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Food Allergy Resources

First Time Shopping for Your Food Allergic Child? 6 Tips for Success

January 2006

Shopping can be quite overwhelming the first time you make the trip to a market to purchase safe foods for a food allergic child. Here are a few tips other parents have found to make shopping trips more successful for that first shopping time when dealing with a new food allergy, or any time you first go to a new health food store or market:
  • If possible, do not take the kids. Go when your spouse can stay at home with the kids, or have a trusted babysitter, close friend or grandparents care for your child while you can shop without distraction.

  • Give yourself extra time to shop (at least two hours). Reading labels can and will be time consuming the first few times out.

  • Prepare a list of safe foods you would like to find.

  • Bring your list of all of the various names for derivatives that could be listed on the food labels for your child's food allergies.

  • Only purchase foods you know are safe. Use a pen and paper to write down product names, company phone numbers and UPC numbers of products that you want to check into further. If they turn out to be safe after calling to ask the companies, then you can purchase them more confidently on the next shopping trip.

  • Don't go to the store hungry. Going with a full tummy will keep you from rushing through your trip or reading labels too quickly. It will also keep you from overspending on items you really donít need. Shopping for children with food allergies can be expensive enough without going over budget for extra food!

To learn how to successfully shop for your food allergic child, read our new comprehensive article, "Grocery Shopping for a Food Allergic Child" which covers topics such as allergen labels, cross contamination, and hidden sources of allergens.

Reviewed by KFA Medical Advisory Team February 2005.

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Page last updated 7/29/2012

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