So you’ve been diagnosed with a food allergy – what next? After being loaded with a hefty stack of pamphlets detailing numerous treatment plans, it can be a challenge to get your head around it all. No matter your allergy – whether it be a mild reaction or anaphylaxis – the most important thing is to develop a plan of action that makes sense to you.
At Foodini, we’re passionate about making things easy for people with dietary needs so that dining experiences stay as they should be – joyous! With that in mind, we’ve done the work for you and whittled things down to five simple steps.
Learn More About Your Allergy
Having already found your way onto this article, you’re off to a running start.
Food allergy testing and diagnosis is a process packed with information – from skin testing and elimination diets to the various signs and symptoms of anaphylaxis and the all-important EpiPen – which may leave you feeling bombarded with advice.
Alongside the information provided by your allergist, embarking on some independent research gives you the agency to learn more about your allergy without being swamped by medical terminology. Here are a few reliable resources to pop in your back pocket:
Created for people with dietary needs by people with dietary needs, this is an app you can rely on. Choose from 40 different allergy groups and dietary preferences – from vegetarian and vegan to nut-free, gluten-free and low-FODMAP – to create a personalised dietary profile and be matched with dietitian reviewed menus that are tailored to you.
Not only does the Foodini App allow you to explore a delicious range of restaurants and cafes in your area, but also pinpoints exactly what you can and can’t eat on the menu, alongside any dishes that would be suitable with changes.
When eating out, jump onto #FoodiniFirst to discover a whole world of better, safer and more delicious dining experiences. It’s all at your fingertips!
Label Checking – Your New Best Friend
The best way to avoid butting heads with allergens is to make label checking a habit. It may seem tedious at first, but this step is an absolute must to prevent food allergies and intolerances from flaring up.
Here are some things to keep in mind:
- Always read ingredient lists to check for potential allergens. If an allergen isn’t specified, it is not a direct ingredient in the product – no news is good news!
- ‘May contain traces’ is a voluntary statement used by companies to highlight any type of ingredient that may have come into contact with the product during processing or manufacturing, and can include direct allergens or other ingredients. These products only need to be excluded from your diet if you have severe allergies such as anaphylaxis and have been directed to do so by your registered health professional.
- Products change, so remember to check the ingredients every time, even if the product has a permanent place on your shopping list.
Get Your Loved Ones On Board
Food and dining out are deeply social experiences, so what better way to bring the joy back into eating than inviting your closest friends and family to jump on board?
Having a food allergy doesn’t need to be an isolating experience. In fact, 1 in 3 Australians deal with food allergies and dietary needs, so it’s likely you know at least one other person with a food allergy or intolerance.
That’s why we’ve created a group-dine option on the Foodini App, which allows you and your dining companions to plug in your various needs and be matched with a restaurant that suits you all! It doesn’t get any easier than that.
With so many fantastic alternatives lining our supermarket shelves and restaurant menus, food allergies and intolerances don’t stand a chance when it comes to enjoying your favourite meals.
If you’re ditching dairy, we’ve put together a guide to choosing the best plant-based milk (get ready to up your coffee game!) and for Sydneysiders with sweet tooths, all of the best dairy-free ice cream spots in Sydney.
And if peanuts are a no go – but you’ve always secretly wanted to try peanut butter – we’ve covered that, too, with these five delicious alternatives.
Whatever your allergy or intolerance, adding some of these simple steps into your routine can help keep dining – whether home cooking or eating out – simple, safe and delicious, as it should be!