Apps & Websites to help.
Here are a few tools to make checking products’ allergens & writing your shopping list a little easier:
Food Maestro App.
Developed in partnership with the NHS, this app allows you to set up allergy profiles for everyone in your family and scan product barcodes to detect ingredients you can’t have. You can also browse categories for products which are free of allergens. But, unfortunately, it can’t currently advise where to buy these products.
Spoon Guru App.
It allows you to scan product barcodes but seems to have fewer products in its database. Spoon Guru also has allergen-free recipes for you to try.
MySupermarket: allows you to search for gluten & dairy-free products across multiple retailers, though not all products are picked up by its filters.
Ocado: Allows you to filter products by gluten-free, wheat-free, milk-free, egg-free, lactose-free and soya free, and select multiple allergens simultaneously. In our experience, these filters pick up the most relevant products.
Sainsbury’s: dedicated free-from sections, but a limited filter function, only nut-free & gluten-free covered.
Morrisons: Have a gluten-free filter and gluten-free, milk-free, lactose-free & dairy-free specific sections.
Tescos: Have free-from options in each menu and a filter for allergens when looking at a ‘shelf’. However, frustratingly this filter only allows one allergen to be selected at a time.
Asda: has a free-from menu easily listed on the front page but doesn’t currently have the function to filter products by the allergen.
Step by Step advice.
Pre-plan your weekly menu; this will help you focus on what you need and hopefully stop you from feeling overwhelmed.
Then use apps & website filters to help you build your shopping list, allowing you to go into the store with a clear action plan.
Until you build confidence, heading into the store allows you to check all product labels, whilst online shopping gives less control, as recipes may have changed.
2: Watch the Salts, Sugars & Saturated Fats:
Not all free-from foods are the same; whilst we strive to make our food as healthy as possible, some can be nutritionally poor.
3: Read every label every time:
Ensure you check the packaging every time you buy something, responsible manufacturers should highlight allergen changes on the front of the pack, but this isn’t always done.
Therefore, it is best to read the label when it goes in your shopping trolley and train everyone in the house to read the label before eating it.