The Gluten Free & Allergen Friendly Expo Experience!

Vibrant red Enjoy Life bags swung on hundreds of enthusiastic arms at the Gluten Free & Allergen Friendly Expo.  Below are my highlights, old favorites, and new favorites from my allergen friendly expo experience.

Quick side note: These are my personal endorsements.  No companies/brands/products, etc. paid for my reviews. I only include products that I love in hopes that you will find ones that you love, too! : )

 

Highlights:

  • Meeting an allergy family : )
    • I have aIMG_2895 fabulous virtual allergy family, but the best is when I meet these people I feel I know so well in person. Having the opportunity to spend time with Pamela (who is an awesome allergy mom that is running Navigating Food Allergies) and her son Matty was THE BEST! Matty is a sweet, fun, curious, smart, caring, compassionate third grader who also has multiple food allergies. We tried new foods together for the first time (after reading ingredients and asking questions). Matty and I talked about how we can both sometimes feel nervous trying new foods, even when we know the ingredients are okay.  I was very impressed by Matty’s thoughtfulness when he realized there was a food that wasn’t safe for me to sample (an allergen for me, but not one of his!). Pam is teaching Matty how to be responsible, advocate and empower himself with food allergies.  I loved seeing him show these traits in person and had a delightful time visiting with them at the Expo. So happy and grateful they made the drive from NY! : )

 

  • Visiting some of my fave brands
  • Sampling new products

 

New Favorites:

  • Perfectly Free Frozen Treats
    • Who doesn’t love a food truck filled with ice cream? I’ve seen thisIMG_2867 brand all over the place lately, but had yet to try them until attending the Expo. They are free of the top eight allergens and can now be found in grocery stores (at least in MA). If you are looking for a “perfectly” sized after dinner sweet, these may be your new go-to! There are four flavors. My favorite was the cocoa, but I also liked the caramel and blueberry flavors that I tried.
  • Bella Cakes
    • I had the most delicious chocolate brownie from this lovely little bakery! My parents visited the actual bakery a few months before and had bought a safe cupcake from there for me to try. I was delighted they were at the Expo and I could experience another safely baked item.  This bakery is completely nut free and makes some items that are free of other allergens. It is such a treat that safe bakeries like this exist now!
  • Jennifer Ormond, Children’s Author
    • I met IMG_2861Jennifer at the Expo this year.  Even though her book is not new, it is new to me! I enjoyed chatting with her and loved reading her book, DJ’s Allergies.  Jennifer has three children with food allergies and wanted to teach them how to responsibly empower themselves starting at a young age. It is easy to read and covers the most important topics that younger children should understand about their food allergies.

 

 

Old Favorites:

  • 88 Acres
    • If you IMG_2886follow me on Instagram, you already know that I’m their number one fan (self-proclaimed, but probably accurate ;)  Last year I met 88 Acres at this Expo and they have since  become MY FAVORITE! Everything about the company is awesome! They are a Boston-based small business run by an amazing couple with a sweet story and delicious products.  I have taken their bars all over, including on my trip to Patagonia this year.  I always had difficulty finding delicious, safe, healthy bars that I could take on the go. Finding these bars completely changed that for me. It has been an awesome year of easy, on-the-go snacking for me. Success! They have a new product now too that is delicious called Seednola. I had the most scrumptious breakfasts this week with yogurt and Apple & Ginger Seednola.  Yum, yum, yum! Definitely check them out.IMG_2881

 

 

  • Twist Bakery & Cafe
    • I was happy to see that this bakery was at the Expo this year.  Although they were new to the Expo, they were not new to me.  I went to Twist a few months ago with my dad to check them out. It was my first allergy-friendly bakery experience. I reverted back to child-like awe as I struggled to make decisions about which safe treats to try! I definitely recommend checking them out if you are in the MA area.

 

If you have favorite products that you think I should try, please let me know in the comments below.  I’m always on the lookout!

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