The six-food elimination diet is a treatment for eosinophilic esophagitis (also known as EoE) in which the top known food allergens are removed from a child’s diet for a set period of time. Research has shown that this diet has a 74% success rate in both improving and even eliminating the eosinophils in the esophagus.
Click here to print out an Allowed/Not Allowed food chart
The six foods eliminated from the diet are:
- Seafood (fish & shelfish)
- Peanuts and Tree nuts (Nuts include almonds, beechnuts, Brazil nuts, butternuts, cashews, chestnuts, filberts/hazelnuts, ginkgo nuts, hickory nuts, lychee nuts, macadamia nuts, Nangai nuts, peanuts, pecans, pili nuts, pine nuts, pistachios, shea nuts and walnut.) Although the Food and Drug Administration now classifies coconut as a tree nut, children following the 6-Food Elimination diet may be able to consume coconut. Check with the child’s allergist or dietitian before consuming coconut.
Important Tips to Follow
- Read all food labels carefully as manufacturers may change ingredients at any time.
- Call the manufacturer if a food label is unclear or if there is any doubt if a food product contains one of the “six foods.”
- In 2004, the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act (FALCPA) was passed. This act requires that all food labels clearly state the presence of the top eight allergens: egg, wheat, milk, soy, peanut, tree nuts, fish and shellfish. All labels must include the common name in the ingredient list, the allergen name in parenthesis after the ingredient and a “contains statement” after or next to the ingredient list. (example: “Contains wheat, milk” )
- Avoid sources of cross-contact. This occurs when a food comes into contact with another food or even leftover residue. It is difficult to determine the amount of a particular food that can cause a reaction in EoE because the symptoms do not occur immediately after eating that food. Because of this, it is encouraged to be as careful as possible to avoid the occurrence of cross-contact.
|Common sources of cross-contact|
|Cutting boards, pots & pans||Wash with soap and water|
|Utensils||Use separate utensils for each condiment jar|
|Bulk bins||Purchase prepackaged items|
|Fryer oil||Sauté items at home, avoid fried foods when eating out|
|Grill||Wrap food in foil before placing on the grill, avoid ordering grilled items at restaurants unless prepared on a clean surface|
|Deli slicers||Purchase prepackaged meats or from a deli that uses separate slicers for cheese & meat|
|Toaster||Use a separate toaster for wheat-free breads, toast bread on foil using the oven set at broil, or use reusable toaster bags such as TOAST-it (www.toastitbags.com)|