My son is allergic to sunflower. And it is currently the bane of our allergy existence. I’ve mentioned this before, but sunflower is in the majority of “allergen-free” products… which can really suck sometimes.
I’ve learned to live with it most days, but once in a while, I get a reminder of all the fun allergy-friendly stuff we’re missing out on. Take MadeGood’s new Halloween packaging this year. It’s sad enough that we can’t hand it out at Halloween (Hysterical toddler who doesn’t understand why he can’t have any? No, thanks!), but I cringe at the thought of a caring neighbour confidently throwing it into my son’s teal pumpkin this October 31st. The label might says it’s “Halloween safe,” but it’s not safe for my kid.
Here’s the thing: Nothing is 100% safe for every single person, so I find myself wishing more and more that brands would move away from terms like “allergen-free,” “school-safe,” and “Halloween-safe.” It’s misleading for the people out there who don’t know any better, and it’s not fair (and potentially dangerous) for smaller children who don’t understand that a product branded as “safe” isn’t actually safe for them.
I don’t blame the companies. They’re all doing their best to accommodate multiple allergies, and — I get it — sunflower isn’t in the top 8, or even 10. I also realize that if it weren’t sunflower in the ingredients, it might be coconut. Or chickpeas. Or lentils. And then somebody else’s kid couldn’t eat the treat.
But still, am I allowed to say it’s annoying? Because it really, really is. #thankssunflower
I still fantasize that my son will outgrow his sunflower allergy one day. Until then, I’ll just dream about the day I can gobble up these 10 allergy brands (and loyally frequent the 2 allergy-friendly eating spots at the bottom of the post).
Let me know if I’m missing any good ones!
1. Eat to Life (Healthy AND delicious? All I can say is Not. Fair.)
2. Enjoy Life Foods (I reeeeally want to try their Plentils! But nope.)
3. Forgetful Chef Snack Foods (Because I would not forget to eat these yummy looking things if I could.)
4. Free2b Foods (Their Sun Cups tempt me more often than I’d like to admit.)
5. FreeYumm (Because this just looks yumm. And it’s just one of MANY flavours.)
6. MadeGood Foods (Do you know how much I’d LOVE to support this much-loved Canadian company? Waah.)
7. No Whey! Foods (More allergy-friendly Halloween fun we’re missing out on!)
8. Ohh! Munchies (Canadian, healthy AND delicious? All I can say is Not. Fair. Squared.)
9a. SunButter (When my son was diagnosed with a peanut butter allergy, I was SO happy to find SunButter as a delicious replacement. And then he reacted to SunButter too… Boo hoo.)
9b. 88 Acres (Um, I’m clearly missing out when it comes to butters. These flavours!!)
10. ZEGO Snacks (Another healthy option we will never get to try… unless my son grows out of his sunflower allergy one day. Fingers crossed!)
1. Sorelle and Co. (Because who doesn’t want to feel like they’re Alice in Wonderland while eating allergy-friendly treats?!)
2. Strawberry Blonde Bakery (So much yummy stuff that’s simply off limits for us!)
The silver lining? I happened upon this delicious allergy-friendly* granola bar recipe, and made it this weekend. And it may actually be yummier than the bought stuff. 😉
*The thing I like about this recipe is that it’s free of top allergens including ours (peanuts, tree nuts, egg, sesame and sunflower), and would be easy to make dairy- and gluten-free too! We also swapped the canola oil for coconut oil… just because!
This post was written by AllergyBites founder, Kathleen O’Hagan. Kathleen is a writer, a foodie, and the mom of a toddler with multiple food allergies. Want to help make a difference? Contact Kathleen about volunteering for the Top 10 Challenge fundraiser.
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6 thoughts on “10 Allergy-Friendly Brands I’d Devour If It Weren’t for Our Sunflower Allergy”
I understand your frustration. I have a sensitivity to canola oil, which isn’t a common 8+ allergen, so it can still be in allergy-friendly food, like Enjoy Life Foods’ lentils. Allergy-friendly doesn’t mean it’s safe for me to eat. As frustrating as it is, I have to keep in mind that atleast there is food I can eat and enjoy.
Wow, canola oil must be so tough, but great that you’re remaining positive!! 🙂 You reminded me that I forgot to include an allergy-friendly recipe for granola bars that I had in mind when I first started writing this post. It has canola oil in it, but I used coconut oil as a substitute. Check it out! 😉
I have a sunflower allergy and it has devastated my life! I am hungry ALL THE TIME because I cannot eat most snacks anymore because everyone seems to put sunflower into their products now! And now, I am afraid that my 4 year old may have the same allergy. I am on a hunt right now to find out what we CAN eat that doesnt have nuts or sunflower in it. Any suggestions?
Ugh, I’m so sorry. It’s such a frustrating allergy to have! 😦 Have you talked to your allergist about possibly incorporating sunflower oil back into your diet? We learned that most oils are so highly refined that the proteins that cause allergic reactions are killed in the process. So with our allergist’s blessing, we very carefully introduced different products that contained sunflower oil… until we realized he had tried so many without issue that we no longer had to avoid products with sunflower oil in the ingredient list. It’s been almost 2 years and no reaction. It has really opened up our eating options!!
Hello! I ‘m a lifer with a sunflower allergy. I’ve never had a problems with sunflower oil , when it is used in cooking but straight out of the bottle, that an issue. There are so many things made with sun butter, sunflower flour now that I can’t just look for the seeds in bread or bars anymore! I’m curious though about the sunflower lecithin and if that would trigger my allergy. Any experience with this?
Before we were comfortable eating sunflower oil, sunflower lecithin was an ingredient we were fine with. That’s because our allergist told us that both sunflower and soy lecithin were non-issues for people with food allergies… but please confirm with your allergist! 🙂