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Food Allergies

We need to educate people on food allergies, not…

With the recent controversy surrounding Peter Rabbit, many of those who may never have discussed food allergies before are starting to discuss the topic. This is great in highlighting food allergies and their impact, but unfortunate that something negative is the sole reason why.

For those that haven’t read the news recently may not know why the children’s film is gaining so much attention, and it seems to be for all the wrong reasons. A particular scene shows Peter and his forest friends attacking their archnemesis, Mr. McGregor, by throwing blackberries at him. Mr McGregor then starts choking and has to use his epinephrine injector.

In fact, when many people discuss food allergies, their knowledge stops at epipens being an allergy sufferer’s lifesaver.

Educating young

While many may have watched Peter Rabbit without thinking anything unusual of the scene described above, those with food allergies are all too familiar with allergy bullying. And is depicting this in a children’s film really a sensible thing to do? Well of course not.

Instead, we must take the time to educate.

Understanding food allergies

If from a young age we were educated on different dietary needs, nutrition and the lifestyle choices of others we would have a greater understanding of the effects food can have.

Living with a food allergy, or an allergy of any type can be restricting and often stressful. It doesn’t always just impact the person with the allergy itself. While it may be tricky to dine out with friends when living with a food allergy or intolerance, the real responsibility lies with the restaurants themselves. These restaurants need to take greater care in understanding the seriousness of food allergies.

This goes beyond highlighting allergen information on menus, and includes serious precautions to avoid cross contamination.

If we aren’t starting by educating young, how will we ever overcome the stigma surrounding food allergies?

 

Community Blog

Question! Can I use FoodAdvisr if I’m vegan?

And the answer is: Yes, of course.

The FoodAdvisr app isn’t limited to those with food allergies or intolerances, it can also be used to help you find dishes and menus that both highlight the ingredients you love and exclude those you’re not so fond of.

Our ‘Lifestyle’ settings allow users to decide for themselves, so you’ll always be in control. All you have to do is visit the profile carousel, select your preferred option and go!

Food scanning

We know that reading food product labels can be incredibly tiresome! We want to change that. 

When you’re carrying out your weekly shop, simply scan a product barcode and you’ll instantly receive all the information you need. So whether you’re excluding a certain food group (such as nuts!) or one specific ingredient, we’ll let you know an in instant if that ingredient is present.

 

Visit the App Store or Google Play today.

 

Community Blog

5 healthy breakfast ideas to kickstart your day

We use Instagram for a different kind of stalking… Food! We’ve scouted the app for the tastiest, healthiest breakfast ideas to kickstart your day. Whether you’re a fan of fruit, avocado (who isn’t?!) or a good ol’ smoothie, we’ve got you covered.

And so, here are 5 healthy breakfast treats!

In at number one…

Avocado and beans on rye toast by @deliciouslyella

Avocado and beans on rye toast.

Number two!

Coconut water smoothie bowl by @niomismart

Coconut water smoothie bowl

In at number three…

Pecan and apple porridge oats by @madeleine_shaw_

pecan and apple porridge oats

Hello number four!

Nectarine pancakes by @carlyrowena

nectarine pancakes

And finally…

Poached eggs with broad beans by @ameliafreer

poached eggs with broad beans

Community Blog

Managing your food allergies: Our recipe to succeed

Finding out you have a food allergy or intolerance can be incredibly daunting, leading to a variety of questions, although most frequently: Can I eat this?

Allergy UK is the leading national charity for people affected by food allergies in the UK, offering advice on all aspects of living with allergies.

Many allergy sufferers spend valuable time checking ingredients and packaging to ensure they are eating safely. But what if we had the answer?

FoodAdvisr is a consumer app targeting those with specific dietary requirements, when both eating at home and dining out. We also take your likes and dislikes into account, to ensure you are matched with meals and recipes that are tailored to you.

Cooking at home with allergies

When your dietary requirements are a little more complex, recipe books can be incredibly difficult to follow. Although most recipes can be adapted to suit your diet, knowing those substitutes and preparing for them when you get ready to cook a meal isn’t always easy. With FoodAdvisr, we offer you food inspiration at the click of a button, with all results unique to your profile. If you have a milk or egg allergy, it can be worth checking out some vegan recipes to give you even more food inspiration! Of course your profile can be changed at any time, simply toggle on and off your settings.

cooking at home food allergies FoodAdvisr

Eating out

Did you know 92% of those with a food allergy state that eating out is their biggest constraint? Dining out can be particularly daunting when your requirements are a little more than complex than just one food element! EU food allergy regulations mean that restaurants and other catering outlets must be able to provide allergen information – but who wants to flick through a huge booklet of ingredients when they’re supposed to be enjoying a meal out?

Simply check out menus on the FoodAdvisr app beforehand, avoiding that awkward encounter the next time you dine out.

dining out FoodAdvisr

Food scanning

FoodAdvisr also works as a barcode scanner, making your weekly shop so much simpler. All you have to do is set up your profile accordingly, pick up an item in store (or in your cupboard!) and scan the barcode. We stock information on thousands of products, to ensure you’re always eating safely.

Find out more

Who are behind FoodAdvisr?

Download FoodAdvisr on the App Store and Google Play and try it for yourself.

 

Community Blog

3 Reasons to love FoodAdvisr.

So you’ve heard of this cool new app, you’ve downloaded it to your phone, but now what? Well, FoodAdvisr is easy to set up, easy to use and incredibly handy if you’re living with a food allergy.

But what does the app really do? Don’t fret, we’ve got all the answers (and more!).

1. Super easy shopping with our scanner

supermarket shelf

We hear many stories from users who previously have spent a good 15minutes of their shopping staring at the back of packaging for allergen information. Does it include nuts? Is it dairy free? The list could go on! With FoodAdvisr, all you have to do is scan the barcode, and we’ll tell you the rest. Of course, you’ll need to set up your profile first! But once that’s done, you’re ready to go. Simply set your allergens, intolerances, dislikes and likes and we’ll point out the positives. So if you’re looking for high fibre, high protein or low fat at the same time, we’ve got you covered.

2. Find food near you (and who doesn’t LOVE to find new places to eat?!)

Dining out FoodAdvisr

Not only are we your FoodAdvisr on your weekly shop, but you can also find a place to dine out or order in from too. Once your profile is set and ready to go you can quickly browse menus of restaurants and takeaways near you, so whatever you fancy to eat, we’ve got your back. Book a table straight from the app, browse their dishes or check ahead before visiting with friends, family, or even a hot date!

3. Feel safe with food

dining out FoodAdvisr

Whether you’re browsing menus to order in, checking food on your weekly shop or heading out for the evening, FoodAdvisr gives you that peace of mind. We take our information straight from the products and restaurants themselves, offering you an instant rating – so you’ll never have to awkwardly sit in a restaurant wondering ‘what can I eat?…’ ever again!

Coeliacs

Coeliac disease: A disease missed and misunderstood.

There has been a lot of debate recently regarding making gluten free food available on prescription, but while going gluten free can often be a lifestyle choice, coeliac disease is still very misunderstood.

In fact, according to a Metro article, around only 24% of those who actually have coeliac disease are actually diagnosed. When left undiagnosed, coeliac disease can lead to all sorts of problems, like a knock on effect.

The expense of gluten free

There’s no doubt about it, it can be pretty pricey to eat gluten free. In addition to all the ingredients needed to cook something gluten free from scratch, not everyone is climbing aboard the gluten free wagon. Both eating out (and in!) can be a serious issue, especially when you’re a total foodie.

Being diagnosed with coeliac disease

It can be hard to adapt to a coeliac lifestyle at first. Yet thankfully, many food companies are filling free-from aisles all over the country. So while being diagnosed with coeliac disease can seem a little scary at first, once you’ve gained an understanding of the disease, the variety of food available is growing by the day. Hooray! That doesn’t go to say that those with the disease don’t crave something they used to enjoy before…

coeliac disease blog FoodAdvisr

FoodAdvisr and coeliac disease

So what have we done? Our app – which you can download for FREE on the app store – allows those with coeliac disease to input their needs right into their own profile. Maybe you have a dislike of a specific fruit or veg, or don’t fancy something too spicy? However complex your needs we’ll match them, allowing you to scan products on your weekly shop to quickly and simply check its ingredients.

And there’s more…

Soon we’ll be introducing eateries into our app, so eating out will never be a problem again!

Community Blog

Don’t miss out this Christmas with these gluten free…

When we’re not using the Internet for creating memes (just check out our Facebook page for the results) we’re scouting out the hottest recipes. In fact, we’ve realised recently just how difficult the holiday season can be when you’re gluten free. Which is why we’ve gone on the hunt for the most delicious gluten free dessert recipes that’ll really make your Christmas.

All of the Baileys

Baileys gluten free FoodAdvisr

We all fancy a little tipple at Christmas, right? Be warned, these mouth-watering delights will quickly disappear! We found the recipe listed on Genius Kitchen but we’ve also listed it below, because we’re helpful like that.

Give me the recipe and know how!
(Simply click the arrow to read more)
• 1 lb milk chocolate chips
• 1 (12 ounce) canpillsbury or betty crocker supreme milk chocolate frosting
• 1 tablespoon Baileys Irish Cream (Or any flavoring extract ie rum, brandy, lemon, almond, etc)
• 1 lb white chocolate bark (for dipping, to coat truffles)

  1. Melt 1 Lb milk chocoate in top of double boiler over hot water (or in Microwave).
  2. Stir until evenly melted.
  3. Add the can of frosting and the Baileys or flavoring/extract.
  4. Blend well, mixture may start to thicken.
  5. Chill in refrigerator for several hours or overnight.
  6. Use spoon or melon baller to scoop mixture in to hand.
  7. For dipping chocolate, I buy white chocolate bark but you can use white chocolate chips, candy melts, or just roll them in coconut, cocoa powder, mini choc chips, sprinkles, etc.
  8. Melt the bark or white chocolate according to pkg instructions.
  9. Dip each ball in white chocolate to coat.
  10. We drizzle a tiny”design” of dark chocolate over the top of the truffles to make them pretty.

 

Traditional Christmas pudding

Christmas pudding gluten free

You either love it or hate it, but we must all admit that Christmas pudding is an absolute classic! Don’t let being gluten free change your dessert choice this Christmas, give this recipe a try…

Give me the recipe and know how!
(Simply click the arrow to read more)
•2 cups milk or 2 cups lactose-free milk or 2 cups soymilk
• 2⁄3 cup sago (130 grams)
• 2 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
• 1 pinch salt
• 1 1⁄2 cups brown sugar (330 grams)
• 3 cups soft fresh breadcrumbs or 3 cups gluten-free breadcrumbs
• 3 cups mixed dried fruit (480 grams)
• 4 eggs, lightly beaten
• 120 g butter, melted

  1. Bring the milk to the boiling point. Remove from heat and pour it over the sago in a bowl. Cover the bowl and refrigerate overnight to soak.
  2. The next day, add the bicarb soda and the salt.
  3. Stir through all of the remaining ingredients and mix well.
  4. Grease an 8 cup pudding basin well. Place a circle of buttered baking paper in the base of the basin.
  5. Spoon in all of the pudding mixture into the basin.
  6. If using an uncovered ceramic pudding basin -and two sheets of aluminum foil. Tie with string to seal .
  7. If using a lidded metal pudding basin- cover with a circle of buttered baking paper. Cover with the lid.
  8. Pour enough water into a large saucepan or stockpot to come halfway up the sides of the pudding basin. Bring the water to the boil and then carefully lower the pudding into the water. Cover the saucepan and simmer for 4 hours. Check the pudding every 30 minutes and add more water if necessary.
  9. On the day of serving either cut into serving portions and heat in the microwave or leave in the pudding basin and resteam for another 2 hours to heat through.

 

A crunchy classic mince pie

gluten and egg free mince pies

Everyone loves a mince pie, don’t they? Well, what if we told you we have the recipe for the perfect gluten and egg free mince pies? Full of crunch and packing a tasty punch, this Christmas treat comes high in our list of must-haves!

Give me the recipe and know how!
(Simply click the arrow to read more)
  • 125g unsalted butter, chilled and diced
  • 200g gluten-free flour (we used Doves Farm), plus a little extra for rolling
  • 1 tbsp icing sugar
  • grated zest 1 orange
  • 200g gluten-free mincemeat (we used Sainsbury’s luxury mincemeat)

For the crumble topping

  • 25g ground almond
  • 25g flaked almond
  • pinch ground cinnamon
  • 25g unsalted butter, melted
  • 25g soft light brown sugar
  1. Bring the milk to the boiling point. Remove from heat and pour it over the sago in a bowl. Cover the bowl and refrigerate overnight to soak.
  2. The next day, add the bicarb soda and the salt.
  3. Stir through all of the remaining ingredients and mix well.
  4. Grease an 8 cup pudding basin well. Place a circle of buttered baking paper in the base of the basin.
  5. Spoon in all of the pudding mixture into the basin.
  6. If using an uncovered ceramic pudding basin -and two sheets of aluminum foil. Tie with string to seal .
  7. If using a lidded metal pudding basin- cover with a circle of buttered baking paper. Cover with the lid.
  8. Pour enough water into a large saucepan or stockpot to come halfway up the sides of the pudding basin. Bring the water to the boil and then carefully lower the pudding into the water. Cover the saucepan and simmer for 4 hours. Check the pudding every 30 minutes and add more water if necessary.
  9. On the day of serving either cut into serving portions and heat in the microwave or leave in the pudding basin and resteam for another 2 hours to heat through.

 

A choc-cherry treat

chocolate cherry gluten free torte

If you’re a fan of cherry (and all the chocolate) give this gorgeous choc-cherry torte a bash! Whoever said gluten free cakes have to be boring definitely doesn’t know how to bake!

Give me the recipe and know how!
(Simply click the arrow to read more)
    • 100g dried sour cherry
    • 5 tbsp brandy
    • 300g gluten- and wheat-free plain flour (we used Doves Farm)
    • 85g cocoa, plus extra for dusting
    • 200g light soft brown sugar
    • 1 tsp gluten-free baking powder
    • 1 tsp gluten-free bicarbonate of soda
    • 1 tsp xanthan gum
    • 150ml sunflower oil
    • 350ml rice milk (preferably unsweetened)
    • 150ml agave syrup
    • a little icing sugar, for dusting

    For the sorbet

    • 2 x 600g jars cherry compote
    • 200g caster sugar
  1. For the sorbet, whizz the compote with the sugar until smooth-ish, then tip into a freezer-proof container. Freeze until solid.
  2. Mix the cherries and the brandy and leave to soak for a few hrs.
  3. Heat oven to 160C/140C fan/gas 3. Line the base of a round, 20cm loosebottomed tin with baking parchment. Mix the flour, cocoa, brown sugar, baking powder, bicarb and xanthan gum in a big bowl. Whisk the oil, rice milk and agave syrup, then add to the dry ingredients and stir in with a wooden spoon. Add the cherries and any brandy, then scrape into the tin. Bake for 35-45 mins until crisp on top but fudgy in the centre. Cool in the tin.
  4. Carefully lift the torte onto a serving plate. Dust with cocoa and icing sugar, and serve with the cherry sorbet.

 

What will you be having for dessert this Christmas? Let us know your gluten free dessert recipes!

Community Blog

Peace of mind on the menu for customers with…

Food allergy is growing at an alarming rate – UK hospital admissions for food allergies have increased by 500% since 1990[1] with nearly one in five people thought to be suffering from a food allergy or intolerance. It is becoming increasingly apparent that allergies are fast developing into a modern epidemic, so it is now more important than ever to prioritise the safety of customers eating out of home.

Living with a food allergy can be very difficult, both physically and emotionally. For almost half (44%) of allergy sufferers, who live in fear[2] that they will experience a potentially fatal reaction, going out to a restaurant for dinner or popping out to a café for lunch can be a daunting experience.
The catering industry can play an important part in counteracting this fear by demonstrating the highest levels of allergy management, to ensure both the safety of their consumers and to build confidence in dining out for those living with allergy. A Consumer Eating Habits Survey revealed that 99% of allergy sufferers said that they were more likely to return to a restaurant if they felt that the food outlet was up to date with allergy/intolerance knowledge[3].

Regulations

Since the European Food Information to Consumer Regulations (FIC) came in to force in December 2014, information about any of the top 14 food allergens must be available to customers with a food allergy. It became a legal requirement[4] for both manufacturers and catering outlets to clearly label food with information on allergen contents. For manufacturers, the top 14 allergens must be listed in a bold font or alternate colour and be easily identifiable in the ingredients list; caterers must comply by providing allergen information to customers on request.  It is imperative for the safety of people with allergies that these regulations are observed in the interests of both the customer and the caterer.

The top 14 allergens, which are the most common dietary allergens to cause severe reaction, include: peanuts, tree nuts (e.g. walnut, almond, hazelnut, Brazil, pistachio, cashew, macadamia and pecan) egg, shellfish, cereals containing gluten, namely: wheat (such as spelt and Khorasan wheat), soy beans, milk, celery (including celeriac), mustard, sesame, sulphur dioxide/sulphites (where added and at a level above 10mg/kg in the finished product), lupin (which includes lupin seeds and flour and can be found in types of bread, pastries and pasta), molluscs (like clams, mussels, whelks, oysters, snails and squid). However, any food has the potential to cause a severe reaction.

Allergy Aware Scheme

When the European Food Information Regulations came into force, Allergy UK took the opportunity to improve eating out for two million people in the UK who live with food allergies[5]. At the time, many of the calls received by the busy Allergy UK helpline were from caterers seeking advice about what the new regulations meant for their business.

Allergy UK’s 20 years of product endorsement experience with the Seal of Approval, which provides members of the public with guidance when purchasing products, provided a strong background for the expansion of its offering and the Allergy Aware Scheme was launched in July 2015. The scheme aims to put peace of mind on the menu for people with a food allergy eating out of home. With around 4,800 hospital admissions a year due to allergic reactions to food[6], safety for customers is more important than ever before. Admissions for anaphylaxis (severe allergy) have increased by 615% in 20 years[7], so it is no surprise that 92% of those with severe allergies worry about eating out[8].

This Scheme provides consumers with confidence that catering establishments are recognised by Allergy UK for their robust front to back of house allergy processes and procedures. It recognises responsible catering outlets that have been independently audited and where staff have undergone detailed allergy training. The Scheme allows responsible catering outlets to show their customers they not only take allergens seriously but provide an exceptional service for the allergic community.

The scheme provides guidance, information and an in-depth site audit by an independent food safety expert, which, if passed, affirms that the outlet observes best practice in allergy management.

The Allergy Aware Scheme audit scores catering outlets on their staff training, suppliers, purchase and delivery of orders, storage of goods, handling and preparation, as well as order taking and front of house practices.

All outlets applying to join the Scheme are required to sign up to the Allergy Aware Scheme Charter to ensure best practice and compliance. Interested businesses can join the Scheme initially for a twelve month period, which is subject to renewal on an annual basis.

The Allergy Aware outlets are awarded a certificate and window sticker, along with a place on Allergy UK’s website, which attracts more than 156,000 visitors per month. Other benefits include the opportunity to reach out to a loyal customer base.

The scheme aims to put  peace of  mind on  the menu  for people  with a food  allergy  eating out  of home’

Progress to date

Since its launch in the summer of 2015, the Allergy Aware Scheme has generated a large amount of interest from independent hotels, cafes, restaurant groups and holiday companies. Current Allergy Aware Scheme outlets include Rainforest Café in London, Ell Castle Catering (operated by Hampshire County Council Catering Services) and Soho based ice cream parlour, Yorica. There are plans to develop models of the Scheme for healthcare and education catering sectors in the future.

Allergy UK is working with awarding organisations Highfield Awarding Body for Compliance (HABC), Food and Drink Qualifications (FDQ) and The Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH) to deliver Ofqual regulated food allergy training to caterers. The Food Standards Agency online allergy training (which is free of charge) is also accepted as a form of training for applicants to the Scheme.

The Allergy Aware Scheme has been established to help caterers provide an excellent dining out experience for the increasing number of customers that have a food allergy.

Ninety two percent of allergy suffers questioned would feel more confident eating out at an Allergy Aware Scheme restaurant[9].

Allergies are significantly increasing year on year. In a survey in March 2016, 58% of allergy sufferers said they had seen an improvement in their experience of eating out since December 2015[10] but there is more work to be done.

http://fstjournal.org/features/31-2/allergy-aware

Read more “Peace of mind on the menu for customers with a food allergy”

Community Blog

Are you one of the 21 million Brits suffering…

Even if you’re not a sufferer yourself, the chances are you know someone who avoids certain foods because they believe they’re allergic or intolerant to them.

Increasingly, research is showing they may be right. Figures from Allergy UK suggest allergies are a major health problem.

Around 21 million adults in this country suffer from at least one allergy, ranging from hay fever, eczema and asthma to insect stings, pets and food.

Every year, the number of sufferers increases by 5% and research confirms that in recent years, there’s been a particularly dramatic rise in food allergies, especially among children.

According to Allergy UK, cases of food allergies have doubled in the past decade and the number of hospital admissions caused by severe allergic reactions has increased sevenfold.

But how can we tell if we really are allergic to a food – and which are the most likely culprits?

“With an immediate allergic reaction to a food, your skin can be itchy or swell, you may feel sick or vomit, and experience stomach pains and diarrhoea.

“Although rare, some people can experience severe, sometimes life-threatening symptoms, which require immediate medical attention. 

“This is known as anaphylaxis, and symptoms can include swollen eyes, face or lips, feeling light-headed or faint, or loss of consciousness.”

If someone is suffering this badly, dial 999 and request an ambulance.

In contrast, a food intolerance doesn’t involve the immune system.

Laura explains: “Symptoms tend to vary more, and because people sometimes react hours or days later, it can be difficult to identify the exact food that’s caused the reaction.

“Intolerances primarily affect the gut, such as stomach pain or bloating, but eczema or itching are also common.”

According to the British Society for Allergy & Clinical Immunology (BSACI), 6-8% of children and up to 4% of adults have a true food allergy.

And one in five people alters their diet because they believe they have a food intolerance, although experts believe the true incidence is much lower than this.

The main offenders

The British Dietetic Association says that around 90% of food allergies in children are caused by just eight foods – wheat, cow’s milk, eggs, fish, shellfish, soy, peanuts and tree nuts, such as almonds.

Nevertheless, any food can cause an allergic reaction – and sesame, citrus fruits and kiwi seem to be becoming more common culprits.

Meanwhile, in adults, allergies to fish, shellfish, peanuts and tree nuts are often seen.

Surprisingly, another common food allergy is to raw fruits and vegetables, especially in hay fever sufferers. This is because the proteins in pollen from trees, grasses and weeds, and those in fruit, veg and nuts, have a similar structure.

In hay fever sufferers, the immune system recognises the proteins in fruit and veg as if they were pollen and responds by triggering an allergic reaction to them.

Symptoms include itching to lips, mouth and ears. The good news is that heat deactivates the protein responsible, so most people can eat the offending fruit or veg when it’s cooked or processed.

Getting tested

If you think you have a food allergy, it’s vital to get a proper diagnosis from a medical specialist. “Your doctor can refer you to a specialist for allergy testing,” says Laura.

On the other hand, unless lactose intolerance is suspected, there’s no reliable test to diagnose food intolerances so this is usually done through eliminating the suspected food, monitoring symptoms, then reintroducing it.

Dr Paul Seddon, Consultant Paediatric Allergist, believes high street or online allergy tests and kits are worthless.

“Invalid tests come with a high risk that you will be recommended inappropriate or potentially harmful treatments,” he says. “I commonly see children who’ve been put on to unnecessarily restricted diets because their parents assume, in good faith, that they have allergies to multiple foods on the basis of allergy tests, which have no scientific basis.”

Dangers of DIY diagnosis

Eliminating foods based on the results of unreliable tests or through self-diagnosis can mean you become obsessed with what you eat and develop nutrient deficiencies – and resulting health problems.

For example, ditching dairy can mean poor calcium intakes, leading to osteoporosis in the long term

And without a proper diagnosis, you could be avoiding the wrong food – yet still include the problematic one.

Avoiding diet deficiencies

Once a medical specialist has diagnosed a food allergy, the next step is to get advice from a qualified dietitian to ensure that removing offending foods doesn’t leave you short on protein, vitamins or minerals. This is especially important if you need to avoid lots of foods or a whole food group, such as dairy. Here’s how to make up nutrient shortfalls…

DAIRY

Milk, yoghurt and cheese are the main providers of bone-strengthening calcium and, in the long-term, poor intakes can affect bone health.

“Suitable dairy alternatives include soya milk and yoghurts, or alternative milks like oat, rice or hemp,” says Laura. Choose those with added calcium and avoid sweetened varieties. You’ll also need to avoid anything containing butter, cream, milk powder or milk protein. Lactose-free milks are suitable for an intolerance to lactose.

“These aren’t suitable for an allergy to milk protein though,” adds Laura.

Non-dairy foods that boost calcium include tinned fish, such as salmon and sardines where the small bones can be eaten, green leafy veg such as kale, nuts, seeds and dried fruit.

WHEAT

Wheat-containing starchy carbohydrates provide energy and can be rich in fibre and B vitamins.

Wheat is hard to eliminate as it’s in so many foods, including bread, pasta, couscous, many breakfast cereals and anything that contains flour, such as cakes, biscuits, pastry, pies, pizza, crackers, and even sauces and soup.

A wheat-free diet isn’t the same as a gluten-free diet (gluten is a protein in wheat, rye and barley that can cause coeliac disease, which is an autoimmune condition rather than an allergy). But many gluten-free products are also wheat-free. Potatoes, rice, quinoa and porridge are good wheat-free alternatives.

EGGS

Eggs are a major culprit in kids’ allergies

They provide protein, vitamins A, D, B2 and B12, and iron. “It’s easy to avoid eggs in their simple form, but they’re also found in cakes, biscuits, egg pasta and noodles, custard and some sauces,” says Laura.

Other protein-rich foods, such as meat, provide similar nutrients. Quorn, tofu, beans, lentils and chick peas are good vegetarian options.

PEANUTS, TREE NUTS AND SEEDS

These provide protein, heart-healthy monounsaturated fats, iron, calcium, zinc and vitamin E. Many people can eat some varieties even if they’re allergic to others, so stick with those that don’t cause a reaction.

Check labels – they can lurk in biscuits, cereals, cakes, chocolate, sauces and salads, and sesame oil is found in many Asian dishes.

Many products may have come into contact with nuts during manufacturing so need to be avoided.

Boost monounsaturated fats with a little olive oil, and vitamin E with a little sunflower or rapeseed oil. Avocado provides both.

FISH AND SHELLFISH

“Fish and shellfish provide heart-healthy omega-3 fats,” says Laura. “Fish, particularly oily fish, also contains vitamin D, and shellfish provides selenium, zinc, iodine and copper.”

Most people are only allergic to certain varieties, so enjoy those that don’t cause symptoms.

Otherwise, choose omega-3-containing plant foods, such as walnuts, flaxseeds or rapeseed oil.

Avoid oyster and fish sauces, and recipes containing them, such as Asian dishes, and ready-made sauces and stocks. Skip fish oil supplements too.

SOY

“This is a good vegetarian source of protein, which can be replaced in the diet by beans, lentils or eggs,” says Laura.

But be aware that allergies to soy often go hand in hand with allergies to other legumes, including peanuts.

Check labels as many vegetarian dishes (veggie sausages, burgers and ready meals) as well as processed foods include soy protein. Meat, fish, poultry and dairy products are good protein sources for non-veggies.