Lots of people have food allergies--and being nut-free, gluten-free, soy-free, or any food-free can make life pretty difficult. Food is woven into the fabric of our society, and constantly having to eat something bland, tasteless, and different than what everyone else is eating is no fun. But we want to present a revolutionary concept: it doesn’t have to be this way. Here are three things you need to know about snacking with food allergies--and they might not be what you think.
Okay, we’ll admit it--we kind of cheated here, because you probably already knew this. Whether you spend your days worrying if your son’s food has been cross-contaminated, or you have a friend who eats nut-free, or you can eat anything you like but you’re increasingly aware of the attention that food allergies are getting in the media, you probably already know that people who have food allergies also have very limited options regarding what they can eat. But you might not know just how hard it can be--so hear us out, because we’re going to give you the full scoop.
Food is an intrinsic part of any culture, and it’s incredibly essential to our social lives. Think about it: you go to a lunch meeting with a client, your child goes to a pizza party, your mother-in-law wants to take the family out for dinner.
“Sociologists are compelled to realize that eating habits are not solely a matter of the satisfaction of physiological needs… food has also to be seen as a cultural affair; people eat in a socially organized fashion,” says Anne Murcott, Department of Sociology, Welsh National School of Medicine, in her study of food habits and culture. “Food has both a material and symbolic significance.”
So for someone with a food allergy, it’s certainly hard when they’re limited to only a few bland foods--but it’s even harder when their allergy prevents them from taking part in social activities with friends, family, and the community.
It doesn’t have to be difficult.
People who have food allergies are people too. Just like any other family, families with food allergies want to enjoy life. Maybe they like to be active, and have fun together--maybe they go hiking every weekend, swim in the lake during the summer, or take the kids along to the CrossFit box after school. Unlike other families, however, they’re constantly worrying about allergens and cross-contamination. Don’t they deserve fun snacks just like the rest of us?
According to CBS News, approximately 4 percent of Americans have at least one food allergy; studies show that Asians and women are most affected. “Allergic reactions… can range from stomach cramps to life-threatening swelling of the airways,” reads the article, bringing home the point that food allergies really are a big deal. The article also points to recent studies which have shown that the number of people with food allergies is increasing.
Oftentimes, people with food allergies find it extremely difficult to locate a snack food which is completely safe for them. Realizing how limited their choices are leads them to settle for bland, tasteless, and unexciting foods. Because we’ve been in their position, we decided to do something about it--which leads us to our third and final point.
That’s where we come in.
Our Forgetful Chef snack bites are safe for any and every diet. We use real ingredients to ensure you’re fueling your body with only the best. Our snack bites feature superfoods such as chia seeds and hemp kernels. Chia seeds come from the desert plant Salvia hispanica, and they’re a superb source of omega-3 fatty acids and fiber; they also contain other important proteins and minerals. Hemp kernels are from the hemp plant--they contain omega-3 fatty acids as well, plus protein, essential amino acids, and more. “Hempseed possesses excellent nutritional value… hempseed has the potential to beneficially influence heart disease,” says Dr. Rodriguez-Leyva in his study on the effects of hempseed.
And here’s the real kicker: our snack bites are not only super healthy and extra safe, but they also taste amazing. Don’t believe us? Hear from one of our happy customers:
“Can’t say enough about Forgetful Chef! Chris has created some great flavors, all of which I’ve tried… I order about eight packs every month, and typically load up on the ChocoBlueberry flavor--the only chocolate covered bites--because, well, life is short. All the bites work great for quick snacks, grab-and-go’s before a workout, and--in the case of the chocolate blueberry--a little self-indulgence. It’s like having a healthier version of See’s Candies [gourmet chocolates] in the freezer. I recommend trying out a few flavors since each one is different, and keeping them stored in the fridge or freezer. My 2-year-old loves them too, which is a nice go-to for an easy option to keep her happy. Whether you go with the chocolate covered ones for more of a treat or the other flavors for a healthy snack or pre-workout, you really can’t go wrong.”
It’s true that trying to find safe and fun snacks to eat can be difficult when working around food allergies--but it’s also 100% true that it doesn’t have to be this way. This is why we offer you a better way: snacks you can trust and enjoy no matter what your dietary needs are. From all of us at Forgetful Chef to you, happy snacking!