Need some tips on food shopping for allergies?When first diagnosed with a food intolerance or allergy, the first few shopping trips can be daunting. Making the transition from throwing products into your trolley without a thought, to having to take time to read the ingredients list of every food product you buy, is not without frustration. However, it is possible to put a positive spin on the situation:
- Reading the ingredient list of each product you buy, increases your awareness of what you are eating. An increased understanding of the ingredients typically used to make both home cooked and manufactured food is helpful, while you reset your weekly menu around your dietary requirements.
- Thanks to the clear and reliable allergen labelling on pre packed food products these days, within a few shop trips, you will have developed a good knowledge of the foods you can continue to buy, when it is necessary to start buying a substitute product to buy and when cooking it from scratch is the only option.
- To make life less daunting when you are freshly diagnosed, think about the menu you would ideally like to eat through the week, and look up recipes on line, specifically designed to suit your allergy or intolerance. This way you are introduced to a host of substitute products and ingredients you can look for when you go shopping.
- You may never have visited the Free From aisle before. Regularly visit different supermarket retailers and health food stores as Free from ranges differ from shop to shop and are evolving all the time. The online product range is often different again.
- Embrace your new way of eating and experiment with the many excellent Free From products and ingredients available.
- You will be pleasantly surprised to discover a wide range of both staple products such as gluten free pasta, bread and rolls, as well as indulgent products such as cakes, biscuits and confectionery. The wide product range now available provides a good basis for continuing to eat well and conveniently.
- Be open to trying new ingredients which enable you to continue cooking your favourite recipes and also introduce you to new dishes and cooking techniques from around the world. If a recipe doesn’t work, or you don’t like a product, simply try another.
Provided you research and embrace the diverse array of ingredients, products and dishes you can still eat, rather than mourn the foods you can’t, you can continue to eat a varied and exciting diet. Having an allergy or intolerance is a bore, but also see it as an opportunity to learn about food and cooking – a chance for you and your family to try something new and a chance to cut out processed foods that are not good for you any way.