My 7-year-old nephew has been sick most of his young life. Recently, his doctor pinpointed gluten as the cause. Since he has started eating gluten-free, his health has stabilized and strengthened. His school grades are straight A’s, he has so much more energy, and he even smiles more often. His struggles have made me more aware of how gluten can impact health. I have also witnessed my brother and his family struggling to adapt quickly to change their recipes, snacks, and entire way of life to accommodate my nephew’s intolerance. If you find yourself in similar shoes, these handy apps can help make the transition to gluten-free living much easier.
1. ipiit, the Food Ambassador
As an app, ipiit is not just for folks who need a gluten-free diet. The customization options are extensive, from nut to dairy allergies and beyond.
- Database includes 210,000 common grocery items.
- By scanning item barcodes in-store, you instantly know whether it has gluten or not.
- For off-limit items, the app gives you a list of alternate items that are safe to buy.
- The alternate items list includes brand names, so you can have your coupons ready.
- You want to buy Barilla brand angel hair pasta ($2.56 at Walmart).
- You use ipiit to scan the barcode and find out if this brand contains gluten.
- The app lists another brand that is gluten-free (Hodgson Mill, $2.64 at Walmart).
- You scan your coupon list and find any available coupons you can use.
- You sign up for Hodgson Mills’ newsletter to get gf coupons by email.
This free app (for iPhone and iPad) features 25 different menu guides for a variety of special diets (from gf to diabetic, dairy free to vegetarian).
- The app includes 200,000+ recipes.
- Just speak or type the ingredient(s) (for instance, “chicken” and “spaghetti”) or scan the barcode label and the app pulls up many recipes you can make with whatever you have.
- The app states it can save your family $600+ per year in food waste just by teaching you to creatively combine whatever you have in the fridge.
- You have chicken, spaghetti, and tomatoes in your fridge and the kiddos are hungry. Speak or type the ingredients into the app, and it will instantly deliver a list of recipes that conform to your set dietary preferences!
3. Gluten Free Shopping Scanner (for iOS) / Scan Gluten Free (for Android)
- Get GFSS for iTunes ($0.99)
- Get SGF for Android (free)
- Visit the website: http://glutenfreeshoppingscanner.com / http://scanglutenfree.com/eula/
These apps just couldn’t be easier—and with the sheer number of items in the database, you can shop anywhere and find the information you need to make safe choices.
- 650,000+ products in each app’s database categorized by name, brand, and description.
- Bar code scanner makes it easy to shop quickly.
- Alert system is super-easy, using green for “safe” and red for “not safe.”
- Both of these apps are all about food safety, and they hone in on gluten (rather than addressing other food allergy concerns as well).
4. Vitacost.com Mobile (for iOS, Android)
- Get it for iTunes (free)
- Get it for Android (free)
- Visit the website: http://www.vitacost.com/mobile?csrc=mobi:ft
If you prefer to shop online for gluten-free ingredients, Vitacost.com is one of the most highly rated apps in the gluten-free community because of the sheer number of gf products the company sells.
- 45,000+ products to conform to a variety of dietary and health needs.
- Discounts, deals, promos, and coupons include “buy one, get one half-off,” “save XX%,” “buy one, get one free,” “spend $XX and get an item free,” and more.
- Daily savings range from 10-50%.
- Deal is: “Spend $25 on Kind and get two free Kind bars.”
- You can buy a box of 12 Kind bars on Amazon.com for $17.99
- On Vitacost.com, the same box, same flavor, is $17.99 (Vitacost price matches with Amazon) BUT you also get two free Kind bars with a $25 Kind order (a $3.98 value).
Bonus: Want $10 to spend on gluten-free products right now? Sign up for Vitacost.com’s free e-newsletter and get a $10 credit to spend on anything on the site. Refer a friend and get another $10 (oh, and your friend gets $10 too!).