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Wheat Allergy Warning: Hidden Places You May Find Wheat

 

Wheat is one of the top 8 food allergens. If your child is allergic to wheat, you know the foods to avoid: bread, pasta, cereal and more.

Like any food, wheat can cause an allergic reaction. These reactions may range from mild to severe. A severe allergic reaction is called anaphylaxis.

Slinky Brand and More! Fingerprint Science Kit (also labeled as Experiment #163)

A 9-year-old-boy allergic to wheat needed epinephrine after playing with this science kit, according to a recent article in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice.

The kit contains a bottle of unlabeled white powder. Lab testing showed the powder was positive for gluten, probably from wheat flour.

FDA laws do not require labeling for toys that may contain food protein. The authors of the article urged toy manufacturers to voluntarily label nonfood items if they contain food protein.

Slinky

Play-Doh®, Paper Mache, Other Arts & Craft Supplies 

If your child with a wheat allergy just started preschool or kindergarten, double-check the classroom art supplies. See our guide to Potential Food Allergens in Preschool, School, Camp Crafts & ActivitiesDownload PDF for gluten-free playdough recipes - commercial brands are likely wheat-based.

Personal Care Products

FDA food allergen labeling laws do not apply to personal care items like hair products, cosmetics, etc. For instance, you might find wheat protein in shampoos, conditioners or hair gels.

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Read more about food allergens and cosmetics.

Dried Beans

Some brands of beans carry warnings that they may contain traces of wheat. If you are sensitive to trace amounts of wheat, look for brands that say they are gluten free.

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Wheat "Processed" to be Gluten Free

Some companies label a product gluten free, but people with a severe wheat allergy may still be sensitive to the item. One example we have come across where this happens: candy with glucose syrup that comes from wheat. 

yumearth-licorice-gluten-free-glucose-syrup-wheat

Other Names for Wheat

Did you know that spelt indicates the presence wheat? How about seitan? Use our Wheat Allergy Avoidance ListDownload PDF and remember to read every label, every time.

wheat-allergy-avoidance-listwheat-allergy-hidden-names-travel-cards
Download Hidden Names for Wheat Guide and Travel-Size Cards

Biodegradable Food Packaging

Are there any disposable plates or take-out containers in your house? If they are brownish in color and labeled "biodegradable" or "sustainable," they might be made from wheat stalks. In general, the companies that make them say that the plates are gluten free. Check with your doctor to see if this type of packaging is suitable for your family.


These are some surprising places we have seen wheat. Tell us where have you seen wheat where you didn't expect it.

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Kids With Food Allergies (KFA) is a division of the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA). AAFA is the largest and oldest nonprofit patient organization dedicated to asthma and allergies. KFA educates families and communities with practical food allergy management strategies to save lives and improve the quality of life for children and their families. Our online community includes public blogs. To post a comment, you will need to register or sign in. Registered members have access to additional specialized support forums for food allergies. Registration is free!

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