Allergy to Kale?

Updated on January 16, 2012
A.M. asks from Brookline, MA
11 answers

hi everyone--

random question: my 17-month-old daughter has been eating kale for months (steamed and chopped, then mixed in with hummus like a dip). in the past few weeks, we have been able to pinpoint that she has developed an allergy to the kale. for the past three times she has eaten the kale-infused hummus, her skin around her mouth has turned red and blotchy. it goes away after 20 minutes and doesn't seem to bother her. this does not happen when she eats the hummus plain or when she eats any other foods. i have tried to research this since it seems like kale is one of those "good-for-everyone superfoods", but i can't find anything on allergies to kale. it's organic and the same brand we've been using since we introduced kale to her months ago. any thoughts?


What can I do next?

  • Add your own comment
  • Ask your own question
  • Join the Mamapedia community
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

Featured Answers



answers from Boston on

The irony and the wammy is that allergies and addictions are often linked. They go arm in arm with each other.

More Answers


answers from Boston on

Also try washing the kale in a pure veggie wash and really cleaning it well.

I agree with you that it's not the hummus. but the idea of a combination is intriguing. I'd remove kale AND hummus for a week, then introduce just one without the other to see what happens.

And "organic" doesn't necessary mean anything - there's plenty of stuff in nature that's a problem - arsenic, snake venom, toxic toadstools, and so on! Buy LOCAL - they use fewer pesticides than things that have to be shipped a long distance. Even organic stuff shipped from across the country comes into contact with all kinds of things.

Good luck.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Hartford on

Perhapsyou have ruled this out but chickpeas (in the humus) are a legume and therefore have a higher tendency to cause allergies.



answers from Chicago on

It doesn't matter if it is a superfood or organic........anyone can be allergic/intolerant to ANYTHING. I am intolerant to honey, beets, spinach, etc. and my face breaks out and itches badly if I eat them. Remove kale from her diet for a week or 2 and then test it directly, by feeding her kale by itself (once a day for 3 days) and see if she has the same reaction. This is the gold standard of food testing.
Good luck.


answers from Austin on

When I was a kid, I had this problem when I ate strawberries or tomatoes(maybe it was the acid?) but I grew out of it. Can she eat spinach or cabbage instead without the rash?



answers from San Francisco on

I developed a reaction to the Brassica family
( ) , including Kale, Broccoli and Cauliflower- I can eat some of the family, like cabbage and Brussel sprouts, with only a mild reaction, slight gastrointestinal bloating. But if I eat Kale, Broccoli or Cauliflower, I have a sever reaction akin to food poisoning.

This lady made a blog siting that she believes that Kale was the culprit to triggering severe hives for her:

Apparently there are cases where people have reactions to this family. I do not know why it is, but there you go- at least you know that some of us out there are having reactions.



answers from Boston on

Hummus is chickpeas and most have tahini. which is sesame. Both my boys are very allergic to sesame oil and seeds. I bet it is not the Kale. It is either the bean or sesame.



answers from Boston on

Just a thought but maybe the grower is using a different pesticide, insecticide, or spray that's giving her that irritation? Try getting the kale from a different store or grower and see if you have the same results.



answers from Portland on

Does this seem to be something specific to just kale? If kale is suspect, you'll want to consider the possibility of similar reactions to broccoli, brussel sprouts, and cauliflower.

Have you tried serving kale in some other way? It could be as simple as a reaction to the combination of hummus and kale together.



answers from Boston on

I have lots of experience with food four year old son has many many food allergies and my nine month old is developing some as well. You can become allergic to something you have been eating for sometime without a problem. The reason for this is that your body has to become exposed to something (sensitized) in order to form an allergy to it.

My original thought when you were talking about kale hummus was that it could be the hummus itself, but you said she is fine with regular. my son got intense hives and itching after hummus and it is because he is allergic to chickpeas and sesame. If you have narrowed it down to kale then its likely it is the kale. You can be allergic to anything at anytime. Just simply avoid Kale. That is pretty easy to do :-) If she is having more allergies to food, then you could see an allergist.

From experience, it is a lot of detective work and knowing exactly what your child is eating. I never give my son anything without reading a label and eating out is out of the question.

Hopefully, this is the only allergy she has. good luck!



answers from Boston on

My first thought was maybe try another brand of kale to see what happens. Like Tatjana said, they might be using a different pesticide with the new organic laws -- that might be the irritant. Try getting the org kale from another local store and see what happens...

Please post your results -- I'm very curious. We eat as much organic as I can find (and afford), and I'm furious about the latest laws they are trying to get passed to "allow" org farmers to use things that really aren't "organic".

Next question: Infant Milk Protein Allergy