While I was making my list for allergen free foods, I realized that we have more choices than the original four brands that I’ve come to know and love: Enjoy Life Foods, Ener-g, Edward & Sons and Lundberg Farms. I am eternally thankful that individuals have left their corporate offices and started food companies that are “free of” allergens. To all of you, my heart is filled with gratitude. And thanks, too, to those companies who realize that the allergy community needs “allergen statements” on their web sites, in order to find food that is safe for children (and adults) who have food allergies.
Our typical lunch looks like this:
Apple, Pear, Plum or other safe fruit
Home made cookies from Mom
I’ve included foods that will make it into my child’s lunchbox on any given day that are free of the top eight allergens as defined by the FDA , in addition to not having any of our daughter’s other allergens (we’re in the ‘beyond’ section!) present. Remember, my list is a very small list and may not be your list – your list may be longer and even more amazing! Also remember to read all labels even if something looks safe for you, as labels can and do change.
A brand new product this fall is So Delicious Greek Yogurt, made with coconut milk* (please note that currently the FDA defines coconut as a nut, so check with your allergist before introducing to your allergic child), but free of all major allergens.I had the fortune of trying So Delicious Greek Yogurt which they sent to me this week. It has a very tangy coconut flavor, with blueberries and a traditional greek yogurt consistency. So Delicious Greek Yogurt will make great addition to my breakfast choices since it is high in calcium (30% DRV) and fiber (40% of DRV). This product will hit store shelves in September (if not before a representative has told me).
There are several products on my list that are there because of me, our dear daughter cannot eat them due to her nut, egg, and other serious allergies. Two of those products are Bakery on Main (gluten-free, oat free granola) and Glow Gluten Free (contains egg, and tree nuts). I have chosen these products because *I* love them – I am gluten-free, not anaphylactic. If you are wondering what the difference is, you can find a definition here on Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network. The other product is Columbus salame. I met them at Food Fete and they sent me along a sampling of sausages. Their sausage is of tremendous quality and is gluten free and most are free from dairy, but make sure to check the label.
A product that deserves mention is Boar’s Head deli meats for their sensitivity to the gluten-free community. One can find Boar’s Head at major deli’s all over New York City. However, please when ordering Boar’s Head from a deli, let them know your allergens so they can wipe down the slicer and change their gloves. This is a product that I can eat (gluten free), but my child cannot due to cross contamination issues at the deli counter (multiple anaphylactic food allergies).
And a final, and important, shout out to the Lucini line of olive oils, balsamic vinegar as well as the super delicious Lucini pasta sauce, which our dear daughter cannot live without. If I make her Lucini pasta sauce, on top of her favorite Tinkyada brown rice pasta (with rice bran), sprinkled with a bit of basalmic, she is in food heaven. I only wish she could have their Cinque ‘e Cinque – our daughter has a chick pea allergy – and this unique flour is made from chick peas, which can be made into just about anything, from pakoras, to flatbread and is gluten-free.
And now – here’s our chart! I hope it helps you as you plan for your child’s school lunches.