It seems so many people are asking me about allergies and intolerances and what they can eat when they must avoid certain foods. Lately “allergen-free” means far more than just peanut free. Kids (and adults) can have allergies to an array of different foods including soy, wheat, dairy, sesame… the list of allergy claims found on products doesn’t end there. Finding products that are allergen free can be a feat in itself, but the team and I also wanted to see if there are products available that would be both allergen safe and low FODMAP and of course still delicious! Even if you don’t personally suffer from a food allergy, we understand that there are other reasons this may be important whether you have a family member or friend that this concerns or being in a work or school environment that restricts certain foods. We have to admit this challenge was difficult for even us to solve, but below you will find the best products and brands for people with food allergies and digestive distress.
This is a great brand that offers 41 different allergy-friendly products, including cookies, cereal, snack bars, seed and fruit mixes, baking chocolate, chocolate bars, and snack chips. Hooray! All their products are free from Canada’s twelve priority food allergens (wheat, dairy, peanuts, tree nuts, egg, soy, fish, shellfish, sulphites, crustaceans, sesame and mustard). However, many of the products do contain high FODMAP ingredients. One thing we’ve learned through doing our product reviews, is that processed foods with long ingredient lists almost always have some source of gut irritating ingredients. For example some of the chewy granola bars contain date paste, honey, or dried fruit which is high in poorly digested sugars and can cause digestive discomfort. Every body is different, so these ingredients might not cause you trouble. If you’re following the low FODMAP diet for IBS, you’ll notice that these products aren’t full of FODMAPS so with trace amounts it will really depend on how your body reacts. Check out what products the Enjoy life brand offers at one of the following grocery retailers: Loblaw’s, Shoppers Drug Mart, Metro, Fortinos, Sobeys and Health Stores.
Sunflower Seed & Pumpkin Seed Butter
Peanuts and peanut butter are both low FODMAP, however, if your work place or child’s school has banned peanut butter, both sunflower and pumpkin seed butters are great alternatives that are also good for your gut. Plus many schools are nut-free as well, so these seeds may be allowed. Almond butter is delicious, but not low FODMAP. Nut to You Nut Butter Inc. is an awesome Canadian company out of Paris, Ontario. They make organic and local nut and seed butters. My favourite part about their product is how short the ingredient list is, they are often 100% nuts or seeds. Just one simple ingredient so nothing else to worry about.
An egg allergy can make baking a bit tricky. But Pane Riso Foods has the perfect fix! Add this egg replacer to your favourite cookie, muffin, or brownie recipe and you won’t even know they are egg-free. The best part about this particular egg replacer is that it is also low FODMAP- whoohooo! I wasn’t able to find this at all grocery stores, so you may have to visit your local health food store to track it down.
Please note that the gum in this product may bother some people, so be aware of your body and how you feel. The best thing to do is to track your food and symptoms so you can get to the bottom of how you are feeling. If you want more information on the difference between allergies and intolerances check out last weeks post.
Hopefully these suggestions will make your life a whole lot easier if you are trying to manage allergies, intolerances, or digestive distress. Do you have a favourite allergy free product or brand? We would love to hear about it. Please share your favourite allergy free product or brand in the comments section below.
Much love and good eating,
Stephanie and The Team