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Clinical Reference Systems: Pediatric Advisor 10.0

Corn Allergy Diet

Avoid All Sources of Corn

A corn allergy is extremely rare. Diets without corn are difficult to plan because corn and corn products are used in many food products, mostly in the form of sweeteners or cornstarch. If you have a corn allergy, you must avoid all sources of corn protein.

If your child cannot eat corn, he or she won't be able to eat many baked goods, beverages, candy, canned fruits, cereals, cookies, jams, jellies, lunch meats, snack foods, and syrups.

Like other grain oils, corn oil is considered safe for a person with an allergy.

You must read labels carefully. Many processed foods, such as ice cream, catsup, and even instant coffee contain hidden corn flour.

Read Food Labels

Knowing how to read a food label will help you avoid problems caused by corn in foods.

Terms that mean the product does contain corn protein: 
baking powder        corn sweetener           hominy
corn                 corn syrup solids        maize
corn alcohol         cornmeal                 cornstarch
corn flour           grits
Terms that may mean the product contains corn protein:
food starch             vegetable gum
modified food starch    vegetable starch

Use Corn Substitutes

If your child can't have corn, you can use the following items as sweeteners, thickeners, and leavening agents:

  • sweeteners: aspartame, fruit juices, honey, beet or cane sugar, and maple syrup.
  • thickeners: rice starch, potato starch, tapioca, and wheat starch.
  • leavening agents: soda and cream of tartar.

Provide Missing Nutrients

Because this diet is very restrictive, have a dietitian check your child's diet from time to time. Also, give your child a daily vitamin pill.

Provided by the Food Allergy Network, a national nonprofit organization. For more information write: FAN, 10400 Eaton Place, Suite 107, Fairfax, VA 22030 or go to Copyright 1999 The Food Allergy Network