36 answers

Tomato Allergy

Is there anyone out there with a child who has tomato allergies? We are pretty sure that my son Zeke has a tomato allergy. We have asked his allergist and ped. We have done the allergy tests, and when he eats pizza or spaghetti and only when the sauce comes in contact with his skin, he has a breakout. He does have eczema, and its like it flares up really really bad. All the docs said we could do is give him bendryl if he eats it. I am allergic to pretty much everything under the sun. My husband has seasonal allergies, and we both have asthma. My poor kids right!! If you son or daughter has the allergy to tomato is there any alternatives you give. He loves pizza and spaghetti!! :-( TIA

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I have a son who isnt allergic, but dislikes tomato sauce of any kind. What I do for him is fix him an alfredo sauce on the nights we have spaghetti. You can also order pizza that way. You may try that, unless he had other allergies that prevent him from having parmesan cheese and milk products.

Tomato is incredibly acidic. If he was allergic to it, I would think his stomach would react more than his skin. It may just be that he has sensitive skin. Does he have this reaction to soups, ketchup, anything else with tomatoes? Also, keep an eye on whatever detergents and fabric softeners you may be using. They can irritate skin to no end. Good luck!

Thankfully my children are NOT allergic to tomatoes, but I am. I eat pizza without sauce and make my spaghetti separate from everyone elses and just have butter and cheese with mine. Hope this helps.

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You don't even HAVE to have sauce on a pizza, my kids like just cheese on it. But there are things like alfredo sauce you can sub. Have you tried just a tomato paste- pureed cooked tomatos that have no spices or corn syrup or perservatives or dye or MSG? Those are all possible allergens. I am allergic to acidic things and raw tomatoes were a problem when I was a child, but cooked was OK. However, my children are allergic to corn syrup and some perservatives. they break out with pancake syrup and salad dressing.

You could also try an all natural sauce like Newmans Own that might help you determine what it is that he is actually allergic to (and it could definitely be tomatoes!)

1 mom found this helpful

I have heard of a pizza that has a white sauce on it as opposed to the tomato sauce. I think it must be like an alfredo sauce that some Italian dishes have in it.

As for the spaghetti, maybe try just putting butter and parm. cheese on it. I know, not very tasty, but that's all that I can think of to do.

Maybe search google for some alternatives. That's helped me a lot in the past.

I hope this helps but my daughter had the same prob when anything tomato base go on her skin, but she could eat it with no problems. I asked her doc and she said that it wasnt an allergy at all, but instead the reaction is because of the acidity in the tomato. she reconmended using a bigger bib and hydracortizone cream if it did touch. its just a combo of acidic tomato sauce and sensitive baby skin. Good luck

Tomato is incredibly acidic. If he was allergic to it, I would think his stomach would react more than his skin. It may just be that he has sensitive skin. Does he have this reaction to soups, ketchup, anything else with tomatoes? Also, keep an eye on whatever detergents and fabric softeners you may be using. They can irritate skin to no end. Good luck!

My husband was testing when he was a child for tomato allergies and it came back that he was. My mother in law never changed anything about her cooking and just kept giving it to him. He eventually grew out of it. I hope this helps.

My son has the same problem but with mint. It only bothers his skin. he can eat it but if he gets it on his skin it turns red and angry looking. My Doctor said the same thing. I just try to keep him away from the skin contact. Unfortunately, he is a boy and is messy. Soap and water do the trick. Wash area immediately after contact (dinner), let dry completely and apply cream only as necessary. As long as it doesn't make him congested, itchy/watery eyes, etc. I say let him eat Italian!

Thankfully my children are NOT allergic to tomatoes, but I am. I eat pizza without sauce and make my spaghetti separate from everyone elses and just have butter and cheese with mine. Hope this helps.

My sister had the same situation. When she was around 8 or 9 years old, we found out she was allergic to tomatoes. The thing is, she was allergic to red tomatoes, but not the yellow tomatoes, which have less acid. For a while, my parents just took her off red tomatoes completely (about 1 year), but she could still have yellow ones. I don't know if you could find ready-made yellow tomato spaghetti sauce, but if not, you could always make a little from fresh yellow tomatoes--just for him! Then, not only will he be happy, he'll feel special, too! After the 1 year when my sister didn't have tomatoes, my parents started letting her have little doses again. She hasn't broken out since.

(Allergies show up when your body has too much of a concentration of that thing. In your son's case, loving tomato sauce and having it so often has set off his body's defense system, telling you that it's too much. Try the yellow tomatoes for a while, then when the allergic reaction stops, make sure he gets a moderate dosage of red tomatoes, but not too much.)

My children aren't allergic to tomatoes, but I did find that my son was allergic to garlic. When he has a high quantity intake over a week, he breaks out in extreme hives, facial swelling.
It didn't begin until he was about 4 years old. It was a really big surprise to me, as I cooked with it daily since b4 he was born. And I used it in very high quantities.
He can have garlic in small amounts, like once a week in prepared tomato sauce or pizza. I have stopped cooking with it altogether, and don't miss it quite like i thought i would.
good luck with everything!!

Hi C.,

I am a proud mom of 2 little boys also, and my 6 year old has eczema also and yes he was having bad reactions to tomatoes when he was small his lips would get like raw around his mouth and he would have a really bad break out, it would also happen when he would have pickles or strawberries. He loved pickles, so we couldn't give him these things.. But he did grow out of it about 4 years old now they don't bother him we still have eczema break outs but not as bad either. we found anything with a bunch of acid in it would make it worse, oranges, strawberries, tomatoes, pickles.

I don't know about the spaghetti but as for pizza I order it without sauce and I love it that way.

Try cooking the spaghetti sauce with about 1/4 tsp baking soda in it. That helps to cut the acid in the tomato. Be sure you are cooking it long enough too. Both help with the acid which is probably the culprit on the rash. I have allergy-induced eczema and all acidic fruits and vegetables agrevate mine. (You can also add baby food carrots to spaghetti sauce for a sneaky way to get in more nutrients)

Our DS #3, who is almost 8, had the same exact issues when eating anything with red dye in it or tomato based products (ie: spaghetti sauce, tomato soup, pizza sauce, etc.) We just tried to limit his exposure to those things, although didn't take them completely out of his diet. We did give him benadryl as well. This all started early on, like when he was 1.5 or 2 years old. As he has gotten older, the outbreaks (he would get these raised red welts around his mouth and on his cheeks) have nearly subsided completely. It may not actually be an allergy, but maybe just that his skin is sensitive. This is what we believed happened with our son. Good luck!

I am allergic to tomatoes and oranges, but it is the acid. I can eat tomato sauce that I make at home made with Roma tomatoes because of the low acid. Otherwise a 3-Cheese Alfredo sauce is a nice change for pasta. I keep it in the cabinet so I can eat it if I don't have time to make my own low acid pasta sauce.

I don't know of an alternative to spaghetti sauce except alfredo sauce instead. However, pizza can be done without the tomato- based sauce. Brushed with olive oil and maybe some herbs then the other toppings, cheese, etc. I think Schlotsky's pizzas don't have tomato-based sauce and my kids love them. I have recreated them at home and it turned out great.

Hi there. My daughter had the exact same problem until she was about 2. (She is alsmost 4 now) She also had that baby exzema. Any tomato product would leave her face looking like she had been badly burned. It was scary!!!It was sad too because she loved those things! Oue pediatrician assured us she would grow out of it. We used benadryl if she was going to have those things and it worked well. We used the topical benadryl to kind of protect her face and cheeks. And did our best to minimize the exposure of the sauce to the face. (Lots of wipes!)Sure enough- somewhere around 2 1/2 years - it just went away. She now eats tomato products with no prob.

Hope this helps!
Good luck.

hi C.,
a couple of ideas...
1. all of you get on a cod liver oil supplement. the garden of life brand is really good! they test for mercury in the fish. it helps with eczema, allergies, it balances your omega 3's and decreases inflammation.
2. get off all pasteurized dairy products, especially during allergy season as they are mucous forming (they aren't good for you in general, but if you want more info on that let me know)
3. have you tried white pizzas? or a pizza with an alfredo sauce?
his allergy may be something he grows out of as he gets older, but to have to take benadryl everytime you eat tomato anything is a bummer.
hope that helps a little.

My 2 year old's skin test showed that he had a tomato allergy, but we think it may have been a false positive since he doesn't have any signs after eating them. Nonetheless, we did find one (and only one) alternative. I found it on the internet (Whole Foods and Sun Harvest had nothing). It's called Nomato and it subs for ketchup, spagetti sauce, bbq, and salsa. Got to Nomato.com and check it out.

what about a pesto sauce?

My friend is a vegetarian and she made me spaghetti sauce with roasted red pepper puree...it was awesome! Make sure to take the skin off before you puree them or they will be bitter...look online for some recipes. You can make the sauce taste more spaghetti or pizza-like by adding basil, oregano or "pizza spice" which is a combination. I am sure you could make large batches and they should freeze well in individual serving bags.

My grandson has the same problem. He is almost 4 now. When he was a baby and up until he was 3 1/2 he would get red/burned looking skin from ketchup products. He is much better now, maybe it's just that he gets the food into his mouth and not on it. He did have some allergy testing and I think at the time we tried to buy tomato products without high fructose corn syrup. Landen is very light complected. Not sure if that is a factor with your son too? He still gets very dry cheeks and chin. We put vaseline on him numerous times a day.
Not sure what else to tell you. Just that you are not alone.


My boys are allergic to pretty much everything too. They both have bad eczema flare ups when eating tomato products but we have discovered that if we coat their mouths with vasolene before they eat tomato sauce, it doesn't happen as often (or as severe if it does flare up).

Hope this helps.

Hi C., I'm sorry I don't have any alternatives to offer but I was just wondering if Tomatoes were similar to Poison Ivy in that each time you come into contact with them your tolerance to then decreases and the allergy gets worse? I was just thinking that would be good to know especially if he really likes those foods. Did he always break out or did it start happening after a few time of eating those foods?

M. A.

I'm not sure if I have an allergy to tomotoes, but I have a sensitive tongue. My tongue is also a geographic tongue and I'm not sure if somehow the 2 are related. Anyway, I don't eat fresh tomatoes or chunky tomato types of sauces. It makes my tongue break out with large red bumps and they hurt. They take hours to go away, but I don't have any other symptoms anywhere else on my body. I haven't tried, but I would guess if I left tomato juice on my face I would get a rash.
I can eat canned tomato sauce, but not ketchup. I avoid Prego, but Ragu seems to be ok. I now make my own sauce with plain tomato sauce, ground beef and Italian Seasoning. Also, many pizzas have sauces that make my tongue break out, so I don't eat pizza much. If I can taste the acid in the tomato sauce, I know it's a bad one and I don't eat much or try to keep it from touching my tongue. I'm guessing that cooking the tomato breaks down the enzyme or whatever it is that causes me to have problems, so I try to stay away from fresh tomato sauces and find things that have been simmered a long time. By the way, I also have the same problem with strawberries, lemons(fresh lemonade), and bananas(the greener ones are worse). I know there are more, but those are a few of my favorites that I have to eat very carefully. I'm not sure if there is a common link between all those foods, but maybe it will help.
My mother never told me I was allergic to anything and I do know I ate all those things when I was younger, but I noticed the tongue thing when I was a teenager. So, for me it may have developed later. I've never asked a Dr. about it.

My daughters had something like this when they were little. If they got ketchup or ranch dressing on their skin around their mouths, they would get a red rash. It was very short-lived. Usually, it would clear up shortly after washing their faces. I determined that it was the vinegar in the two products that they were reacting to. Some people have very sensitive skin. As long as there are no other side effects, I say eat pizza and spaghetti. Just remember to clean them up quickly if it gets on their skin. They don't seem to have the same reaction now that they are older.

What are you doing to address the eczema?

Hi C.
I don't think we have a tomato allergy but it wouldn't surprise me if my son did. He has eczema and is sensitive to many things. He does have an allergy to latex and I learned that the same proteins in latex are in tomatoes, avocados, and bananas.

If I were you I would check the others out, too.

Good luck!

You know, my son reacts to tomato sauces, ketchup, etc.
I believe it is the acidics as he is not technically allergic. Orange or Yellow tomatoes are not as acidic.
OR you can try what we did... which is slathering on chapstick before he eats spaghetti or dips anything in ketchup!

This is common to my family. We avoid all tomato products for the small children. That rash can feel like a sunburn! Symptoms and reactions seem to get tolerable as we grow older. It is my understanding that Tomato is in the nightshade family. Some people have allergies to all nightshades and some to only tomato (obviously others have no allergy to them at all). Try the following website for recipe ideas:

I believe you can register and use it for free. Its a great site!
Best Wishes!

When my son was 6 months old we found out he had asthma. My side of the family has all kinds of allergies and asthma. When he about 2 years old the day care gave him red punch and I didn't realize that they use syrup and mix with water. After going to the emergency room and him breaking out in hives I found he was allergic to red dye no 40 which is in everything, even toothpaste. He would always want (crave) pizza and spaghetti and still does. When he was young it would make him hyper.

My sister has 5 year old twin girls and one of them is also allergic to tomatos, but only when they are canned or processed - such as in canned sauce or ketchup. But when she makes her own sauce or when she eats fresh tomatos there isn't any problem. I don't know if your little one has the same reaction w/fresh tomatos, but if not you may want to try making your own sauces and such from fresh tomatos. Also, just make sure you have an Epi pen around incase your son has a really bad reaction. Each time he is exposed to his allergen the reaction will get worse (this is what they have told me about my son's peanut allergy). My son hasn't been exposed to peanuts for a couple of years now and his allergy count has gone down from the thousands to about 12. We still watch what he eats and make sure he doesn't come into contact w/peanuts and will have him tested again at his 5 year check up in May and see if he is okay to eat it - either as a choice or just in case he accidentaly eats something w/peanuts. Now that he is older he is very concious of his allergy and makes sure he doesn't eat something unfamiliar w/o asking about its contents. I know my sisters girls are the same way (one is allergic to tomatos and one to strawberries).

Hope this helps. Good luck to you and your family!

1 of my 4 sons has life threatening allergies to milk, eggs and nuts. So I understand your frustration very well! When I was little however, I was allergic to tomato as well. I grew out of it but my parents wold have the pizza place make me a pizza with no sauce, just bread and cheese and I loved it! As for spaghetti, you can try butter sauce as an alternative. That way he can still have some of what he loves but not what will make him sick. Let your son know that he has an allergy and that he has tobe careful what he eats. Good luck

My middle son has eczema that is really bad if he eats tomato sauce. I made my own pizza and put alfredo sauce on it. For spaghetti I did the chicken spaghetti with cream of chicken as the sauce. Just to let you know with my son it has gotten better as he has gotten older he is now 4 and can have tomato sauce once in awhile and it does not break at as bad. I just make sure he doesn't have it everyday. Hope this helps.

I strongly recommend that you go to www.naet.com and find a doctor in your area that does this technique. Both of my son and I have suffered from food and air allergies. My son was the same as yours when he was younger and continued until he was 12 and we started receiving these allergy elimination techniques treatments. Now both he and I can eat anything without having problems and it has improved our quality of life dramatically. I recommend this to everyone I know since it fixes the problem. I strongly encourage you to check it out.

My son's is citrus, as well as tomato - I coat his face / lips with A&D clear diaper rash ointment - it kind of seals the surface - before he eats, and I give him Benadryl before he starts.
It doesn't help with the diarrhea, but it does let him enjoy an orange from time to time without too much drama.

I have a son who isnt allergic, but dislikes tomato sauce of any kind. What I do for him is fix him an alfredo sauce on the nights we have spaghetti. You can also order pizza that way. You may try that, unless he had other allergies that prevent him from having parmesan cheese and milk products.

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