NORTH AURORA—Easter and Passover traditions often include eggs, either as part of a fun holiday activity or a recipe. For people with life-threatening egg allergies, the key to staying safe is to be aware and prepared for an unexpected exposure.
“Approximately 1.5 percent of young children have life-threatening egg allergies,” said Sakina Bajowala, M.D., board-certified allergist & immunologist at Kaneland Allergy & Asthma Center in North Aurora. “Creating Easter and Passover traditions without the threat of egg exposure is easy to do. A little planning and creative thinking is what’s required to have a fun and tasty celebration.”
Kids with egg allergies can participate in Easter games and Passover activities. Consider the following ideas:
• Coloring eggs is a safe activity as long as the person with egg allergies does not eat the eggs. Touching the hard shell poses no threat.
• Instead of placing a hard-boiled egg on a Seder plate, consider using a flower or a plastic egg as a substitute.
• Use plastic eggs for your Easter egg hunt and fill them with toys, money, stickers or candy. Just be sure to read candy labels first.
• Use plastic eggs instead of real ones when playing the “egg in a spoon” race.
Getting together with family for the holiday? Be sure to include egg-free recipes when cooking meals, and ask about ingredients in recipes made by others. For each egg required in a recipe, substitute one of these mixtures:
• One and one-half tablespoons water, one and one-half tablespoons cooking oil and one teaspoon of baking powder
• one teaspoon baking powder, one tablespoon water and one tablespoon vinegar
• one teaspoon apricot puree
• one packet of plain gelatin mixed with two tablespoons of warm water.
“Easter and Passover celebrations should be fun and inclusive, but everyone with life-threatening food allergies should be prepared for the unexpected accidental exposure,” Bajowala said. “Preparation includes always carrying two doses of your prescribed epinephrine auto-injector and knowing what the signs and symptoms are of an anaphylactic reaction.”