Food challenges and supervised feeds

Young girl doing a food challenge

What happens at a food challenge or supervised feed?

A food challenge or supervised feed is a test carried out in hospital to see if your child is able to eat a certain food. Your child may have a food challenge or supervised feed if other allergy tests have not given us a clear answer about whether they have an allergy or not.

In both tests, your child eats the food under hospital supervision in case they have an allergic reaction. If your child is having a food challenge, they will eat four or five doses of the food we are testing and this will last approximately five hours in total. A supervised feed is a bit quicker, your child will only have one dose of the food and this test will take about two hours in total. Your child will need to eat a full portion of the food to ensure they are safe, and can continue to have the portions at least two or three times a week at home. 

The specialist you saw at your outpatient clinic appointment will discuss whether a food challenge or supervised feed is the right test for your child. If it is, you will be given the details to book an appointment for a challenge.

 

Your child's food challenge or supervised feed

 

Contacts

Specialist nurse: 020 7188 9783

Suggested recipes

The allergy dietitians have developed some recipes for biscuits and cakes, which might make it easier for your child to eat the right amount of the food:

Muffin to use in baked egg challenges (PDF 117Kb)

Muffin to use in baked milk challenges (PDF 121Kb)

©  Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust.
King's Health Partners logo