Today saw the announcement of the shortlist for this year’s Free From Food Awards, so I was keen to see which products are up for an award.
When you’re shopping/cooking to manage multiple allergies, you inevitably go through a few stages when you find a new product that appears safe.
- Read the label.
- Read it again.
- Scour the packaging for hidden away allergy warnings.
- Ask other half to check packaging while you Google Latin names of allergens or the what maltodextrin, lecithins, xantham gum etc mean again.
- Put it in your trolley without committing to it.
- Buy it with scepticism.
- Read the label before putting it in the cupboard.
- Avoid using it for as long as possible.
- Rub some on allergic child’s wrist.
- Wait a few days, then use it in cooking.
- Bottle actually giving it to child.
- Rub some next to allergic child’s mouth.
- Get antihistamine, steroid etc ready.
- Give to child.
- Panic and wait.
If no reaction, there’s only one thing for it…. VICTORY DANCE!
Followed by more doubting (“what if it was a one-off?” etc) and some inevitable panic buying.
We have a few staples for both boys that we genuinely can’t do without, and I was pleased some of them were shortlisted for these awards. These are three of our favourites that made the list.
Tesco FreeFrom Garlic Baguette
The wonderful chef at L’s nursery discovered this little gem. I was a little concerned initially about the high salt content, but he doesn’t have that much in one day (although I’m sure he’d scoff the lot if I let him). It has coconut oil which can be a problem for some people, but otherwise it is free of dairy, soya, wheat, peas, eggs, nuts and so on.
£1.50 in the freezer aisle, and I break off pieces to cook for him rather than cook a whole one only for some of it to go to waste.
Kiddylicious Veggie Straws
I always feel these are expensive at 70p a bag, like most “made for baby” foods, but L loves them. They’re a nice shape for little hands, good texture and relatively healthy.
Koko Dairy Free Original Plain Alternative to Yogurt
We did our coconut challenge (at home) with Koko and I did several victory dances when L could tolerate it. Typically, most of the time he doesn’t want to eat it, but that’s another story. I add it to food whenever possible and I eat that instead of yoghurt as I’m breastfeeding and limiting my intake of L’s allergens whenever possible.
I had a bit of a bad experience the other day when I opened a tub and it had gelatinous gunks of mould inside (which I photographed and planned to send to Koko to complain but haven’t actually got round to doing).
I’m slightly dubious now every time I open a new pot but I’m hopeful it was a rare one-off. Also hoping L would develop a taste for it as a dessert.
About £1.80 a tub.
It would be interesting to see how these fare in the judging. I hope the winners are products that are suitable for multiple allergies. There is nothing like the crushing defeat I feel when reading through a list of ingredients and going “wheat-free, check! soya-free, check! dairy-free, check! pea-free, check! oat-free, check! eggs… FFS!!!” It’s always eggs. Or soya lecithin. Or all fine but “may contain nuts”, even on a bloody bottle of flipping fruit juice.
*(Yes I do have a thing for Amy Poehler. And gifs.)