According to data from the III Mediterranean School Canteen Observatory , in Spain more than 10 percent of school-age children have an identified food allergy , 1.08% more than in 2020.
After analyzing 34,359 school menus that the Mediterranean company serves in schools in different Spanish geographical areas, 3,630 allergies have been identified, representing 10.56% of all menus. This figure increases by 1.08% compared to the previous year, in which 9.48% of children with an allergy were recorded.
The most common food allergies
Among the analyzed data, allergy to cow’s milk protein (18.87%) has increased by 5.7%, a considerable increase compared to the last course (13.17%).
Next, the most frequent allergies in the canteens are to cereals with gluten with 16.50% of the cases, growing double compared to the previous year (8.30%).
Lastly, allergy to eggs (11.9%) is also one of the most common, although with a similar frequency to the previous year (11.50%). Check out more interesting articles on our site The Blog.
It should be noted that fruits and vegetables, as well as nuts , have become allergies with a lower prevalence, compared to the percentage that they represented in previous years in the school canteens analyzed by Mediterránea.
On the other hand, the allergies that we find less frequently are to fish with 8.58%, although they increase by more than 2% from the previous course (6.30%); to legumes that stand at 6.2% and to additives with 1.37%.
Dairy intolerance continues to be an important aspect in the design of school menus, as 297 children show signs of discomfort when consuming these foods.
“Currently the only treatment for lactose intolerance is following a reduction or exclusion diet adapted to the tolerance level of each individual. This is because there is such a wide variation in individual tolerances that a single lactose threshold cannot be set generically. In fact, it has been observed that sometimes consuming lactose together with another meal and spreading its intake throughout the day can help certain people to tolerate it,” says Rocío Royo, director of Nutrition and Dietetics at Mediterránea and head of the Observatory.