Childhood Food Allergy Statistics

As your baby starts eating solid food, you’ll probably want to know all the information about their likelihood for developing a food allergy. Here are the cold hard numbers when it comes to babies and food allergies.

When Do Food Allergies Develop?

  • Most food allergies are acquired in the first or second year of life. 
  • More adults are developing food allergies, and half of adults with food allergies report that it developed in adulthood.

How Common Are Food Allergies?

  • Food challenge-confirmed food allergy rates are as high as 11 percent in children. (Liu 2010) 
  • At least 10.8% (>26 million) of US adults have a food allergies, whereas nearly 19% of adults believe they have a food allergy (Gupta 2019)
  • Almost half (45.3%) of adults with allergies are allergic to multiple foods. (Gupta 2019)

What Are the Most Common Food Allergies?

  • The top 8 allergies in infants are milk, egg, peanut, tree nut, shellfish, wheat, fish, soy
  • The top 8 allergies in toddlers and older children are peanut, tree nut, shellfish, egg, milk, wheat, fish, soy

How Severe Are Food Allergies?

  • Among food-allergic adults, 51.1% experienced a severe food allergy reaction (Gupta 2019)
  • In their lifetimes, 38.3% of adults with food allergies reported at least 1 food allergy–related emergency department visit (Gupta 2019)
  • Every food allergy to any food has the potential to be life threatening 
  • Past reactions are NOT predictive of the severity of future reactions

Which Food Allergies Are You Likely to Outgrow?

  • Most children outgrow egg (80%) and milk (65%) allergies
  • Only 20% of children outgrow peanut and tree nut allergies

Treating Food Allergies

  • Peanut, egg and milk OIT) have been shown to desensitize approximately 60 to 80% of patients studied. (AAAAI 2020)
  • Peanut and milk OIT have been reported to induce sustained unresponsiveness in approximately 30 to 70+% of individuals. (AAAAI 2020)
  • The FDA has one approved treatment for food allergy, but more are in the works


Gupta RS, Warren CM, Smith BM, et al. Prevalence and Severity of Food Allergies Among US Adults. JAMA Netw Open. 2019;2(1):e185630. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2018.5630

Liu AH, Jaramillo R, Sicherer SH, Wood RA, Bock SA, Burks AW, Massing M, Cohn RD, Zeldin DC. National prevalence and risk factors for food allergy and relationship to asthma: results from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2005-2006. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2010;126(4):798.