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Myth Buster: Food Allergies

What you've heard: If my child's allergic to a food, she should never eat it again.

The truth: Children outgrow most food allergies by age 10—and sometimes sooner. According to a recent report by the Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, 85 percent of kids allergic to eggs, milk, and soy outgrow the reaction by that age (although only 20 percent get over an allergy to peanuts by then).

How can you tell if your child's ready to eat a food to which she's been allergic? A blood test called CAP can accurately check antibody levels for specific foods. An allergist can test your child's blood starting at age 2, for instance, and if the levels are still high, showing a potential for allergy, then she can be rechecked a year or so later. If the test shows that your child has no, or even low, antibody levels, reintroduce the food at your doctor's office. In the unlikely event that she reacts to it, help will be at hand.