How to modify recipes for food allergies

It is important to make allergy free meals look and taste similar to meals served to the rest of the children at the service. Many favourite recipes can be modified to be suitable for children with allergies by swapping allergenic ingredients with ingredients that are allergy free.

The table below outlines common ingredients used in many recipes and appropriate alternatives for children with allergies.


Alternative ingredients for common food allergens

Ingredient to avoid

Allergy free alternative



These are used to bind or aerate a recipe so the option you choose will depend on the recipe.

1 egg  = any of the following options:


  • 1 teaspoon egg replacer (e.g. Orgran) + 2 tablespoons water (for aerating or binding)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder + 1 tablespoon water + 1 tablespoon vinegar (for aerating or binding)
  • ¼ cup mashed potato or pumpkin (for binding)
  • ½ cup mashed banana or puree apple (for binding)

Egg yolks only

1 egg  = 1 teaspoon egg replacer (e.g. Orgran) + 1 tablespoon water

Egg whites

Beat egg replacer (e.g. Orgran) with water until stiff

Cow’s milk

Soy or rice drink

Plain wheat flour

1 cup plain wheat flour = any of the following options


  • 1 cup Orgran All Purpose Plain Flour
  • ½ cup rice flour + ½ cup pure cornflour

Self raising wheat flour

1 cup self raising wheat flour = any of the following options


  • 1 cup Orgran All Purpose Self Raising Flour
  • ½ cup rice flour + ½ cup pure cornflour + 2 teaspoons wheat free baking powder (e.g. Wards).  

Wheat based baking powder

Use a wheat free alternative (e.g. Wards)


Milk free margarine (e.g. Nuttelex, Becel, Sundew)

Cooking oil

Sunflower oil, safflower oil


Recipe modification example

The following examples demonstrate how common recipes can be adapted to allergy free alternatives by swapping some ingredients.


A standard custard recipe uses custard powder and cow’s milk. An allergy free alternative uses a rice flour and corn flour combination, with rice drink and soy drink.

Standard ingredients

Allergy free alternative

1–2 tablespoons custard powder

1–2 tablespoons rice flour or corn flour

½ tablespoon sugar


1 cup milk

1 cup rice or soy drink (use calcium fortified)

1 teaspoon of vanilla essence



Carrot muffins

Our carrot muffin recipe uses flour, milk and eggs. The allergy free alternative uses Orgran flour, rice bran, rice milk and egg replacer.

Standard ingredients

Allergy free alternative

1 cup white self raising flour, sifted

1 ½ cups Orgran self raising flour

1 cup wholemeal self raising flour, sifted

½ cup rice bran

Brown sugar


Cinnamon, ground


Carrots, medium, grated


Apple, medium, grated


1 cup milk

1 cup rice drink (use calcium fortified)

2 eggs, lightly beaten

2 teaspoons egg replacer (e.g. Orgran) + 4 tablespoons water

Canola or vegetable oil


Vanilla essence


Adapted with permission from: Modifying recipes for food allergy, Department of Nutrition and Food Service, Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne, 2013

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