Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Grocery Shopping Woes for the Food Allergic

Here's an article about the difficulties in grocery shopping when your child has food allergies. I think that many of us can relate!

I recently blogged about my Trader Joe's experience with allergy warnings on a bag of chopped romaine lettuce. It's getting trickier than ever before to grocery shop for our kids, especially if you want to buy packaged or prepared foods.

Obviously, time constraints and convenience are always factors, so we will want to buy packaged foods occasionally. Much as I love the thought of processing all of my own vegetables and fruits (!) it isn't always practical.

While buying fresh, whole foods are our best bet, and better for our health, my advice is to look carefully at everything you buy. What other foods is the brand offering--do they contain nuts or other allergens you need to avoid? Common sense is key, but sometimes you're going to have to pick up the phone or e-mail the company. Food labels make less sense than they ever did, so I think it's helpful to let companies know you've got questions.
Does no mention of an allergen mean it's not present, for example? Or has the company just not listed it? Is the product run on the same lines as nuts, even if the label makes the claim that the food doesn't contain nuts or other allergens? You know the drill. We need answers to these questions before we can make a purchase with any confidence. And it isn't just helpful for us. Family members, friends, babysitters and teachers need to know what's safe also.
I've contacted many a company and will keep doing it. Whenever I do, I'll post my results as I get them. What about some of you? Any tips for certain products? Have some of you found out startling info when you've called a company? Please let us know.

On a side note, the restaurant anecdotes are pouring in and I'll be sharing them very soon. Please keep them coming! It's really helpful for all of us. Thanks.

1 comment:

Mama said...

This article is fantastic! A great resource to share with family and friends who need to understand what you are going through. Thank you for sharing it!