Allergies have become more and more of a problem for adults and children. Soy, nuts (primarily peanuts), dairy, and gluten are the most common allergen foods. If you have a child with allergies, you know that it can make food shopping a daunting task. Two years ago, I dove into the healthy lifestyle (organic and non-GMO, fresh veggies and fruits, grass-fed meats, wild caught fish, local poultry, minimally processed packaged foods, non-toxic/eco-friendly, etc.). After learning of my oldest son (currently 9 years old) having a cashew allergy, I decided to start looking into some allergen food alternatives for my whole family. From dairy to soy sauce, here are some great kid-friendly alternatives to make that grocery shopping trip a little easier.
Dairy Free — Milk Alternative • Alternative Choice: Ripple Milk
This milk is made from peas! I know, it sounds crazy, right? This milk contains 8g of protein per serving, has half the amount of sugar, and 50% more calcium than dairy milk. It contains nutrients such as Omega 3’s, Vitamin D, and iron. Still not convinced? According to Ripple, it takes 60 gallons of water to make one glass of dairy milk, while their milk only needs half a gallon for one glass of milk. So you’ll also be helping the planet! Ripple Milk comes in four different tastes: original, unsweetened, vanilla, and chocolate– plenty of options for the kiddos.
Bonus: it’s not only dairy-free, but also nut-free too!
Want to give it a try? Ripple Milk is currently sold at Target stores: http://ripplefoods.com/store-locator/
Gluten Free — Bread Alternative • Alternative Choice: Canyon Bakehouse Gluten Free Bread
For those who have a gluten sensitivity, Canyon Bakehouse makes a great gluten-free bread. After trying several brands, this one really stayed with me. It has a great texture and taste. My personal favorite is the 7 Grain and Mountain White. They also have a variety of style breads (hamburger buns, muffins, etc.). My only complaint would be the size of the loaves. They are a pretty small, which is fine for kids but hey what about the adults?! Amazingly, they announced a few days ago that they will be launching their “Heritage Style” loaf that is wider, in February 2017. This bread is also dairy, casein, nut, and soy free!
Nuts/Peanut Free — Alternative • Alternative Choice: SunButter
Have a nut allergy but still want your PB&J sandwich fix? Sunflower butter is a great alternative for peanut butter. Put it on apples, in a smoothie, or have it the regular old fashioned way – on a slice of bread with jelly! I’ve tried a few different sunflower butters, but SunButter seems to be the most kid-friendly.
Soy Free — Alternative • Alternative Choice: Coconut Secret
Who doesn’t enjoy a good stir-fry from time to time? Now you can make a veggie stir-fry, have sushi, or create your fried rice without having to worry about soy. A soy sauce replacement that I have as a staple in my kitchen is Coconut Aminos by Coconut Secret. This sauce is Organic, GF, Soy Free, Non-GMO, has no MSG, and contains 17 naturally occurring amino acids, which improves muscle strength – all made from coconut sap! Coconut Secret also makes “teriyaki” and garlic sauces.