Have you ever found yourself feeling overwhelmed by the grocery store? Healthy eating can seem like a daunting task when you have food allergies, but it doesn't need to be! With a few simple tips, it’s entirely possible to establish healthy eating habits for your family that stick to your specific dietary needs.
Make a list of the items that you need and the allergens that you need to avoid.
A clear list of what you need will save time once you're on-site, so you can stay focused on finding items from your list rather than getting sidetracked by products that seem tempting or similar to ones you know don't work for your diet. There are many different types of allergens that can pose a threat to sensitive individuals. Whether it's peanuts, gluten, or something else, it's crucial to be able to recognize and avoid your potential triggers when shopping at the grocery store or elsewhere.
Plan your shopping trips around the grocery stores that have the best selection of allergen-free products.
Generally, it's a good idea to focus on specific grocery stores with strong allergen-free product selections. This means doing some research beforehand and selecting stores that carry all of the products on your list, from allergen-free snacks and prepared foods to dairy alternatives and gluten-free baked goods. If you have any grocery stores like Whole Foods, Fresh Thyme, or Sprouts in your area these can be a great resource. Often the products they carry cater to people with specific diets and will be clearly labeled for your convenience. Another option is to find some trusted food delivery services. Thrive Market is a popular choice to find many health conscious frozen and pantry items. You can narrow your search by lifestyle and specific diet filters to find the products that best fit your needs. At The Big 8 Crate, we feature a variety of allergen free snacks in our snack boxes, all free from the top 8 allergens and sesame. Our snacks are made in dedicated facilities for those concerned with cross contamination. You can select a one time box to find some new allergen free snack brands, or choose a monthly subscription so you always have a steady stream of allergen free snacks at your doorstep.
Check ingredient lists for all products, including those that are not food items.
One of the most important things to look out for is food labeling. Reading labels carefully enables you to avoid anything that may contain common allergens like soy, nuts, eggs, wheat, or dairy products. Be aware that sometimes products are made on shared lines with other potential food allergens and be mindful of cross contamination warnings. If a product doesn’t seem to be clearly labeled, don’t risk it. Take a picture of the label and contact the company for further clarification. You can also try out apps such as Fig which allows you to sift through grocery store items and matches you with products that fit your profile.
Be prepared to ask questions and read labels carefully in order to make sure you are getting what you need.
When it comes to getting all of the nutrition we need, it can be easy to fall short if we aren't careful. Whether we are shopping at the grocery store for groceries or looking for allergen-free brands online, it is important that we take the time to ask questions and read labels carefully in order to make sure we are getting the right products for our specific diets. Like I mentioned above, if you aren’t sure about something, it is not worth risking an allergic reaction. Many companies have allergen information posted on their websites under the FAQ page, including which allergens are present within their facilities. There are also many Facebook groups and allergy forums that can be another great resource for getting questions answered about specific products, finding information on manufacturing processes, and hearing experiences from others who may be dealing with the same food allergies.
Bring a friend or family member along who can help you make decisions and keep track of ingredients.
Having another set of eyes can be invaluable when navigating the often-confusing world of allergen free brands, as having another person there to double-check labels and ingredient lists can help you avoid potentially dangerous ingredients. Additionally, your companion can help you stay focused on your task at hand and prevent you from getting sidetracked by all the tempting non-allergen free options available. Overall, shopping with a friend when you have dietary restrictions is always a good idea. This will help you stay safe and avoid any accidental exposure to allergens.
Stay positive and don't get discouraged - it may take some time to find the right products, but it's worth it!
When it comes to shopping for allergies, it's important to stay positive and not get discouraged. It may take some time to find the right products that fit your specific diet, but it's worth it! By following these tips and creating a strategy that works for you, you can maximize the efficiency of your grocery store trips and find the safest, best options for your diet.