Thursday, March 3, 2016

Grocery shopping with food allergies

I have heard so many people say how much they enjoy going grocery shopping. People have mentioned that they can run in and pick something up and it doesn't take long at all. Now, I wish I could run in and not take long in a grocery store but with food allergies that isn't the case. Some stores even offer that they will do your shopping for you and you just have to drive up and pick it up. Oh, would that be nice sometimes not having to step foot into the grocery store.

Food allergies are normally something that you deal with mostly at home because that is where you do a lot of your food preparation. It is the getting the items for the various meals that turns into a challenge each time you go into the grocery store. Next time you go shopping think about having to read every label of everything you buy every time you buy an item. Yes, that is what our life is like and that is the life of anyone with food allergies, as we need to insure that there are no ingredients in what we purchase that might cause major allergic reactions and possibly kill us.

Grocery shopping becomes a challenge and a major obstacle course for finding food that is safe. A trip into the grocery store normally for us even when we aren't buying too many things is around an hour and longer if we are needing to find new foods.

Watching people quickly look at the labels of what they are buying makes me jealous. There isn't a quick look for us as every time we purchase something we have to double check the ingredient list. Sure the package can look the same as it did the week before but the ingredients can be different so yes that means checking every time you are in the store. Ingredients are something that do change and sometimes change quite often so making sure we check the packaging is very important for my safety. We also do check the nutritional factors because we want to ensure we are picking items that are good for the two of us.

The other challenge in the grocery stores are the areas where there are the pick your own oysters, etc. This means a wider circle around the different sections of the grocery store as well. Now, the meat counter can also be a challenge for something with a shellfish or seafood allergy when both counters are side by side. Making sure you communicate your allergies to the person behind the counter is very important so that they can do the necessary handling changes required.

For those of you that don't have to deal with food allergies here is a challenge for you. Next time you go into the grocery store to do your shopping read all the ingredient lists for everything you purchase. Look at the time difference it makes to your shopping trip and think that for so many of us that is a normal shopping trip. Yes, there are parents that need to find the snacks without peanuts or nuts for school lunches. Now if you don't have to do any of that checking think of how lucky you are and remember it can change at any time. I am adult on-set anaphylaxis so the checking all the labels isn't something I grew up doing.

Grocery shopping with food allergies can be a real challenge. The checking of the labels is required to ensure things remain safe each time we buy something but at least we have found a way to handle it and having two sets on eyes on the labels during our shopping trips does help.

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