Reading Labels and Products we Love!

One of the most difficult parts of cooking with food intolerances is deciphering ingredient labels.  Unfortunately, allergens may be listed under many different names, some of which wouldn't seem to be related to an allergen.  Another issue is that legislation may permit a manufacturer to omit an ingredient constituting less than a specific percentage of the total product, so allergens may be in some foods without an obvious allergen warning.  After months of label reading, I have compiled a list that should help save some time when learning which foods will cause issues and which are ok to eat.  Here are some key words to look for when reading labels:

  • Casein
  • Caseinate (of all kinds)
  • Whey and Whey Solids (even delactosed  and demineralized whey)
  • Lactic Acid
  • Lactose
  • Curds
  • Cream (and cream milk powder)
  • Lactalbumin
  • Buttermilk
  • Kefir
  • Sour Cream
  • Yogurt
  • Ghee
  • Butter (even artificial butter flavor)
  • Milk (even dry and milk protein)
  • Nougat
  • Caramel Color - In the U.S.A., caramel color must conform with the FDA  standard of identity from 21CFR CH.1. This statute says: "the color additive caramel is the dark-brown liquid or solid material resulting from the carefully controlled heat treatment of the following food-grade carbohydrates: Dextrose (corn sugar), Invert sugar, Lactose (milk sugar), Malt syrup (usually from barley malt), Molasses  (from cane), Starch Hydrolysates and fractions thereof (can include wheat), Sucrose (cane or beet)."
Caution: Flavorings (natural flavoring or artificial flavorings MAY contain dairy)
Caution: Chocolate (often contains milk or butter)

  • Albumin
  • Silici Albuminate
  • Lecithin
  • Globulin
  • Vitellin
  • Lysozyme (sometimes a preservative in food and medications)
  • Livetin
  • Any ingredient that contains the word egg. Remember, egg substitutes still contain egg.
  • Meringue
  • Ingredients beginning with “ovo” (this means ‘egg’ in Latin).
  • Mayonnaise
  • Binders, emulsifiers, or coagulants may contain egg.  Check with the product manufacturer to be certain.  
Egg proteins are also found in cosmetics, shampoos, and pharmaceuticals. A patient allergic to egg should avoid consuming fried foods from vendors who use the same frying surface for preparing multiple foods.

The flu shot contains a small amount of egg protein.  If you or your child has an egg allergy, consult your physician before getting a flu shot.

  • Edamame
  • Tofu
  • Textured Vegetable Protein (TVP)
  • Any ingredient with “soy” (except soybean oil. Many with sensitivities can tolerate this)
  • Tempeh
  • Natto
  • Miso
  • Thickeners
  • Stabilizers
  • Emulsifying agent
  • Bulking agent
  • Carob
  • Guar gum
  • Hydrolyzed vegetable protein
  • MSG
  • Protein or protein extender
  • Starch
  • Vegetable broth, gum, or starch

Caution:  Flavorings (natural flavoring and artificial flavorings MAY contain dairy)
Caution:  Many broths contain soy. Almost all bouillon cubes contain soy.
Caution:  About 60% of processed foods contain soy.
Caution:  Textured vegetable protein is used in simulated meat products or may be added to meat as an extender. These products are often used as meat substitutes in vegetarian products.

Soy allergies are very common in infants and children. If your child has a soy allergy, use caution when introducing solid foods. All peas, beans, carob, peanuts, cassia/senna (often found in laxatives, curry, and cinnamon), lentils, fenugreek, and licorice are botanically related to soy. An individual may be sensitive to one legume and not another. Collins does quite well with sweet peas, but we learned the hard way that she cannot tolerate green beans.  When introducing foods to a baby, always introduce one food at a time (often only one food for several days), so that you can pinpoint the source of the problem if your child exhibits signs of intolerance.

GLUTEN: We can consume gluten, but I am providing a list of places to check for gluten for those of you who are
  • soy sauce
  • imitation crab
  • licorice
  • seasoning packets
  • natural flavoring
  • BBQ sauces
  • salad dressings
  • hard candies
  • cornflakes and rice krispies
  • chocolate
  • ice cream
  • broth
  • chipotles in adobo sauce
  • yogurt and other dairy products such as sour cream
  • miso
  • some fermented kimchi
  • fish sauce
  • oyster sauce
  • mole
  • beverages such as sports drinks or iced tea mixes
  • malt vinegar
  • oats (you must not eat anything with oats unless made with certified gluten-free oats)

Tricky places where allergens may hide:
  • soft drinks often contain caramel color, which is a dairy derivative
  • cooking spray often contains soy
  • fast food fries
  • any fried food may be breaded with an allergen or might be cooked in same fryer as allergenic food
  • vitamins and medications - always read the labels
  • deli meat - see Yummy Living page for more details
  • prepared baby foods and infant formula
  • burger patties 
  • candy
  • canned or packaged soups
  • canned tuna
  • cooking oils
  • hot dogs
  • salad dressings
Please view the following link from the Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network.  This printout could be used when grocery shopping or dining out.  It's wise to have a list to hand anyone who prepares food so they understand that some less obvious ingredients may be harmful to those with allergies.

When you start eating cleaner, going to the grocery store can be intimidating and time consuming. Through my journey, I have found a few foods that make like a little easier and tastier.

Earth Balance Soy Free Natural Buttery Spread: This ‘butter’ is fantastic! It is dairy and soy free, and it tastes wonderful. I use this in several recipes.

Enjoy Life Semi-sweet Chocolate Chips: These chips are great for baking.
Enjoy Life online

Ener-G Egg Replacer: I simply don't know what I would do without this product! This is a wonderful product that can be used in baking and cooking to replace eggs! You may purchase it online or you can click on the Where to Buy tab on their site to find it locally.
Ener-G egg replacer information

Silk Almond Milk: They have several varieties, all of which are great! I do not recommend using almond milk for cooking or baking if temperatures get too hot, however. It does not do well when over-heated (gets a weird salty taste).

Rice Milk: Rice milk is a bit watery, but it does well in cooking and baking.

Bisquick: I am amazed that wheat is the only allergen in this stuff! combine with rice milk for biscuits, make waffles, coat chicken for great tenders and more!

Balsamic Vinegar: I love this stuff! There are so many sauces that are off-limits to those with allergies or intolerances, so I use this to make many of them at home. You can use it to make salad dressings, marinades, sauces and reductions.

Lenny and Larry's Complete Cookies O.M.G. These cookies are amazing! And they are actually pretty good for you so I don't feel the least bit guilty eating 1/2 of one w some coffee in the morning or for a little snack. And they are kid approved too! My favorite flavors are: Peanut Butter (if you can have peanuts), Double Chocolate, Snickerdoodle, Chocolate Chip (only if you can pop in the microwave for 15 seconds. makes a big difference, Lemon Poppy seed, and White Chocolate Macadamia. They are Egg, Dairy and Soy free! They also have 16 g protein per cookie AND 8g Fiber. One of my favorite products! They can be found at publix by nutritional bars, some walmarts, academy sports, whole foods and online. Make sure your cookie feels soft when buying it. Ive bought some that feel hard and arent as good.

Back to Nature: this brand is great! We can eat the following: Madagascar Vanilla Cookies, Crispy Wheat Crackers (taste like Wheat thins), and the graham cracker sticks. yuuuuum!!!
Back to Nature website

EVOO: olive oil is a great way to get fat...wait, that didn’t sound right. Olive oil is a great way to get the fat you need in your diet. If you have a soy allergy or intolerance, you MUST stay away from vegetable oil. Regardless, EVOO is so good for you, and it is so tasty.

Nabisco Premium Crackers: I love the Minis. They are great in soups or on salads (instead of croutons). They do contain soybean OIL, but soybean oil is usually tolerated in those with soy allergies. They also contain wheat.

General Mills cereals: Not all of these are allergy friendly. However, I have found several varieties that are soy, egg and dairy free! I am obsessed with the Fruity Cheerios and Coco Puffs. :) Please note: most of these DO contain wheat.

Almond butter, cashew butter, and peanut butter: Check your labels, but if in their purest forms, these ‘butters’ could be a staple in your clean kitchen. We can only have Almond butter.

Honey and agave nectar: I use these in sweet and savory meals. If you cannot have Honey, try Agave Nectar. It has a great flavor but has a low glycemic index.

Kikkoman Panko Bread Crumbs: Make onion rings, battered shrimp or chicken, a casserole topper...the possibilities are endless! Please note: they do contain soybean oil and wheat flour.
 Kikkoman online

Vegenaise (soy free version):  Okay, so I was REALLY skeptical about egg free/dairy free/soy free mayo substitute? sounded scary. But, when i finally tried it..I LOVED it!
Soy Free Vegenaise
Dairy or Egg free diet and missing Ranch?? Well now you can have the most AMAZING RANCH!! I SEARCHED and searched for weeks for a way to make ranch, and this is hands down the best and most amazing ranch. Penzey's makes many amazing spices and seasonings. Their sandwich sprinkle is also amazing. My ranch recipe is on my blog. you wont regret it! Buttermilk Ranch
If a store bought dressing is more your style, Here are a few that I like:
Organic Tuscan Italian DressingOrganic Lite Balsamic Vinaigrette

Nabisco Honey Maid Cinnamon Grahams: These contain wheat, but do not have soy or dairy! All other varieties contain only get the Cinnamon. These are a great snack for kids, and I love them with a cup of coffee.

Jennie O Turkey:  I have tried many different brands of ground turkey, and the Jennie O brand is my absolute favorite! I buy the Lean kind. I also like their Turkey sausage and deli meat. There are many products to check out.Yea, Jennie O!
Jennie O website

Xtreme Wellness Tortilla Wraps: These yummy tortilla wraps are healthy and taste fantastic! They are made by Ole Mexican Foods and can be purchased at Walmart and Publix. They have several varieties, but my favorite is the High Fiber. Two of their varieties do contain soy-Spinach and Herbs as well as the Tomato Basil. The others do not. All are dairy and egg free. I use these for my tacos, fajitas, and other sandwich wraps. Check out their nutrition on the link below:
Xtreme Wellness Tortilla Wraps

Rudi's Bread products:  Rudi's makes several different types of breads, and they taste wonderful! I love their hamburger buns and use them often. They even have several Gluten-Free varieties..check them out!
Rudi's Bakery website

My Favorite store bought bread is made by Eureka! Baking Company! It is Dairy, Egg, Soy free! It can be purchased at Publix. I like it toasted best! Eureka Website

Barbara's Snackimals in Vanilla: These cookies taste wonderful and are shaped like animals, which kids love. They also make other varieties, but they all contain soy. Please note: These cookies post the disclaimer that they were manufactured in a facility that also processes milk, soy, peanuts, hazlenuts, almonds, pecans, pistachios, cashews, walnuts and coconut. My daughter has a dairy, soy and peanut allergy and has NEVER had an issue with these cookies, but you can make the decision whether or not you would like to consume them.

CANDY!! We try to avoid artificial colors in our home because many children with food allergies also have sensitivities to some food dyes. Collins does, but we are not sure exactly which we just try to avoid them all. This can make things tricky when it comes to finding candies for special treats. Well, I have finally found a few that I think are good!

Surf Sweets: This brand is fantastic! They pride themselves on being Allergy-free, gluten free, made without corn syrup and are sweetened with all natural fruit juices and organic sweeteners. But the best part? They taste amazing! I have only tried three products, so these will be the ones I will suggest: the gummy bears, gummy worms and the jelly beans. Good Stuff!

YumEarth Organics lollipops, fruit snacks, jelly beans and gummies: These both taste amazing! They are also: Peanut free, Soy free,Dairy free, Organic, Vegan, 100% Natural Flavors, Tree Nut Free, and Gluten Free! All the lollipops taste good, but my favorite flavor is the Wet-Face Watermelon :)

Krusteaz brand Sugar Cookie Mix. This mix requires butter and one egg. I use the earth balance buttery spread, egg replacer and a few extra tablespoons of water to make the dough. I usually add some of the enjoy life choc chips to make chocolate chip cookies! NOTE!! This mix is made on equipment that makes products containing eggs, milk, soy and tree nuts. I cautiously tried it, and my daughter has not had any adverse reactions, but if you or someone else consuming them has an extreme allergy to any of these ingredients I might steer clear.

GoGo Squeeze! My daughter is obsessed with these! They come in 10 flavor varieties, which i think is a big plus. Due to certain fruits she is sensitive, she can only consume the Apple Apple, Apple Cinnamon (which she doesn't care for as much), and Apple Peach (her fav!). They are a great convenient snack to send to school or to put in your purse on the go. GoGo Squeezes are Vegan, Gluten Free and Kosher. GoGo Squeeze website

Cindy's Kitchen dressings and marinades. YUM! They make MANY varieties and products, but I have only tried a couple of the ones that fit within our diet. The Fat Free Sundried Tomato is ah-mazing! I use it as a marinade on chicken (along with some other seasonings) and I love to combine it with balsamic vinegar or Italian dressing as a salad dressing. It only has 25 Calories and here are the ingredients:Filtered Water, Red Wine Vinegar, Light Filtered Cane Juice, Sun-Dried Tomatoes, Onions, Sea Salt, Tomato Paste, Dried Garlic, Dried Basil, Xanthan Gum, Spices. *GLUTEN FREE, FAT FREE. Good Stuff! Cindy's Kitchen Website

Coconut Secret's Coconut Aminos. Have a soy allergy or intolerance and miss soy sauce? This is the closest thing you will find to it! It does not necessarily taste like soy sauce (to me, some people think it does) if you were to pour it onto cooked food, but it is fantastic as a soy sauce sub in cooking. It is Dairy Free, Soy Free, Gluten Free, Vegan and contains 17 naturally occurring amino acids. Coconut Aminos Site

If you can have coconut, So Delicious makes some AMAZING ice cream, fudge bars, ice cream sandwiches and bars (our favorite!). Not all of the ice cream is soy free and nut free so make sure to check your label. Our favorite ice cream is hands down the Mocha Almond Fudge. The Vanilla bean is also great with hot fudge or cookies. My daughter loves their fudge bars and Vanilla Ice Cream Sandwiches best! So Delicious has so many fantastic products. Check them out..I guarantee you will find something you love! So Delicious

Taste The Dream Rice Milk Ice Cream Cream. OKAY, I have only tried the Cocoa Marble Fudge variety, but its pretty decent! I actually like to melt some Ejoy Life choc chips with a little almond milk to make a chocolate sauce and pour it over the ice cream. I definitely like So Delicious products better, but this is good too. It is dairy, soy, and gluten free. NOTE! According to the site: "The products are manufactured in a plant that uses peanuts, milk, eggs, wheat and tree nuts. Good manufacturing practices are used to prevent introduction of these or any other unlabeled allergens in the product." We have not had any allergic issues, but that is not to guarantee that you will experience the same. Rice Dream frozen treats

I love Near East's products, but not all of them are allergy friendly. The Whole Wheat Cous Cous and the Brown Rice Pilaf are in our diet and are fantastic! The cous cous take just 5 minutes to cook, and the veggies and seasonings you can add are endless.

Who doesn't love ice cream cones? We finally found one that we can eat, and as an added bonus? They are Gluten-Free for those of you with Gluten issues. They are a perfect size and come in 3 varieties. This one is our favorite: Goldbaum's Cones

Sorbet is a great option for people that are dairy free, gluten free, soy free or that want to eat cleaner products. We have several favorite sorbets that we like to put in our cones: Ciao Bella brand: I haven't had one I didn't like! My favorite are Dark Chocolate and Blood Orange. Collins' favorite is the Wild Blueberry (which has real blueberry chunks!).Ciao Bella Sorbet

We FINALLY found a great store bought pie crust that fits our diet AND doesn't contain lard (yuck). I tried Wholly Wholesome Organic Whole Wheat Pie Crusts. I found them at Publix. I was a little skeptical that they would be good, but I was quickly proven wrong. They are great!

If you are okay consuming a small amount of Lard, Pillsbury Refrigerated Pie Crusts are fantastic and convenient

Chips Chips and more Chips. There are several Chips that are dairy, soy, egg free! Here are a few of our favorites:

My absolute Favorite:
Awesome Tortilla Chips..and very healthy! (many tortilla chips are safe)
These are SO good! What a great mixture of chip and cracker.

Cereal is such an easy go to for a quick breakfast or snack. There are many cereals, believe it or not, that fit into this diet! Here are some of our favorites:

I love to use this cereal when I make rice krispie treats:
IF YOU CAN HAVE FOOD DYES, Lucky Charms is dairy, soy, egg free!

My little one loves turkey dogs. I am glad we finally found one that doesn't contain dairy..aaaand tastes great! Oscar Mayer SELECTS Turkey Dogs (not the regular ones).
Want a quick and easy spaghetti dinner? These Aidel's meatballs are awesome. Saute them in a skillet with some onion then add your favorite allergy friendly sauce, boil some pasta, and you're done! Can be found at publix.

Needing a great on the go snack? KIND is now making granola bars. These Oat and Honey Bars are delish!! I eat one almost every day. This is the only flavor that fits in our diet, but we love it.
Another great granola bar I love is made by Nature's Path. It is a crunchy bar unlike the kind oats and honey chewy bars. Very tasty! dairy, egg, soy, peanut free! note: is produced in a facility that produces soy, dairy, tree nuts. 

Dunkin Hines cake mixes are dairy/egg/soy free!
Classic Yellow Cake Mix
Annie's has a few products that we can eat that we love:

Here is a list of several other foods that you can have when you are dairy, soy, egg, peanut, cashew free:

  • Quaker Rolled Oats
  • Back to Nature Granola
  • Enjoy Life granola
  • Quaker instant grits (original)
  • Maple Syrup (check label)
  • Honey
  • Coffee
  • Tea
  • So Delicious Coconut Milk and creamer, Silk Almond Milk 
  • Jennie O Turkey Bacon
  • Almond Butter
  • Dried Fruit-check label to be sure

Baking and Cooking
  • spices and herbs
  • Sugar-all
  • Canned Pumpkin
  • Olive Oil, Safflower Oil, Coconut Oil, Grape-seed Oil, 
  • PAM Grilling cooking spray- all other varieties of pam have soy
  • Hot Sauce-many. check label
  • Ketchup
  • Mustard
  • Several Bbq sauces- I love Sweet Baby Rays original
  • Balsamic Vinegar
  • Apple Cider, white and red wine vinegar
  • unsweetened coconut flakes
Snacks and Sides
  • many canned veggies and fruits-check labels
  • many plain steam in bag frozen veggies-check labels
  • Rold Gold Pretzels-regular, honey wheat and honey mustard *caution if extreme peanut allergy
  • Rice-brown and white- check label
  • Alexa Waffle fries and sweet potato fries
  • Stacy's Pita Chips- plain and cinnamon sugar
  • Many store bought Hummus varieties-check label
  • Publix Marshmallows
  • Salsa
  • Many Tortilla chips
  • Fresh Fruit and Veggies
  • Raisins
  • Ocean Spray Craisins
  • Hummus-homemade. If Store bought, check label
  • Angies Boom Chicka Pop kettle corn Popcorn (target always has it)
  • Orville Redenbacher Simply Salted Popcorn
Lunch and Dinner
  • Panera at home Black Bean Soup (also gluten free and vegetarianP)
  • Panera at home Low Fat Chicken Tortilla Soup - I add avocado on top
  • Amy's Organic vegetable soup
  • Amy's Organic Southwestern veg soup
  • Amy's frozen black bean burrito and bean and rice burrito (contains wheat) top w salsa and avocado!
  • Amy's Gluten Free frozen burrito beans and rice (also non dairy)
  • Amy's frozen black bean tamale verde
  • Boars head deli Turkey and Chicken 
  • Boars head turkey pepperoni- no nitrates (their lactic acid is from a dairy free source)
  •  Aidel's caramelized onion meatballs-no nitrates
  • Campbells- tomato soup, vegetarian vegetable

In addition to being careful about the food we put in our bodies, we have to be very careful about the products we put on our bodies.  We had a very hard time with Collins' skin allergies and eczema for quite some time. However, we are now finally in a stage of maintenance. Below are a list of the products that we use to manage her skin.

  • Cetaphil  gentle daily cleansing soap- This is the only 'soap' that we have tried (with the advice of her allergist) that doesn't irritate her skin. We like the bar the best. Cetaphil gentle cleansing bar

  • CeraVe Moisturizing Cream- this deeply penetrates the layers of the skin barrier, increasing the skin's ability to hold and distribute moisture. The biggest advantage of this lotion is that it also forms a protective barrier to keep moisture from leaving the skin. CeraVe

  • Vanicream Sunscreen- SPF 60. This is formulated without sensitizing chemical sunscreens, fragrance, dyes, lanolin, formaldehyde, parabens & other preservatives. It protects from both UVA and UVB rays. This sunscreen is also gluten free! SPF 30 & 35 are also available. Vanicream Sunscreen

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