Allergy Shmallergy

Simplifying life for families with food allergies.

Food Labels January 13, 2011

Filed under: Preparedness — malawer @ 10:41 am
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

I label all the food in my pantry.  Yup, all of it.  Bear with me, I promise I’m not crazy.  I’m still trying to make things easier for us food allergy parents at home.


When my son was first diagnosed with food allergies, feeding him instantly became nerve wracking.  With so many different food allergies to manage, I had found myself reading and re-reading and re-reading the same boxes of food to make sure the ingredients were safe.  At that point, my husband didn’t yet have as good a handle on my son’s situation and felt uncomfortable giving him anything without my stamp of approval.   Trying to navigate my pantry was daunting for both of us!


I began labeling all the food in the house.  I read all of the ingredient lists on all of the food in my pantry and stuck a bright sticker on the front of the safe foods with a note that read, “OK for [my son’s name]” on it.


How on earth does that make my life more simple, you’re wondering?  Well, for starters, I only had to go through the pantry once.  Now, I just add a sticker to the safe foods as I unpack them from the market.


Also, the labels have several advantages:

1.  My husband is not thrown off when a new food is introduced to the household (and importantly will not require my help when, for example, my son is hungry and I’m out or – god forbid – in the shower!);

2.  The labels ensure that babysitters and other caregivers will be less likely to make a mistake feeding my child in our house — which means I can have a better, more relaxed time while out;

3.  Although we do not have any nuts or peanuts in the house, the labeling system allows those of us who are not food allergic to enjoy some snacks that  my allergic son can’t have yet.  I still prefer regular milk to soy myself and it’s hard to kick that ice-cream habit….

4.  As my son grows up, he can safely pick out snacks for himself.  I love to see his confidence when he can do new things for himself; and

5.  Finally, I won’t go insane by rereading all of those ingredient lists over and over and over.



Your sanity is just a bonus.  You’ll thank me later!


7 Responses to “Food Labels”

  1. malawer Says:

    I almost forgot to mention that you can streamline this process by printing the labels on your computer!

  2. […] and your groceries packed, you may wish to consider sorting the safe and unsafe foods at home using a labeling system.  By labeling your food at home, you’ll cut down a little on how many times you re-read an […]

  3. […] probably already labeled all the safe food in your pantry (see if you […]

  4. […] all the important reasons spelled out in the post Food Labels, I love the idea of marking the food in your pantry.  No one wants to make a mistake when feeding […]

  5. […] 3.  Review your pantry and devise a labeling system.  It’s important to make your home a safe space to eat.  Begin by reading ingredient lists and separate safe and unsafe foods.  Put that dining room table to good use!  And, don’t forget: manufacturing being what it is, many products are made on equipment that contains your allergen and should be put aside until you speak to your allergist.  An example of a labeling system can be found here. […]

  6. […] done so, consider implementing a system to label the safe foods in your kitchen  Please read, Food Labels to see the simple system we use here at my […]

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