to them
  4. Allergy to Soy Oil:

    This is not very common even among children who are normally allergic to soy. This is because it contains less allergen proteins. However, if you child shows an allergy to soy it is best to avoid fully refined soybean oil as well
  5. Allergy to Soy Sauce:

    Soy sauce contains histamines which can cause poisoning in children. In some children soy sauce can trigger dermatitis and inflammation of the mouth

Allergic Reactions to Soy:

Allergic reactions to soy can be different in different children. Sometimes, the reaction may be mild, while at other times, the reaction may be severe and can involve more parts of the body. In some children soy allergy is known to cause Anaphylaxis, which can be mild at first but can gradually lead to breathing problems and in worst cases, life threatening as well.

Management and Treatment:

Soy is among the eight allergens that falls under the labeling requirements in the US. If your child has been diagnosed with soy allergy then you need to be careful as to what goes into his/her plate. The best way of course, is to avoid foods that contain soy in any form altogether. This can be a daunting task but you can get help from your doctor to understand which products need to be completely off your list. Besides, you must be careful with respect to the following:

  • When you are feeding your child something that’s not home-cooked, make sure it is cooked by someone who is aware of your child’s allergy to soy
  • When you dine at a restaurant make sure to check the ingredients in the food you order
  • Avoid restaurants that are reluctant about your request for safe meal
  • As much as possible try to cook your child’s food at home
  • Avoid opting for school lunches and school snacks
  • Get help from a dietician to understand what foods you can include in your child’s diet. This is important because soy sometimes forms part of many foods we consume on a regular basis. Eliminating many of them from your diet might make it unbalanced
  • Many a times, highly refined soy oil may not be labeled in a product. Research shows that people with soy allergy can safely consume highly refined soy oil. To understand if you child can/cannot consume it, you must check with your doctor
  • Soy is found in cereals, cookies, crackers, infant formulas, peanut butter, canned foods and processed meats. Always double check the labels before you buy any of these. Many people wonder if children with soy allergy need to avoid peanuts; the answer is not really. But remember to check with your doctor

Children develop allergy to different kinds of food products when they start on solid foods. This is common and nothing to panic over. Make sure you understand what your child eats, make a note of it and contact your doctor whenever you notice something out of the ordinary.

Soy allergy is very common and children usually get over it too. All you need is some alertness and precaution. Don’t let this spoil the wonderful time that you have with your children.

Did you like the blog? Did you find it useful? Please share your thoughts, ideas and feedbacks with us in the comments section below as we would love to hear from you.

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| Feb 17, 2018

very imp article

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| Feb 16, 2018

very interesting article.

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| Feb 16, 2018

very important piece of information . quite useful for parents of children with soy allergy.

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