Children diagnosed with a peanut allergy must avoid all foods containing peanuts. Peanuts are found in many manufactured foods and in particular, Asian cooking. Laws require that if a food contains peanut, tree nut or sesame, this must clearly be stated on the label.1 The labels of all manufactured foods must therefore be checked to make sure the food is suitable before feeding to your child.

Peanuts are actually a legume, like chickpeas and lentils, rather than a nut.2 Tree nuts, like almonds, cashews and walnuts, contain different types of protein (the part of food that causes a food allergic reaction). Unfortunately, many children diagnosed with a peanut allergy will develop other food allergies.3 For this reason your doctor may recommend that your child with a peanut allergy also avoids other types of nuts.3 Some doctors will also recommend avoiding seeds, like sesame seeds, sunflower seeds and poppy seeds as well. It is important to confirm with your child’s doctor exactly what foods to avoid in addition to peanuts.

Most children with a peanut allergy, however, should be able to tolerate other legumes such as beans, peas, pulses and lentils.4  Nutmeg, water chestnuts and coconut are not related to peanut and can be included in the diet if your child is not also allergic to these.4

The following foods and ingredients contain peanuts and peanut protein. These foods should be avoided by children with a peanut allergy.3,4

Arachis oil Ground nuts Peanut brittle
Beer nuts Mandelonas Peanut flour
Crushed nuts Mixed nuts Peanut oil*
Cold pressed peanut oil Monkey nuts Peanut sauce
Expelled or expressed peanut oil Nu nuts Satay
Fresh peanuts Nutmeat/nutloaf
Granulated peanuts Peanut butter

*Highly refined peanut oil is usually safe for children with peanut allergy.4 This is because the children react to the protein and not the oil (fat) in peanuts. Some highly sensitive children may still be advised to avoid this oil, so it is best to check with your doctor before giving to your child. Cold pressed, expelled and expressed peanut oil should be avoided as they still contain peanut protein.4

Please note that this is not a complete list of all foods containing peanut and peanut protein. It is important to check the labels of all manufactured foods before consuming.

Table adapted from Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy ‘Dietary Avoidance for peanut allergy’.

The following foods and ingredients may contain peanuts and peanut protein. It is important to check the labels for these foods. If the food contains peanut, it should be avoided by those with a peanut allergy.

Baked goods, cereal and grain products – Breakfast cereals, biscuits, cakes, cereal bars, cheesecakes, crackers, marzipan icing, macaroons, muesli bars, pastries, pies, praline, slices

 Confectionery and desserts – Sweets, chocolate, ice cream, nougat, praline, marzipan, rocky road

Condiments and sauces– chocolate spreads/paste, curry pastes, gravy, nut spreads, pasta sauces, pesto, salad dressings

 Meat, fish, poultry and alternatives – Chilli con carne, some deli meats, vegetarian meat alternatives i.e. hydrolysed/textured vegetable protein

Miscellaneous– dukkah, flavourings (natural or artificial), fried foods (due to peanut oil used for frying), trail mix/dried fruit mix, snack foods, soup, vegetarian products, stuffing

Pre-prepared, restaurant and take-away foods: African dishes, Asian dishes (Thai, Vietnamese, Chinese), foods from buffets, Indian dishes, Mexican dishes, pre-prepared salads

Please note that this is not a complete list of all foods containing peanut and peanut protein. It is important to check the labels of all manufactured foods before consuming.

What does ‘May contain traces of peanuts’ mean on food labels?

This usually means that the food was made in a facility that also manufactures foods containing peanuts.4 Peanuts are not intended to be an ingredient in this food, but there may be a chance the food is contaminated with peanuts. Parents should discuss with their child’s doctor if they need to avoid these foods.

Peanuts in other products

Peanut oil may also be used in certain cosmetic and pharmaceutical products such as shampoo, aftershave and moisturisers.4 In the ingredients list, it may be called arachis oil, sodium peanutate and peanutamide. Highly sensitive children may react when exposed to peanuts from these sources.

 

Please note, this fact sheet does not list all foods containing peanuts. Parents should check the labels of all foods prior to feeding to your child with peanut allergy.

The labels of all manufactured foods must be checked to make sure the food is suitable before feeding to your child.

 

  1. Australian and New Zealand Food Standards Code. 2016. Standard 1.2.3. Information Requirements- warning statements, advisory statements and declarations. Federal Register of Legislation. Viewed 21 June 2016. https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/F2016C00481
  2. 2014. Peanut, tree nut and seed allergy. Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy. Viewed 27 June 2016. http://www.allergy.org.au/patients/food-allergy/peanut-tree-nut-and-seed-allergy
  3. The Children’s Hospital Network. 2015. Fact sheet: Peanut allergy and peanut free diet. NSW Health. Viewed 27 June 2016. http://www.schn.health.nsw.gov.au/parents-and-carers/fact-sheets/peanut-allergy
  4. 2014. Dietary avoidance- peanut allergy. Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy. Viewed 27 June 2016 https://allergy.org.au/2014-01-10-23-45-15/68-pcc/food/190-ascia-dietary-avoidance-for-food-allergy