Two of my kids have celiac which means they can’t eat gluten (the protein found in wheat, barley and rye) and my third child has allergies to treenuts, milk, eggs and soy so when I found out the Gluten Free and Allergy Friendly Expo was being held in Chicago and was hosting bloggers I may have actually begged for a chance to attend. My begging worked and I was given an opportunity to make some amazing connections with people and brands who not only feel my struggles but are living it and making it easier for the rest of us to live with these challenges.
Because of our unique combination of food allergies, cooking meals for the kids can be a cumbersome exercise. Like making something as simple as pancakes, for example:
So when I find brands that everyone can enjoy those really stand out for me. Because of the severity of our allergies, we cannot eat something if it was manufactured in a facility that manufactures one of our allergens. Fortunately there are quite a few companies that are making products that are free from many of the top 8 food allergens and I always get excited when I find a new one.
Here are some of our favorites from the Expo:
We were given a couple of different kinds of Freedom Foods cereal to try out and some pancake mix. The TropicOs and Pro-Teen Crunch were the most popular with their fruity flavors. The kids like to eat cereal as a snack and this filled them up. I like that the Pro-Teen crunch is made with chickpea flour and the kids like that it tastes like banana. You can add some to your next Amazon.com order or check on their site for availability near you.
Cybele’s – Since going Gluten Free these chocolate chip cookies are the thing that we are probably most excited about. They are delicious. If they are fresh they are outstanding. I found them at my local Whole Foods.
Nana Creme (ice cream) – It is so hard to find an ice cream that my youngest can eat that isn’t coconut based. Coconut is fine in small doses but I find too much of it doesn’t sit well with him. Nana Creme uses banana as a base and it is creamy and full of flavor. If you are in Chicago it is widely available, or you can special order it from Nana Creme’s site.
Skinny Pop Popcorn – This is, fortunately, available everywhere and is our go-to snack for everyone.
Homefree – Homefree makes bite sized cookies that my youngest loves.
Enjoy Life – This brand is widely available and is our favorite for bars, cookies and for chocolate chips for baking.
As a GF and food allergy family our easiest go-to foods are fruits and veggies. But having treats that the kids enjoy is important too. We’re always looking for new ones so I would love to know what your favorites are!