Food allergies are common in Turkey and can occur at any age, however, children are affected the most.

The big problem is that most parents have no idea if their children have food allergies until they try the food for the first time and have a reaction. That’s why it’s important for parents  as well as teachers, babysitters, and everyone else who spends time with the child to be alert for signs of a food allergy.

These allergies can vary and differ in different regions of the country. In the Aegean and Marmara regions, children are more prone to milk allergies whilst in the Mediterranean, Black Sea, Central Anatolia and Eastern Anatolia regions, egg allergies are common.

Dr. Birol Saygi from Beykoz University noted that “while all foods can cause allergies, allergic reactions are most triggered by fish, shellfish, peanuts, and walnuts. Problematic foods for children include eggs, milk, peanuts, wood nuts, soy, and wheat,”

The market for allergen-free foods is growing here in Turkey and Dr. Saygi advises that food labels must be read carefully. He said that the most common allergens include, peanuts, soybeans, mustard, eggs, lupine, milk, fish, celery, sesame and crustaceans.

Food allergies can cause serious and even deadly reactions. So it’s important to know how to recognize an allergic reaction and to be prepared if one happens.

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