Grocery Shopping for Allergen Free Foods

Grocery Shopping Tips for Allergy Families

Grocery stores can be overwhelming and time consuming when you have food allergies. Grocery shopping for allergen free food requires investigative like abilities and super sleuthing moves to make sure the food you buy is safe.

Finding new allergen free breakfast ideas or allergen free snacks for school once in the grocery store can be challenging but there are a few tricks to help make shopping a bit easier. 

A huge factor to making allergen friendly grocery shopping easier is meal planning.  Tips on how to make that job easier is a whole other post, but just planning out your meals for the week means you know what foods you are looking for.  You can even do some online searching before you get to the grocery store to know what brands are best.  Most will have the ingredient list and Nutrition facts panel posted in an image.  Of course, double check the ingredient list on the package when you get to the store, but planning ahead can save a lot of time.

Grocery Shopping for Allergen Free Foods

Where to Look

Knowing where to find allergen free foods in the grocery store is the first step.  The perimeter of the store is generally where all the fresh fruit and vegetables are located. Frozen fruits and vegetables are also a great option, but read packaging to ensure no allergens were added in the freezing process. 

Read Label and Read It Again

Even if you have purchased a product a dozen times, read the label.  Manufacturers frequently change ingredients and processing methods and any new ingredients or contaminates will be noted on the packaging. Don't rely on the "allergy free" or "nut free" claims on the front of packages, verify allergy free manufacturing and exactly what allergens the product is free of in the ingredient list.

Where to Avoid

The smells from the in store bakery can be so tempting but the baked goods can be so dangerous.  Bakery items don’t always list every ingredient or allergen and in store bakeries are not as regulated as manufacturing plants. Cross contamination is also a big risk factor at the bakery, deli and cheese counters. Be aware if food is not prepared and packaged in a contamination free facility

Buy A Bunch

When you find a product that you and your family enjoy, that is allergen free and that you know you will consume often, buy a few so it is always on hand. Have a separate (i.e. out of sight out of mind) pantry or storage away from hungry eyes for any extra items so they will still be there next week. This is a great tip when buying Allergy Smart cookies  - you’ll want to stock up on these super yummy, top 10 allergen free, individually packaged, on the go cookies (shameless plug!) but they will disappear quick if you leave them where everyone can see them!   

Skip it and Shop Online

Still a bit overwhelmed at the thought of grocery shopping for allergen free foods? Stay home and order your favorite allergen free products online from brands you trust. Convenience and safety is guaranteed!

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