Applications to Help Manage Foods for Different Food Needs

What it does: Just for people who follow a gluten-free diet, FindMeGlutenFree makes it easy to find restaurants that offer gluten-free options. Users can filter through restaurants that are dedicated to gluten-free — meaning they don’t make anything gluten-free — or restaurants that have a separate gluten-free menu. Restaurants are reported by colleagues, so if you find a good one that isn’t in the FindMeGlutenFree database, you can recommend it through the app. (At the same time, this means you’ll need to double check at the restaurant to make sure you’re getting food that’s safe for your gluten intolerance.)

This app also offers a gluten-free product database and a bookmark feature to store lists you want to check out later. The premium version of the app includes additional search filters such as “open now,” “most celiac friendly,” and a directional search to find restaurants on your route. My gluten-free friends told me that this app was a complete savior to them in the first weeks and months after being diagnosed with celiac disease, helping them eat out and discover new things. product during a frightening transition.

Blind spots: Obviously, this is not the app for you if your food allergy / sensitivity is not gluten. Also, the FindMeGlutenFree data is just as good as people adding to its knowledge base, so restaurants with good gluten-free options may still not appear in the results if no one is allocating and time to enter it.

Cost: Free

IOS only

What it does: Spokin makes it easy to find a restaurant, bakery, or ice cream parlor where it’s safe to eat for someone with your allergies or allergies. In addition, the app has hundreds of allergy research resources, safe foods, and travel advice. Once you fill out your profile with the foods you have avoided, the app will show you all the possible safe places you can eat on a detailed map of your area. My mother-in-law had just moved to a new town, so I used Spokin to search her neighborhood for restaurants where I could safely order takeout. We were happy to find a local pizza place that offered dairy-free or regular cheese on their pizzas, giving us a fun option for everyone.

Spokin even allows you to connect with other users who have food allergies in your area (assuming they have agreed to share their profiles) and allows you to write reviews of restaurants and products you use and enjoy. .

Blind spots: This app is only available on iOS devices. The FAQ on the company’s site says it’s working on one for Android, but there’s no estimated launch date. Also, even if most restaurant listings include a link to the restaurant’s website, you’ll usually need to leave the app to see a menu.

Eating out when you’re trying to manage food allergies can always be a bit daunting, but these apps will hopefully give you a running start before you show up at an unstarted restaurant. and share your concerns with the waitstaff. Since I have a potentially deadly seafood allergy, I perfected my “restaurant shakedown” speech. I would call and say, “I have a severe allergy to all fish — shellfish and regular fish. Can you make me without fish or shellfish — either with fish sauce or oyster sauce, and made on clean bread? I promise to give you a good review, even if you say you can’t feed me safely. Trust me, an outside ambulance is too bad for business. ”Also, if I travel abroad, I try to add a note on my phone, in the language of my destination, explaining my allergy.

The tools we carry in our pockets have the potential to help us manage daily life, even if that life includes challenging food restrictions. From planning a holiday dinner at home to eating out or managing a new order of grocery items, these apps are right in your toolbelt.

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