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Egg Elimination Diets


Some people are allergic to egg whites and/or egg yolks. Although some egg allergies are outgrown by the time the child reaches age 5, others persist throughout the adult life.

The only solution to an egg allergy is an egg elimination diet, in which one avoids all products containing eggs. This site provides a guide to egg free products and egg substitutes to assist in pursuing an egg elimination diet. It also offers tips concerning ingredient substitutions in baked goods.

Identifying Eggs in Prepared Products

Eggs are often used in baked goods (cakes, cookies, bread, cereal) as a binder or coagulant. They are also used in mayonnaise, salad dressing, custards, candy and ice cream. Other products that often contain eggs include french toast, eggnog, root beer, Ovaltine, meatloaf, meatballs, matza balls, breaded meats and fish (e.g., chicken nuggets), Orange Julius, marshmallows, fudge, icing, pudding, sherbet, gelatin desserts, egg noodles, vermicelli, macaroni, spaghetti, and tartar sauce.

Since 2006, all products containing eggs are required to clearly identify whether they contain eggs or egg products. But it is worthwhile to double check, looking for egg-related ingredients, such as egg derivatives like albumin, globulin, livetin, lysozyme, ovalbumin, vitellin and ingredients that begin with "ovo" (e.g., ovoglobulin, ovomucin, ovomucoid, ovotransferrin, ovovitella, and ovovitellin).

Foods that are labeled as 'vegan' usually do not have eggs, but it is best to check the ingredients to be sure. Just because the manufacturer claims it is vegan doesn't mean it really is.

With lecithin, it is important to determine whether it comes from soy or eggs. If the source is soy, it is ok.

Commercial egg substitutes often contain egg whites. If your child is allergic to egg whites you can't use such products. So it is important to check the ingredients of any egg replacer.

Ingredient Substitutions

Often the simplest solution is to substitute two tablespoons of liquid (water or oil or milk) for each egg in a recipe. However, sometimes eggs are used as a binder in a recipe or to help the dough rise, so you may need to add yeast or baking powder or use a more gelatinous material.

Here are a few suggestions. Try the more solid substitutions when a recipe calls for more than one egg.

  • 1 teaspoon yeast dissolved in 1/4 cup warm water
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons water + 1 1/2 tablespoons oil + 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons water + 1 tablespoon oil + 2 teaspoons baking powder (fluffier)
  • 1 packet gelatin + 2 tablespoons warm water
  • Fruit purees:
    • 3 tablespoons (1/4 cup) apple sauce or banana. Add 1/2 teaspoon baking powder to make it fluffier; fruit purees otherwise have a tendency to make for denser cakes and cookies.
    • 1/4 cup canned pumpkin or squash, pureed
  • Good for binding:
    • 2 tablespoons corn starch, tomato paste, arrowroot flour or potato starch
    • 1/4 cup mashed potatoes or instant potato flakes
    • 2 tablespoons whole wheat flour
  • Soy
    • 1 tablespoon soy powder + 2 tablespoons water
    • 1/4 cup soft plain tofu (blend with other liquid ingredients until smooth to avoid lumps), perhaps with 1 tablespoon flour
    • 3-4 tablespoons Silk soy milk or soy yogurt or Coffee Rich creamer

You can also try combinations of the above ingredients.

Tofu is especially useful in baking. It doesn't fluff, but it has the right texture. To give it some fluff, include baking powder.

For a substitute for egg whites, use one tablespoon of plain agar power and 1 tablespoon of water, whipped and chilled.

As a replacement for mayonnaise, try Nasoya Nayonaise or Follow Your Heart Vegenaise.


Many vaccinations are made using eggs. Stress to your child's pediatrician that egg-based vaccines must be avoided. For example, both injected and intranasal (sprays like Flumist) flu vaccines are made with eggs and so should not be given to children who are allergic or hypersensitive to eggs or egg proteins. Egg-based vaccines can cause anaphylaxis (swelling, difficulty breathing, hives). Depending on the severity of the allergy, pretreating with antihistamines and corticosteroids may not be sufficient. Your pediatrician may have to special order egg-free vaccines.

About the Author

Mark Kantrowitz prepared this guide for a family member who suffers from eosinophilic esophagitis (EOS) and a food allergy to egg whites and egg yolks. The eosinophilic esophagitis resolved on an egg elimination diet.


The information contained on this web page is for informational purposes only and does not render medical or professional advice. The information on this web page should not be used for diagnosing or treating any medical condition. You are strongly advised to seek professional care from a licensed health care provider. Do not disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking professional medical advice because of anything you may have read on this web page. No warranty is made about the accuracy of the information provided on this web page.


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Copyright © 2007 by Mark Kantrowitz. All rights reserved.

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