Should Your Peanut Allergic Child Eat Chickpeas?

Peanuts are classified as legumes, as are chickpeas. Does this mean a child with a peanut allergy needs to avoid eating chickpeas? As with many questions related to peanut allergies a simple “yes or no” answer does not exist, so chickpea recommendations from doctors and allergists are likely to vary. Some may advise this legume be avoided since there is a somewhat higher risk of chickpea reactions in a peanut-allergic child.

Reasons Not To Avoid

Jaffe Food Allergy Institute’s Dr. Scott Sicherer, however, does not believe individuals with a peanut allergy should automatically avoid eating chickpeas, for several reasons:

  • Peanut, being a legume, shares similar proteins with many other legumes, but in a study done many years ago just five percent of kids with peanut allergy experienced allergic reactions to the other legumes (beans) tested.
  • The risk of a peanut-allergic child reacting to eggs or milk is actually greater than their risk of a response to chickpeas, yet eggs and milk are not automatically avoided.
  • When a peanut-allergic individual is given blood or skin prick tests for bean allergy, they test positive about fifty percent of the time–although 95 percent of these patients can safely eat beans. (Allergy tests are affected by shared legume proteins causing immune responses unrelated to actual allergic reactions.)
  • A positive allergy test to chickpea, or other food, indicates an allergy might exist. A supervised food challenge, if warranted, is the only way to definitively diagnose a food allergy.

For those with a peanut allergy who have already eaten and tolerated chickpeas, Dr. Sicherer sees no reason to avoid chickpea consumption.

More Chickpea Data

Some interesting research from Mediterranean countries sheds a bit more light on the peanut and chickpea question. Studies there indicate that two-thirds of children allergic to either pea, chickpea, or lentil, also had reactions to another of those three legumes; however, it was unusual for these kids to have a peanut allergy.

Further, if a peanut-allergic child were already tolerating peas, their chance of being allergic to chickpea was slim, but if peas caused a reaction the risk of having a lentil or chickpea allergy was increased.

So, bottom line, there is a risk of cross-reactivity between peanut and chickpea proteins, but it’s generally small. If you are still uncertain, your doctor or allergist can help determine whether your child should avoid fiber, manganese, and iron-rich chickpeas. Or, as do many kids, maybe yours will turn up their nose at chickpeas and make the decision for you.

Photo: Source: Dr. Scott Sicherer/Allergic Living
Photo: Pexels

Get a Free Peanut Allergy Safe Food Guide

Finding the right, safe foods is one of the most challenging aspect of a peanut allergy and nut allergy all. Each day, you make choices that will impact you and your love ones. We have put together a list of over 3,000 peanut free and nut free foods that include snacks, chocolates, baked goods and more.

Get a Free Peanut Allergy and Nut Allergy Safe Food Guide today and live life safer, better and healthier.

Just enter in your email below to download your free Safe Food Guide.

By clicking Submit, you agree to send your info to and we agree to use it according to our privacy policy and terms and conditions.

Top Forum Categories

Click on one of the categories below to see all topics and discussions.

Peanut Free Store

More Articles

It Is Easy To Buy Peanut Free Chocolate Online

Ask any parent of a child with a potentially life-...

Seeds, such as pumpkin or sunflower, make great peanut or tree nut substitutes in recipes, and roasted soy or garbanzo beans are tasty snacks and...

So many wonderful recipes call for peanut butter. These recipes can still be enjoyed by experimenting with peanut butter replacements.


Peanuts and peanut oil are cheap and easy additives to food and other commercial goods. It is surprising (and alarming if you have a...

Those with severe peanut allergies soon learn to look for the 'peanut-free sign' on any packaged food purchase. This is a notation found on a wide...