General guidelines for wheat allergy
When your child has a food allergy, they must follow an allergen-free diet. This means your child can't have the food they are allergic to, or any products containing that food. The items that your child is allergic to are called allergens.
A wheat allergy is the immune system's abnormal response to the protein found in wheat. Wheat products are found in many foods. To stay away from foods that contain wheat, it is important to read food labels. Foods regulated by the FDA must follow the federal Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act (FALCPA). This requires that food labels put wheat in the list of ingredients on products that contain any wheat. Wheat may be listed within the list of ingredients, or it may be listed at the end of the ingredients as "Contains: Wheat".
Some manufacturers voluntarily include statements, such as "may contain wheat" or "may be made in a facility with wheat." These are unregulated phrases. Discuss with your healthcare provider if your child needs to stay away from these foods.
When your child has been diagnosed with a wheat allergy:
Educate teachers, family, and friends about your child’s allergy. Many people don’t understand how serious food allergies can be.
Teach your child in an age-appropriate way about their food allergy and how to manage it.
Consult a registered dietitian. They can help you find healthy substitutes so your child gets all the nutrients needed to grow.
When eating out, bring “back-up” foods with you and check restaurant websites before you go. Tell the staff about your child's allergy.
If managing the allergy creates family stress, consider getting social and mental health support for your whole family.
Wheat may be found in personal care products, crafts, and cosmetics. These products are not covered by the FALCPA law. Toys such as Play Doh, craft paste, and others may contain wheat.
The lists below may not contain all food and personal care products that could contain wheat. But they can help guide your food decisions. It is up to you to carefully read all food labels.