Prepare for Your Oral Food Challenge

A nurse and a physician will be conducting the food challenge. It will last approximately three hours. During that time your child will be ingesting small amounts of the food he/she is allergic to. Prior to the food challenge appointment, allergy skin testing either skin prick tests or blood allergy tests may have been done showing decreased sensitivity to the food to be challenged. Accidental exposure to a suspected food allergen without any allergic symptoms may also warrant a food challenge.

Three days before the scheduled food challenge all antihistamines should be stopped. These include Zyrtec (cetirizine), Clarinex, Claritin (loratadine), Allegra (fexofenadine), Benadryl (diphenhydramine), Xyzal and Astelin. All other medications should be continued (i.e. asthma inhalers, Singulair, antibiotics, nose sprays, etc.).

When coming in for a food challenge you will be asked to bring in a small amount of the food your child has been allergic to.  Examples of the types of food that could be brought are:

  • Egg – scrambled eggs, French toast according to the provided recipe
  • Milk – milk, yogurt, ice cream
  • Peanut – peanut butter, mini peanut butter cups
  • Soy – soy milk,  soy yogurt, soy ice cream
  • Wheat – wheat bread, wheat crackers

If your child refuses to eat the food to be challenged (in the above forms) you can bring in something that has the food in it (i.e. if egg allergic – cookies, cake; if peanut allergic – peanut butter cookie). The choice of food should be discussed with your doctor. 

The testing will proceed with increasing amounts of the food every 15-20 minutes as long as there hasn’t been a reaction.

After the final dose you will be asked to wait 60 minutes or more before being discharged from the clinic. Since this is a lengthy procedure it is helpful if you bring things for the child to do or to play with. 

If you have any questions before your child’s food challenge, please contact us and ask to speak with the physician that is conducting the challenge. If you need to cancel or reschedule the appointment, please contact the physician conducting the challenge directly.