Oral Food Challenge

What Happens During an Oral Food Challenge?

How to know if your kid safe

An oral food challenge is the only true way to know if your child is allergic to eggs. If the results of skin tests, blood work, and allergist assessment all work out, you'll probably be given the opportunity to have an oral food challenge.

During an oral food challenge for egg allergies your child will eat an amount the food they are being allergy tested for.

There are three different kinds of oral food challenges:

  1. Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Food Challenge (DBPCFC) – The most scientific
  2. Single-Blind Food Challenge – Your allergist knows what you are getting, you don't
  3. Open-Food Challenge – Both you and your allergist know you are eating eggs. * This is the only type of oral food challenge I've experienced.

During a Food Challenge for Eggs

During an oral food challenge for allergies your child will eat an amount the food they are being allergy tested for.

You should expect to be at the doctors office for about 2-3 hours followed by a couple of days of nail-biting high alert. It feels like an entire day and you’ll probably need a nap when it’s over!

Egg White or Egg Yolk?

Your child may be allergic to either egg whites or egg yolks, or both.

With an egg allergy, depending on your blood test and skin test results, you may be tested for egg white allergy or egg yolk allergy separately. These will be done on different days, in different food challenges.

We were tested for egg white first.
The reasoning is, in order to get to the yolk, you must go through the egg white. Doing so can contaminate the yolk with white.

Oral Food Challenge Process

Your child may start off with a tiny bit of skin contact then move to eating increasingly larger amounts of the food over the period of the test. They’ll literally put a little bit of egg on your child’s skin then proceed to eating a small amount if there’s no reaction.

Your doctor will closely monitor progress looking for symptoms every 10-20 minutes.

The amount of egg your child will eat is determined by your doctor but it should get to a large enough amount to say that, “Yes, their body can tolerate eating egg white or egg yolk without risk or a reaction.” At least in concept.

If all goes well at the doctors you still have a few days of waiting to be sure no latent reactions show up.

Your child knows what’s going on.
They are eating a food they’ve been avoiding for some time. They are probably pretty nervous even if they don’t show it.

While some screen time might take the edge off, the test might go much easier if you spend time with your child, reading a book or playing a game together. It's nerve racking for both of you!

“It’s not what happens to you in life that’s important!
It’s how you handle it.”

~ Egg Allergy Dad