Low allergy items to stock the pantry

Early childhood services OSHC

In early childhood services that cater for multiple food allergies, having one low allergy menu is often the most practical choice.

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In early childhood services that cater for multiple food allergies, having one low allergy menu is often the most practical choice. This means that the low allergy menu may not include cow’s milk, soy, eggs, wheat and nuts, and as a result, many commercial food products will not be suitable.

The low allergy menu will need to be based on foods such as fresh fruit and vegetables, lean meat and alternatives, calcium fortified rice milk and rice and corn products.

It is not appropriate to combine a low allergy menu with a vegetarian menu, as this limits the types and variety of foods provided for both vegetarian children as well as children with food allergies.

Restricting certain foods or food groups unnecessarily can impact on children’s growth and development.

For example, children with allergies benefit from the protein and other nutrients found in lean meats and alternatives. Similarly, vegetarian children benefit from the nutrients provided in milk, eggs and wheat in particular.

Low allergy menu

The following table summarises types of foods that may be suitable to include in a low allergy menu, as well as foods that are most likely to contain common allergens (which should be avoided in a low allergy menu).

CategorySuitable items free from milk, soy, egg, wheat and nutsItems that contain or are likely to contain milk, soy, egg, wheat or nuts
Fruit and vegetables- Fresh, dried and canned fruits and vegetables
- Fruit and vegetable juices
Commercial potato salad, mashed potato, instant potato Salads containing eggs eg. Caesar Salads containing nuts eg. Waldorf (walnuts) Salad dressing ingredients (check label)
Grain (cereal) products- Corn or rice-based breakfast cereals (e.g. Freedom Foods corn flakes and rice puffs- Wheat based breakfast cereals e.g. Weeties™, Weet-Bix™
- Flavoured porridge sachets
- Plain baby rice cereal- Regular baby rusks
- Commercial mixed baby cereals and muesli
- Pure rye bread (if tolerated) Rice based breads- All regular breads and rolls, crumpets
- Bakery items such as pastries and doughnuts
- Many gluten free breads contain soy flour
- Corn and rice based pasta and noodles
- Rice
- Oats (if tolerated)
- Canned spaghetti, macaroni and cheese
- Pasta, spaghetti, noodles, couscous
- Rice flour, corn flour, potato flour, arrowroot, chickpea flour, buckwheat flour- Wheat flour
Milk, yoghurt, cheese and alternatives, and dairy dessertsSpecialised infant formula Calcium fortified rice drink Coconut milk yoghurtCow’s milk, reduced fat milk, skim milk, sheep and goat’s milk and regular and partially hydrolysed infant formula Lactose free milk (contains cow’s milk protein) Condensed milk, evaporated milk, buttermilk Soy milk and infant formula Yoghurt, Fruche, custard, yoghurt drinks, fermented milk drinks Creamed rice Soy yoghurt, soy custard, soy ice cream All cheeses including cheddar, ricotta, cream and cottage Vegetarian or soy cheeses (often contain cow’s milk protein)
Meat, poultry, fish, eggs, legumes and nuts and alternativesAll fresh and frozen meat, chicken and fish Canned fish in brine, oil or spring water Canned or dried beans and legumes Tofu Plain baked beansCrumbed and battered products Patties, burgers (check label) Processed meats and sandwich meats (check label) Textured or hydrolysed vegetable protein All eggs (poached, boiled, fried, scrambled, omelette) Quiche, egg and bacon pie, spinach pie, frittata, veggie slice Flavoured baked beans Fresh nuts, nut pastes and peanut butter
Cakes and biscuitsHomemade muffins, cakes, biscuits and pancakes using milk free margarine, wheat / soy free flour, rice milk and egg replacer Plain corn or rice based crackers and biscuitsMost commercial muffins, cakes, biscuits and pancakes Bakery items such as pastries and doughnuts Most dry biscuits and crackers Flavoured rice and corn crackers (check label)

Shopping for allergy friendly products

Many allergy friendly products can be found in supermarket health food aisles. These products may also be available directly from the supplier. Allergy friendly products change regularly, but this list is a handy starting point.

ItemAllergy free item or brand
Egg replacerOrgran No Egg
Cow’s milk alternativeCalcium fortified soy or rice drinks
Yoghurt alternativesSoy Life soy yoghurt Coyo or So Delicious coconut yoghurt (milk and soy free) Check the Coyo website for your closest supplier.
Milk free spreadsNuttelex, Becel, Sundew
Gluten / wheat free flours and baking products Check that these do not contain soyWhite Wings gluten free plain and self raising flour Orgran All Purpose plain and self raising flour White Wings corn flour Wards rice flour Wards baking powder (wheat free)
Gluten free soy sauceFountain soy sauce Tamari
Gluten free stock powderVegeta or Massel stock powder
Gluten free pastaOrgran pasta, spaghetti, lasagne sheets, cannelloni shells San Remo gluten free pasta, spaghetti, lasagne sheets
Gluten free breadcrumbsRice crumbs Crumbs from gluten free bread


Adapted with permission from Cow’s milk, soy, egg, wheat and nut free diet, Department of Allergy and Immunology, Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne, November 2007.

For more information please phone 1300 22 52 88 or email heas@nutritionaustralia.org.au

Except where otherwise indicated, the images in this document show models and illustrative settings only, and do not necessarily depict actual services, facilities or recipients of services. This document may contain images of deceased Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. In this document, ‘Aboriginal’ refers to both Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. ‘Indigenous’ or ‘Koori/Koorie’ is retained when part of the title of a report, program or quotation. Copyright © State of Victoria 2016

Written and reviewed by dietitians and nutritionists at Nutrition Australia, with support from the Victorian Government.

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