More people have allergies than ever before. The growing numbers of allergy sufferers has resulted in an increase in the accessibility of allergy-safe foods, restaurants and events over the last ten years. But finding them is not always easy.
Generally, people rely on trial and error and word of mouth to find products and businesses that are allergy friendly. However, advances in smart phone technology have led to the creation of more and more cell phone applications that can help with the search.
If you are one of the many people who struggle to find a variety of foods that are safe, favorite recipes that omit allergens, restaurants that take food allergy seriously and the like, one of these new cell phone apps may help. The following are 10 of the top allergy apps available in 2017 that could help get you on your way in your search.
- Allergy Journal – If you are new to food allergy or intolerance and have been directed by your doctor to keep a journal of your eating habits and how you feel afterward, this app may be helpful. Allergy Journal was created to provide a place to track foods you eat, the date and time and any symptoms you might experience afterward, all in one place. It color codes type and severity of symptoms and tracks the number of hours between when you ate the food and experienced symptoms. All information can later be searched, grouped into reports and analyzed. Information can be downloaded and saved or emailed to your doctor for review. It is available for Android and IOS. $0.99
- Allergy Assist – This app allows parents of children with food allergies to share information with caregivers, family and friends. Parents can create a profile with all the vital information about their child’s food allergies. The app keeps important information in one place and handy for easy sharing. Profiles can be easily edited and updated at any time. Allergy Assist is free and a portion of any profits made are donated to allergy research. Available on IOS only.
- Allergy Eats – Powered by reviews and ratings of restaurants by people who suffer from allergies, Allergy Eats lets diners with allergies know which restaurants across the country are allergy friendly and safe, and those one might want to avoid. It is based on allergy friendliness and not price or cuisine. The application lists reviews on over 800,000 restaurants and includes menus, website links, contact information, maps and directions, reservation planning and sharing capabilities. It is available on both Android and IOS platforms. Free
- Around Me – Designed to find restaurants, hospitals and medical facilities and/or other businesses and services wherever you may be. Just add your location to find a list of businesses by category, contact information, distance from your location and directions. Though the app lists businesses and services that are not allergy specific, one of the most helpful functions is its ability to quickly locate nearby hospitals and medical services in locations you may be unfamiliar with. Works with Android and IOS. Free (with ads).
- Find Me Gluten Free – Specifically created for gluten-free product searches. The app provides information, reviews and directions to over three million local business that provide gluten-free products. It contains gluten free menus for restaurants and bakeries, and also gives information and updates on gluten-free and allergy-friendly events, fairs and expos. Available for both Android and IOS. Free.
- Nxt Nutrio – Healthy Pantry and Allergy GMO Scanner – Having trouble reading food labels? Not sure if an ingredient listed is actually another form of a particular food allergen? Nxt Nutrio food label scanner could help. When a food label is scanned, the app gives you information of various additives, chemicals, preservatives, artificial sweeteners and flavor enhancers that may trigger allergy symptoms or make them worse. The information contains what each ingredient is and how it can affect your health. The app can be personalized to highlight items that you wish to avoid. IOS only. $3.99 with in app purchases.
- The Gluten Free Scanner – Not sure if a product contains gluten? You can use this app to scan product barcodes to detect the presence of gluten. The database was created by registered dieticians and nutritionists to include information on over 500,000 food and beverages to help uncover “hidden” glutenin products. Available for Android and IOS. Free.
- Yummly Recipes – Keeps over one million recipes stored all in one place. Filtered searches allow individualization of recipes in order to avoid any foods you bay be allergic to, or simply don’t like. And based on searches and saved recipes, the app will recommend other recipes you might enjoy. You can save your recipes into “collections” so you can find them easily later. A sharing function allows you to share recipes with your friends. The app also contains videos and helpful tips to make food preparation and cooking easier. Available for both Android and IOS. Free.
- Substitutions – Ever wanted to modify a recipe to exclude an allergen and have no idea where to start? Well, Substitutions was created to take the guess work out of recipe modification. The app provides a list of ingredients to substitute in a recipe depending on allergy. The most common allergen substitutions include nuts, seafood, dairy, gluten and meat, but other allergens are included. It gives proportions for substitutions since not all are a one-for-one swap. Lists can be filtered by category – like spices or dairy and type of cooking -like baking. Android and IOS compatible. $1.99
- Allergy Basket – Now that you’ve found the allergen- and gluten-free foods you like, how do you keep track of all that information without losing it? Allergy Basket helps save a database of all the products you enjoy, which can later be used to create shopping lists or shared with friends. Since this app does not identify allergens, it is not intended to help find products. Instead it stores the information and products once you identify them. The app is available for Android only. Free
Have you used any of these apps? Would you recommend these or other smart phone allergy apps for managing your child’s allergies? Please let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.