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Allergy members - how do you shop for food?

Can you talk me through how you go about food shopping for yourself or a member of your family that has a food allergy. Do you go to the local supermarket or specialist store? If a supermarket, do you buy from the health food aisle or regular aisles? Do you have to check every ingredient label or do products advertise themselves well enough? Do you have to buy specific foods? Is your food bill more expensive as a result? And finally does your household all eat the same meals, or does the person with the food allergy eat separate food?

Last reply: 10th Jun 2017 / 83 replies / Post by looklively

Reply

Jezemeg8

Posted by: Jezemeg8
Posted on: 5th Jun 2014

Jezemeg8 says: My daughter was born over 30 years ago and from the beginning it was very apparent that she had several serious food allergies (even when I was breastfeeding, if I ate something she couldn't tolerate, she would suffer terribly).
I had a very low income at the time so shopped as normal in supermarkets but I started to read EVERY label of everything I bought. It soon became apparent that the simplest way to avoid allergens was to make everything from scratch, It was also by far the cheapest way to go too, convenience foods are very expensive.

Now this daughter has two children who are both highly allergic to a variety of foods, some things one can eat but not the other, and some foods neither my daughter or her children can eat. My daughter too has discovered that it is far easier and less time consuming to make everything from scratch, shunning 'convenience' items like stock powder, etc, choosing instead to cook the 'old fashioned' way, much the amusement of her friends.

Sourcing food from health food shops is both expensive and may not help one avoid potential allergens, it is still essential to read all labels and carry along a 'decoder' for those items identified by numbers. I find it surprising that some food manufacturers think that by changing the name of an ingredient (for instance soy is often labelled as 'hydrolyzed protein') means that it is no longer an allergen.

As I was on a very limited budget when my daughter was young we all ate the same meals at the same time, my daughter learned to identify foods that may cause her problems and avoid eating them when she was out. Now my daughter is teaching her own children to do likewise, the family eats the same meal (as do extended family and friends when they visit), but the children are taught to identify foods which may cause them to feel very unwell. Fortunately none of their allergies are life-threatening, or need an epi-pen being at the ready, but they still have severe signs when allergens are ingested.

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