Corn allergy: Foods for baby to avoid

I nursed my baby for most of the first year, but as I was trying to wean him, I discovered he was allergic to corn. Now that he is starting solid foods, I need to avoid anything that contains corn, or corn-derived ingredients. Can you tell me which foods I need to avoid?

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Sue Gilbert

Sue Gilbert works as a consulting nutritionist. For many years she worked with Earth's Best Organic Baby Food, integrating nutrition and... Read more

You are lucky that your baby was only allergic to the corn and not the milk protein, as a corn-free diet won't nutritionally compromise your child like a milk allergy has the potential of doing. You do, however, have to be very careful about what you feed your baby, as there are many hidden sources of corn, or foods derived from corn. Diets without corn are difficult to plan because corn and corn products are used in many food products. You will need to become an critical label reader and learn to detect all those subtle ingredients that spell danger.

Here is a list of foods or ingredients to watch out for:

  • Baking powder (the starch in common baking powder is corn starch)
  • Caramel color (often made from corn syrup)
  • Confectioners sugar (often has corn starch added to it to prevent it from sticking)
  • Corn (fresh, canned, frozen, dried)
  • Cornmeal (as in corn bread, corn muffins, corn chips)
  • Corn oil (this may be fine as little or no corn protein, which is the allergic part of the corn, is contained in it)
  • Cornstarch
  • Corn syrup
  • Dextrin
  • Dextrose
  • Fructose
  • Hominy
  • Invert sugar or invert syrup
  • Lactic acid
  • Maize
  • Maltodextrins
  • Mannitol
  • Sorbitol
  • Starch, food starch, modified food starch. Any of these may be corn starch
  • Vanilla extract ( often made with corn syrup in them)
  • Vegetable anything ( such as vegetable broth, vegetable starch or vegetable gum, because you don't know if the vegetable in question is corn)
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