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Factsheet - Allergy - Soy Free Diet

Soy Free Diet

Disclaimer: This fact sheet is for education purposes only. Please consult with your doctor or other health professional to make sure this information is right for your child.

Soya beans are used widely in the manufacture of processed foods although they are not commonly eaten in Australia. It is important to know where to look for soy in foods by reading food labels carefully. Check the ingredient list for the word soy.

Avoid foods which contain:

  • Soya beans
  • Soy flour
  • Soy milk & soy milk products eg. soy yoghurts, soy cheeses, soy desserts, soy icecream
  • Soy bean sprouts
  • Edamame
  • Tofu, soy bean curd
  • Fermented products such as:
    • miso (soy bean paste)
    • tamari
    • tempeh
    • bean curd
    • soy sauce
    • teriyaki
    • soy protein isolate

Foods that sometimes (but not always) contain soy include:

  • "Allergy" breads or flours
  • Baby cereals
  • Bread (soy flour is used in most commercial breads)
  • Bread crumbs
  • Breakfast cereals
  • Cakes and biscuits
  • Cake and pancake mixes
  • Canned or jar baby foods
  • Chocolate flavourings
  • Chocolates and sweets
  • Crumbed meats, fish
  • Deli meats and salads
  • Gelati
  • Home made bread mixes
  • Flavourings
  • Flavoured milk drinks
  • Infant formula made from soy
  • Mayonnaise type dressings
  • Meat substitutes
  • Packaged sauces and gravy mixes
  • Sauces and soup mixes
  • Sausages, sausage rolls, frankfurts, pizza
  • Stock cubes
  • Taco shells
  • Textured/Hydrolysed vegetable protein (TVP, HVP), labels must state if it is from soy
  • Unlabelled processed foods eg. takeaway food
  • Vegetarian foods


There is no need to avoid soy lecithin No 322. Research studies show that most people with soy allergy can safely eat soy lecithin and soyabean oil.

Soy Free Bread Alternatives

Most breads are made with a starter containing soy. This can make avoiding soy very difficult to do. Options for soy free breads are:

  • Home-made using a breadmaker and allowed flours
  • Check your local baker, greengrocer, delicatessen or supermarket for soy free breads
  • Crumpets
  • Many flat breads eg Lebanese or Indian bread, wraps, mountain breads

Soy milk substitutes

Instead of:Use
Soy milk infant formula for a child less than one year of age. NB rice drink is NOT suitable for a child less than 1 year.Breast milk, cow's milk formula, hydrolysed formula or amino acid formula. Speak with a medical professional to choose the right one based on your child's diagnosis
Soy drink for a child over one year of age NB rice drink is NOT suitable for a child less than one year.Cow's milk - choose one with more than 120mg calcium /100mls milk
Rice drink - choose one with more than 120mg calcium /100mls rice drink
Speak with a medical professional to choose the right one based on your child's diagnosis
Soy yoghurtCow's milk yoghurt
Soy cheese, soy sour creamCow's milk cheese, and sour cream
Soy ice creamCow's milk ice cream, sorbet, gelato


Cow's milk and dairy products or soy drinks are the main source of calcium in our diet. When it isn't possible to use cow's milk or soy milk it is essential to make sure your child gets it from other sources.

Daily calcium requirements are:

1 - 3 years500mg  
4 - 8 years700mg  
9 - 13 yrs 1000 - 1300mg1000 - 1300mg
14 - 18 yrs 1300mg1300mg

Add up the usual amounts of these foods each day

Cow's milk120 mg  
Rice drink with added calcium 120mg  
Yoghurt * 200g (1 large tub)300 mg  
Cheese * 20g (1 slice)180mg  
Ice cream * 2 scoops120 mg  
Custard* - ½ cup 150 mg  
Salmon with bones ½ cup 400 mg  
Sardines 1 small tin230 mg  
Breakfast cereal with added calcium*Check label  
Broccoli ½ cup20mg  

* Check all ingredient lists carefully as they may contain cow's milk protein.
Calcium content of foods can vary between brands

Calcium Supplements

In some cases it may be necessary to give a calcium supplement.


  • Sandocal, (1000mg calcium/tablet) a pleasant fizzy drink which can be made up with water or juice
  • Caltrate, (600mg/tablet) a tablet which can be crushed and added to food or drink
  • Nature's Way Kids Calcium chewable Burstlets (200mg calcium) - strawberry flavoured. Can be chewed or popped and squeezed into mouth or food.
  • Calcia (500mg) chewable lemon or orange flavoured tablet
  • Calsup (500mg) mint flavoured chewable tablet

For more information

Kids Health (CHW) Sydney Children's Hospital, Randwick Kaleidoscope, Hunter Children's Health Network
The Children's Hospital at Westmead
Tel: (02) 9845 3585
Fax: (02) 9845 3562
Sydney Children's Hospital, Randwick
Tel: (02) 9382 1688
Fax: (02) 9382 1451
Kaleidoscope, Hunter Children's Health Network
Tel: (02) 4921 3670
Fax: (02) 4921 3599

© The Children's Hospital at Westmead, Sydney Children's Hospital, Randwick
& Kaleidoscope, Hunter Children's Health Network - 2005-2009.

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