Helpful tips and options for people with food allergies

Austen Hensel, Life & Style Editor

Nowadays, allergies to gluten, dairy, eggs, and others are extremely common; however, it tough to find foods that meet all of these requirements. Big grocery stores like Kroger, Publix,Fresh Market, and Whole Foods do their best to accommodate for people with allergies, but there still aren’t many options.

I am one of many who face problems involving food allergies. I am allergic to gluten, dairy, eggs, tree nuts, and shellfish. It is especially hard for me to find snack food and things to eat on the go, but I have found a few items that I really enjoy.

A few of these items include gluten free pretzels, gluten free and vegan raisin toast, and Cheerios. All of these snack foods are really easy to eat. After school it is extremely convenient to grab Cheerios or gluten free pretzels out of the cabinet, have a few, and get on with my afternoon. The raisin toast is the same. I’ll grab a few slices, put them into the toaster oven, and have a fast snack food that’s very filling.

These three snack items are tasty, but sometimes they are not as filling as I would like them to be. When this happens I will turn to either peanut butter, a granola bar, or some sort of lunch meat. These options contain more protein and more calories than the other snack foods, and are a good source of food to eat before practice or a long day.

The hardest challenge I have is eating out. Many restaurants claim they have food that accommodates people with allergies, but most of the time it’s just a salad with a side of grilled chicken. For me, it is hard to accept paying ten dollars for a few pieces of bland lettuce and a cup of dry, grilled chicken. This frustrates me, and I end up either not participating in dinner related activities, or I will eat before I go out to restaurants with friends.

On the rare occasion we eat at a place that actually has food I can eat, I will pig out. Restaurants like Chick Fil A, Cookout, Chipotle, and TJ’s all have foods I can eat. At Chick Fil A I usually order grilled nuggets and fries, which to me is a win in my book. At Cookout I’ll order BBQ and french fries, at Chipotle I will have a bowl, and at TJ’s I will order wings made without butter.

It’s our hope that this is a helpful article that provided better snack food and restaurant options for people with allergies. Who knows, maybe there will be a restaurant in the future devoted to people with allergies, so they can go somewhere, knowing that their allergies are not a concern.