Illustration by Daniel Vasconcellos, vasky.com.
These apps save time & trouble in supermarkets and restaurants
Your smart phone or tablet is an amazing portal to easily find all things gluten free. Gluten-free and allergen-free information is just a click, or now a touch on the screen, away.
Grocery shopping and unsure if a product or ingredient contains gluten? Searching for a reputable gluten-free restaurant? Need to communicate your gluten-free requirements in another language? Take advantage of the latest up-to-date technology and all of this is possible.
At first, finding the right gluten-free app can seem overwhelming.There are so many to choose from. But here’s a list of gluten-free apps that won’t disappoint. All are less than $20 and many are free.
Allergy & Gluten Free Diet Tracker by Fooducate: Use your smart device to automatically scan a product barcode, search for products, or browse by category. See if a product contains one of the following allergens: gluten, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, shellfish, egg, milk, lactose or soy. The “One Click” button option to directly call the manufacturer for additional product information is an added bonus. $4.99, fooducate.com
Gluten-Free Groceries by Triumph Dining: Touted as the “yellow pages of gluten-free food,” this app allows you to find gluten-free groceries with the flick of a finger. The app lists more than 30,000 gluten-free products from popular brands to smaller specialty companies. $17.99, triumphdining.com/glutenfree/apps.php
Is That Gluten Free?: Grocery shop safely with a database of more than 20,000 manufacturer-verified gluten-free products from more than 660 brands. Easily search by categories, brands, ingredients, or keyword. $7.99, bit.ly/15al1xk
AllergyEats Mobile: This user-friendly resource provides valuable peer-based feedback about how well (or poorly) restaurants accommodate the needs of food-allergic diners. You can customize your search by selecting from the top 10 allergens (gluten, wheat, corn, dairy, eggs, fish, peanuts, shellfish, soy and tree nuts), entering a specific location, or choosing the “Find Near Me” option. Free, allergyeats.com
Dine Gluten Free: Find and read detailed peer reviews of thousands of “gluten-free-friendly” businesses in the U.S. and around the world. The reviews are searchable by location and include restaurants, bakeries, markets, hotels, B&Bs, cruises and even colleges. Free, glutenfreetravelsite.com
Find Me Gluten Free: Search for gluten-free dining options by entering a specific location or browse the “Popular Chains” option, which includes links to the chain restaurants’ websites and gluten-free menus. The “User Reviews” share valuable information and tips. Free, findmeglutenfree.com
iCanEat OnTheGo Gluten Free & Allergen Free: This app is perfect for those seeking quick-service meals. With 34 U.S. chains from Boston Market, Chick-fil-A and Chipotle to Pei Wei, Qdoba and more; you enter your allergen concerns into the 3,900-plus-item fast food menu database. $2.99, glutenfreepassport.com
iEatOut Gluten & Allergen Free: This “ethnic restaurant” focused gluten-free and allergy-friendly app allows you to explore seven ethnic restaurant cuisines including Chinese, French, Indian, Italian, Mexican, steak and seafood, and Thai. Browse menu choices, ingredients, sauces, food preparation and cross-contamination considerations to avoid any combination of food allergens.
Gluten Free and Allergy Free Travel Translation Cards: Learn to safely and effectively communicate your food concerns when ordering meals in foreign-speaking countries with this app. With 13 different languages to choose from, you will feel at ease when dining in restaurants throughout the world while managing your gluten-free diet and food allergies.
Gluten Free Restaurant Cards from CeliacTravel.com: Roger Elliott of CeliacTravel.com says, “The most common problem with getting gluten-free food when dining in restaurants is that your message gets lost or corrupted on its way to the kitchen.” This app has gluten-free restaurant cards in 54 languages to use when you dine out at a restaurant, either in the U.S. or abroad.
Note: Not all apps are available for all platforms. Developers sometimes release their apps on additional platforms.
Maureen Stanley has been gluten free for seven years. She blogs and podcasts at holdthegluten.net. Maureen’s 11-year-old daughter Emma was diagnosed with celiac disease one year ago, so together they are “Team Celiac” in the Stanley household.