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Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology

Soy Allergy Diet

General guidelines for soy allergy:

The key to an allergy-free diet is to avoid giving your child the foods or products containing the food he/she is allergic to. The items that your child is allergic to are called allergens.


A soy allergy is an abnormal response of the body to the proteins found in soy. Soybeans are classified as a legume. Other foods in the legume family are navy, kidney, string, black, and pinto beans, chickpeas (garbanzo beans), lentils, carob, licorice, and peanuts. Sensitivity to peanuts is the most common, but soybean sensitivity is also prevalent. Sensitivity to one legume can often be in association with sensitivity to another legume.





Breads & Starches Breads, baked goods, cereals not containing soy ingredients


Potato chips or popcorn cooked in soy oil.  NOTE: While soy oil does not contain soy protein, which is the cause of soy allergy, some persons who are very sensitive to soy may experience problems with soy oil.

Plain macaroni, rice, barley, rye, wheat, oats, or grits

Breads, crackers, cakes, rolls, or pastries containing peanuts, peanut oil, soy flour


Process and "natural" cereals which contain soy ingredients

Soy pasta

Vegetables Fresh, frozen, or canned vegetables (except those listed as not allowed) without sauces or breading containing soy ingredients Soy beans, soybean sprouts


Any vegetables prepared with sauces or breading containing soy products

Fruit All fresh, frozen, or canned fruits and juices process without soy products Fruit drink mixed or sauces/toppings for fruit which contain soy ingredients
Beverages Soft drinks


Tea, coffee

Fruit juice

Soy-based formulas, coffee substitutes with soy, instant coffee, hot cocoa mixes, malt beverages, fruit drink mixes made with soy ingredients
Meat & Meat Substitutes Any fresh or frozen beef, chicken, lamb, pork, turkey, veal, or fish served without prepackaged sauces, breading, or gravy Pork link sausage, deli/luncheon meats made with soy


Commercially prepared meats where soy is used as a meat extender

Meat or cheese substitutes which contain soy: tofu/bean curd, natto, miso

Textured vegetable protein (TVP)

Milk & Milk Products Milk, cheese, cottage cheese, or yogurt without soy products Milk drinks or milk substitutes that contain soy
Soups & Combination Foods Homemade soups and commercial soups that do not contain soybeans Soy is used in many canned soups, commercial entrees, and combination foods
Desserts & Sweets Ice cream, gelatin, cookies made without soy ingredients Baked goods, such as cakes or cookies which contain soy flour


Soy products may be used in some commercial ice creams and other frozen desserts

Hard candies, nut candies, fudge, and caramels made with soy flour

Fats & Oils Butter, margarines, shortening Margarine and butter substitutes


Some salad dressings, mayonnaise, sauces, or gravies containing soy products

Roasted soybeans or "soy nuts"

Condiments & Miscellaneous Sugar, honey, molasses, catsup, mustard, jelly, jam, plain sugar candies, syrup, pickles Commercial vegetarian products and meat substitutes


Heinz® Worcestershire sauce, Lea & Perrins® sauce, fermented soybean pastes (miso and natto)

Soy sauce, tamari sauce, granola, or breakfast bars made with soy

Imitation bacon bits made with soy

How to read a label for a soy-free diet:

Be sure to avoid giving your child foods that contain any of the following ingredients:
  • hydrolyzed soy protein
  • miso
  • shoyo sauce
  • soy flour
  • soy grits
  • soy nuts
  • soy milk
  • soy sprouts
  • soy protein concentrate
  • soy protein isolate
  • soy sauce
  • tempeh
  • textured vegetable protein (TVP)
  • tofu

Other possible sources of soy or soy products:

  • flavorings
  • hydrolyzed plant protein
  • hydrolyzed vegetable protein
  • natural flavoring
  • vegetable broth
  • vegetable gum
  • vegetable starch

To avoid soy and soy products:

  • Contact the manufacture to identify the natural flavorings in foods. Ask if they use soy as a carrier protein for the natural flavoring.

  • Flavorings may be soy based.

  • Hydrolyzed plant and hydrolyzed vegetable protein in the US are likely to be soy.

  • Contact the company to identify vegetable broth, gums, and starches, as they have the potential to be soy.

Lucile Packard Children's Hospital is located in Palo Alto, adjacent to Stanford University Hospital, approximately 20 miles north of San Jose, CA and 40 miles south of San Francisco.

Lucile Packard Children's Hospital
725 Welch Road
Palo Alto, California 94304
(650) 497-8000

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