Saturday, January 13, 2007

Commercial foods Andrew can eat

I'll be working on this list regularly, but if I don't get it posted now, I'll just keep on procrastinating on it.

We've got a reasonable list of commercial/processed foods that Andrew can eat, and I figured I'd share it to help others with allergic kids. There are lists out on the Internet, but most of them are American, and have brands that we can't get up here (like Sunbutter, a peanut butter substitute made from sunflower seeds).

This list fits Andrew's allergies: dairy (including the other names for dairy: whey, casein and lactose), nuts, and peanuts. Some of these things are egg-free. Andrew's got a pretty violent reaction to traces of dairy or nuts/peanuts -- he throws up within about 5 minutes -- so if he's eaten a food and not thrown up, I've added them to our "safe" list.

I haven't read the labels for soy content, so if you're also soy-allergic, then you'll have to check the labels out for yourself. And remember, always read the label for yourself, as ingredients can change over time.

  • McDonald's chicken nuggets (Edited to add: Patti just commented that this contains whey, so it's off-limits for dairy allergies. But Andrew's been eating this all along with no reactions, so I'm going to get him allergy-tested again to see if he's outgrown his allergy over the last year.)
  • McDonald's fries
  • McDonald's filet o'fish -- if you hold the cheese
  • Boston Pizza kids meal, chicken strips and fries
  • Japanese restaurants are pretty much dairy- and nut-free. Our kids won't eat sushi, but will eat tempura and udon noodles.
  • (We don't -- okay, we CAN'T -- eat out much, so this isn't a huge list)

Grocery store -- meats
  • Maple Leaf Top Dog hot dogs
  • Johnsonville Italian sausages
  • Maple Leaf Breakfast Grill (bacon substitute)
  • Most ham has been safe so far
  • Save On has amazing marinated meats (chicken, steaks, etc.). Most of their marinades are safe -- just don't get the maui.
  • Duso's Raviollini -- mini ravioli pastas, no dairy content, does contain whole eggs. I boil them up with some peas or broccoli, and it's a balanced meal in one pot. They're so small that they're a perfect toddler bite. Available at Save On, but you just have to stalk the Duso's section as it's only there every other week, as far as I can tell.

Grocery store -- breakfast
  • Save On's Western Family instant apple&cinnamon oatmeal (the Quaker oatmeals all have dairy added now)
  • New World organic raisin granola (available through, a home delivery service)
  • Cheerios
  • Life
  • Mini-Wheats
  • Shreddies
  • NoNuts Golden Peabutter -- made from peas, and tastes very much like peanut butter. Andrew loves this stuff.

Grocery store -- cookies & chips & snacks
  • Dare Simple Pleasures cookies, most brands (oatmeal is the tastiest). All are nut-free, some contain dairy.
  • Ritz crackers -- there are a few varieties that are safe, including the Ritz Sticks and the multigrain and whole wheat ones
  • Oreos -- just not the peanut butter ones. Mini Oreos are a real treat for him.
  • Country Choice organic sandwich creme cookie -- organic oreos, basically, and I like the flavour much more than oreos (plus I can actually pronounce most of the ingredients)
  • Robert's Veggie Booty -- these are tasty and you can pretend they're healthy because they contain spinach, kale, and other greens.
  • Superstore's President's Choice popcorn, organic or regular.
  • Fruit leathers have been safe so far
  • The socalled "fruit snacks" have been safe, but contain so much sugar that I try to save them for special treats.
  • Nature's Choice cereal bars (come in tons of fruit flavours)
  • No Nuttin granola bars (see the Nonuttin' website)
  • Nature's Path organic crispy rice bar -- cheetah berry.
  • Most brands of Pop Tarts (not the yogurt ones, obviously) are safe, but again, high in sugar, so saved for special occasions.

  • For toddlers: Gerber Graduates finger foods, shaped like stars, sweet potato, strawberry or apple flavour

Grocery store -- Bakery
  • Breads are about 50/50 on dairy content, so we read the labels very carefully. The McGavin's bread basket stores have lots of multigrain breads that are safe for him.
  • Two bite brownies are dairy-free -- and dangerous!
  • Fruit pies are usually safe, but again, we usually read all the ingredients just to be sure.

Grocery store -- dairy
  • VeganRella rice cheese, mozza or cheddar flavours. I don't like these plain, but they melt down really well in a grilled cheese sandwich with ham. (Most of the other soy cheeses contain casein, which is a dairy derivative.)
  • Fleishmann's margarine is the only widely-available margarine that's dairy-free.
  • Earth Balance Buttery Spread is dairy-free, available in health food stores, and tastes like butter
  • Calcium-fortified orange juice. Minute Maid's the usual brand we buy, but Superstore also has a President's Choice brand. Andrew doesn't get enough calcium in his diet, and he won't drink enough milk (since I tried to sneak some breastmilk into his rice dream), but he will drink juice
  • Rice Dream fortified milk
  • Rice Dream ice creams are pretty good
  • Superstore's President's Choice sherbets, non-fat, lemon or raspberry flavours. (And the cheap ice cream cones are safe.)

Grocery store -- freezer
  • McCain's Smiles potatoes -- couldn't get through a week without these!
  • Most hashbrowns and fries have been safe so far
  • Amy's Roasted Vegetable pizza -- I cut up some sausages or put ham on top for added protein. The irony of adding meat to a vegan pizza is not lost on me.
  • Highliner fish sticks and fish cakes. Again read the labels -- some highliner products have dairy in the breading
  • M&M Meat Shops' chicken strips are super tasty and dairy free
  • M&M cabbage rolls -- dairy free and if you get the large platter, it's a huge dinner plus two lunches the next day.
  • M&M had one brand of breaded fish that was dairy free and really tasty. (Can you tell we're doing an M&M run tomorrow?)

  • Hero Yummi Bears are his multi-vit, but they don't have a lot of calcium
  • For me: Lifetime liquid calcium/magnesium -- comes in pina colada, lemon, orange, and they're tasty
  • For Andrew: Swiss Calcium & Magnesium chewable
  • Sisu Kiddie Calcium, black cherry fizz flavour, chewable
  • Sisu also has a line of liquid calcium supplements. I don't like the flavour, but Andrew does. We sometimes add the liquid calcium to smoothies.
  • Sisu kiddie acidophilus is dairy-free
  • Flora bear chewable acidophilus is dairy free (Acidophilus is on here because one of the current theories about allergies is a lack of intestinal flora. So what the heck, it's the cure that can't harm.)
  • Superstore now carries a sour gummy bears calcium supplement that's not expensive and that Andrew likes to eat.


patti_m said...

You say your son can have McDonalds Chicken Nuggets? These for sure contain whey in the breading. At least maybe you can add a note so that other parents don't make any mistakes.
Here is the info from the McDonalds website:

White Meat Chicken McNuggets® Chicken meat, water, modified corn starch, salt, chicken broth powder (chicken broth, salt and natural chicken flavouring), seasoning [(vegetable oil (soybean and/or canola), extracts of rosemary, mono, di and triglycerides (from sunflower oil) and soy lecithin)]. Breaded with: water, wheat flour, yellow corn flour, modified corn starch, salt, baking powder, spices (white and black pepper, celery seed), wheat starch, whey powder, sodium aluminum phosphate, corn starch, partially hydrogenated soybean oil (manufacturing aid), (par-fried in partially hydrogenated soybean oil, corn oil, TBHQ, citric acid and dimethyl silicone). Cooked in 100% vegetable oil (Canola oil with added THBQ, citric acid and dimethypolysiloxane).

allergicmom said...

Thanks, Patti! I had ok'd the mcnuggets for him based on a handout that I'd gotten from a mcdonald's restaurant, which didn't have whey in its listing.

I knew that the US restaurants mcnuggets were off-limits, but figured that the Canadian ones were working off a different recipe.

Hmm ... maybe it's time to get him allergy-tested again, and see if his dairy allergy is going away. (Fingers crossed!)

amy said...

Thanks! I've bookmarked this. We're still figuring out what is okay and what causes problems, dairy-wise. Yogurt is okay for him because of the active cultures, for instance, which pre-digest it--thank goodness! He loves it. Luckily his reaction is not life-threatening, and so we can experiement.
Thanks again for your help & this list!

NoPeanuts said...

We are also still getting used to what we can and cannot feed our daughter. We discovered anaphylaxis to peanut in our 21MO daughter this past boxing day which led me to start our blog. Just when we thought we were on top of things we gave her a small amount of Haagen Dazs ice cream which did not have nuts but did have liquid egg yolk and she is also allergic to liquid egg white (it might have been the only time all week I didn't read the ingreadients).

That reaction was far less severe and dealt with by Benadryl alone but it was scary nonetheless.

I have bookmarked this blog and will include it in a future post.

My blog can be found at


Mike Eberhart said...

That list must have taken some time to create! Wow. It can be so much work sorting out what everyone can eat when allergies are involed. The persistence will certainly pay off.

Go Dairy said...

I am not sure of your son's allergy, but has he been tested for both casein and whey? There are typically cross-contamination issues to consider, but it is possible that whey protein is not a problem for your son. Casein and whey are two different allergenic proteins in milk. Just a thought!

Lilith Parker said...

Have you been to Whole Foods Market? They have a lot of vegetarian/vegan/allergy-friendly foods. The site says there's a store in West Vancouver.

Thanks for the comment on my blog!

Campbell said...

My 7 year old daughter has a severe allergy to all daury products. She has eaten Veggie Booty for a few years with no problem. Today she had a few pieces and her lips swelled, throat became itchy and she started to get a stomach ache. We had to make an unshceduled trip to the doctor's office to make sure that we had taken all the appropriate steps (prior to administering an EpiPen) to keep her safe. All is well, but we will have to find a suitable snack replacement.

allergicmom said...

Campbell, have you reported that to the makers of Veggie Booty? I think they should know so that they can put a cross-contamination warning on the package.

FoodAllergyMom said...

With summer coming, just wanted to let you know in case you haven't tried them, we are so thrilled to have found Philly Swirl Popperz. They are dairy free, egg free, gluten free, and nut free made in a nut free facility. I'm just spreding the ord because I am so happy to have found them!