Tag Archives: Cross Reactivity

TIPSy TUESDAYS: Always Read Labels – PART 5 (BARLEY)

From food to non-food products, it is extremely crucial to be on the look out for hidden allergens. Reading food labels and learning about ingredients becomes second nature when living with food allergies.   However, even when you are comfortable with a product, it is important still double check the label especially since companies can change the makeup of their products. In addition, the ingredients in many everyday items will amaze you at times.   I know that I continue to be surprised by many of the components of common foods and non-food products.

Here is some of the information about BARLEY that I have learned throughout the course of this journey so far. (It does NOT include every location of these allergens as we are still learning.)


In the United States, barley is not one of the top 8 most common food allergies. While it is not as common as wheat, it does show up as an ingredient in several foods.

Like any allergy, it is important to once again read all labels, checking for any ingredients that may contain barley.  According to the Food Allergen Labeling Consumer Protection Act (FALCPA), companies are NOT required to label their products for the presence of barley.

For more information about product labeling, click here.

To read the complete law, click here.


From our experience so far, this is what we have learned about this particular allergy.  Please note, that this is not all of the locations that barely may be found.   READ ALL LABELS ALWAYS AND CONSULT WITH YOUR DOCTOR WHEN NEEDED. Also, it is important to contact companies when you have questions about their ingredients and labels.

Ingredients that can be derived from barely include:

  • malt or malt flavoring (We found this in some cereals when we were on the hunt for one that my son could and would eat.)
  • malt vinegar
  • brown rice syrup
  • caramel color
  • maltose

Food & drinks that may contain barley include:

  • baby food jars
  • beer
  • stews
  • soups
  • coffee substitutes
  • health foods such as breads
  • some cereals

I found the following link to be helpful regarding a barley allergy.   The link includes ingredients derived from barley as well as food made from it. Check it out:

Barley Allergy

Source: http://www.allergy-details.com/

Allergen Cross-reactivity Between Grains (especially Wheat & Barley)

Here is another interesting read about the issue of cross-reactivity.

Cross Reactivity Between Grains

Source: https://www.aaaai.org/home.aspx

Barley in My Bread

In searching for a bread that my son can eat, we noticed that bread contains various different allergens.  In fact, the bread that my husband and I eat contains wheat, soy, and barley. I did not eat this type of bread when on my breastfeeding elimination diet.

Check it out:


Since we want to educate others on the world of food allergies and believe sharing is caring, we continue to smile …barley free for now…

TIPSy TUESDAYS – Always Read Labels –

Latex Allergy and Bananas – How are They Related?

As far as we know TJ does not have a latex allergy; however, I know of several children who do including some of my students. Therefore, I found the following two articles extremely informative and interesting as they are related to cross-reactivity of allergies. While today may be rainy, check out these links and brighten our days with more smiles…

Latex Allergy & Cross Reactive Food

Source: http://latexallergyresources.org/

Why Does My Latex Allergic Child Need to Avoid Bananas

Source: http://allergicliving.com/


Tbt – How Do You Like Them Apples?

Aside from learning how to handle and about TJ’s multiple food allergies, last winter was a challenging one also filled with daycare sicknesses, stomach bugs, eczema flare ups, and the infamous teething. Therefore, we greeted Spring with open arms and full of hope. What we didn’t know was that this new season would also bring new challenges of its own. One of these new challenges would be pollen season.

While both my husband and I have or have had seasonal allergies ourselves, I did suspect that TJ would too. I did not consider how it would complicate matters a bit though.


It was also around April that we started to gradually add baby food jars, by our trusted brands, back into TJ’s diet. From January through March, we made all of TJ’s food as we found that was the best way to control his allergies. He had experienced some skin reactions (not anaphylactic) to a couple jars so we decided that a break may be in his best interest. This had also been suggested by our doctor. Therefore, Saturdays involved many hours of making, storing and prepping all his food for the week. It was exhausting and time-consuming, but we knew it was the best option for him then. Since he had been doing so well, it was around the start of spring we decided with the guidance of our doctor that adding back some of the organic baby food jars was the next step.

So right around the start of a brutal pollen season, we gradually added back jars of carrots, sweet potatoes, pears, and apples. We continue to make his other foods. For the first few weeks, everything was going so well. I felt a sense of relief. Don’t get me wrong, I loved and still love making TJ his meals. However, it was definitely a load off of our shoulders knowing that his body could tolerate some store bought products too.

Thank you Earth’s Best


& Beech-nut.


TJ’s breakfast involved apples and bananas with buck wheat baby cereal mixed in. Everything seemed to be going so well. That was until one early spring morning when after a couple spoonfuls of this mixture, TJ’s lip and mouth became irritated, red and itchy. Thus, he became fussy and refused to eat. We became confused, frustrated, and scared.  Apples were one of TJ’s few safe foods at the time and even in the puffs he was starting to love had apple in them.

How could this be affecting him?

He wasn’t allergic to apples or was he?

Or wait, was it the bananas?

Or buck wheat?


The next day we only gave apples and sure enough, it happened again. We contacted both allergists and even our pediatrician, asking for guidance.

  1. One allergist told us that she had seen this with another child recently too. Since TJ did have a slight cold as well, she suspected it was his body reacting to the virus. She suggested continuing to give him the apples.
  2. The other allergist, our main one, suggested we take a break from apples for a week and then gradually reintroduce them again after. Both stated they did not think he had grown allergic. The world of food allergies is beyond confusing…


We decided to take the conservative approach, like we usually do. After a week and a half break from apples, we were able to reintroduce them back. For the most part, his skin and mouth no longer reacting to them. ( minus a couple days here and there ) Strange! Or so we thought until learning some additional information about allergies …

From this experience, here’s what we’ve learned as it relates to TJ.

  1. Cross reactivity with pollen is real. TJ just experienced this again. Here are two articles that discuss this.  Pollen & Food &   Does Your Mouth Itch When You Eat Apples or Other Fruits?
  2. Teething wreaks havoc on these little sensitive guys like TJ.  We have noticed a pattern: When TJ is about to cut a tooth or two, berries cause him a minor mouth and lip reaction.   For TJ, berries and teething don’t mix.  Check out this article explaining more about teething and eczema flare ups. http://www.livestrong.com/article/323625-eczema-teething/#page=1
  3. Everyone’s body with or without food allergies is different. Therefore, figuring out what works best for TJ is a complicated process of doctors’ guidance, trial and error, mother’s intuition, and most importantly, trust that God is guiding our steps on this staircase of smiles…

How Do You Like Them Apples_

Does Your Mouth Itch When You Eat Apples or Other Fruits?

Great article about oral allergy syndrome.  We are pretty sure that this is exactly what causes TJ’s random skin irritations and itching after he eats apples and bananas at certain times of the year. In fact, we are currently taking a short break from some fruits because of similar reactions.  Because of another informative article, we smile on…

Does Your Mouth Itch When You Eat Apples or Other Fruits?

(Source: https://www.washingtonpost.com/)