Monday, April 18, 2011

Trader Joe's

Well, well, well.  I have searched high and low and lower to find a granola bar that I like sans peanuts.  About a year ago I realized I had a reaction to peanuts and tested positive for a peanut allergy.  Several other tree nuts were positive, as well.  I used to love eating a granola bar for a quick on-the-go snack or even as a low calorie breakfast.  Well, guess what?  Many  Most granola bars are processed in facilities or on equipment with tree nuts and peanuts.  My 3-year-old loves Glutino breakfast bars and Enjoy Life Snack Bars, which are free of many allergens including wheat.  Well, I just like wheat and haven't been satisfied with the flavor for myself (plus the cost is pretty high -- almost a dollar a bar and that is with my savings tricks).

I've talked about going to Trader Joe's for almost two years, but just haven't found my way there.  It's only about a half hour away, but I always like to go in that direction when I have something else to do.  I finally found myself there a couple weeks ago.  Now,  just like every other store there are allergy-free products and products made in facilities with allergies or shared equipment with allergies.  I was disappointed as I picked up animal crackers and other items that weren't safe for my multi-food allergic child.  I finally arrived at the granola bar isle with a pretty empty cart.  I found not one, but two different types of granola bars that would be safe for me to eat (only one is safe for my daughter who has a milk allergy).  Okay, I thought -- I better like these.  I kinda felt like this is my last shot (I swear I've read every granola bar label out there).



The first granola bar I came across was these.  The disclaimer on the back says : "Our vendors follow good manufacturing practices to segregate ingredients to avoid cross contact with allergens. Made on equipment shared with milk, peanuts and tree nuts."   I read this several times in the store and wondered if I should trust that or not.  I decided to give them a try.

 The verdict:  Our daughter ate it, loved it, and no reactions.  Hooray!  These bars were about $2 for 12 bars (note: they come in two bars in a pack).  I didn't mind the taste of these at all.   Not my preferred taste, but I could eat and enjoy them.  No reaction for me, either.

I walked down the isle and saw these.  Oh, my god.  No way. Chocolate granola bars -- my absolute favorite idea for a granola bar.  I have big love of chocolate, which is hard to fulfill with a peanut allergy.  I read the label.  Same disclaimer:   "Our vendors follow good manufacturing practices to segregate ingredients to avoid cross contact with allergens. Made on equipment shared with milk, peanuts and tree nuts." A little skeptical still, I bought the bars.  The price was around $2 for 6.


The verdict:  I ate one the next day and absolutely loved every bite.  Yum.   Then I waited and waited for a reaction.  Nothing.  Could it be, my search is over?  A granola bar that met three criteria:  I like it, It's allergy-free for me, and cost effective.  I'm making another trip this weekend to Trader Joe's.

2 comments:

  1. I absolutely love Trader Joe's! I have found many tasty foods for my food allergic kids (egg/milk and tree nuts/coconut/lemon/shellfish) and myself, since I am eliminating egg and milk for nursing.

    Try the brown sugar instant oatmeal, whole wheat pizza dough, pita crackers, and multigrain probiotic crackers. I also love that they carry Earth Balance Butter and soy ice cream and some cookies with soy and not butter/milk.

    For granola bars, my husband and many playgroup friends love the Sneaky Chef grab and go bars you can make easily at home: http://www.thesneakychef.com/free_recipe_granola_bar.php . They do contain powdered milk, but I have made them without it and with Enjoy Life chocolate chips and they are still good. I need to track down some powdered rice milk to keep the recipe similar, but they are quite a hit with everyone who eats them--except strangely my toddler.

    Nicka

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  2. Thanks Nicka for your suggestions. I think it's so important that we support each other. Hope you find something on my blog that helps!

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