Let’s chat about meal prepping! If you have food allergies, sometimes it can feel tricky to consistently plan meals that fit your dietary needs and lifestyle. On busy days, it’s easy to end up scrambling at the last minute to fix meals that are everything they should be: satisfying, budget-friendly, and nutritional. That’s where meal prep comes in and saves the day! Following a meal prep plan tailored to your needs can lead to a life of happy, healthy eating. We wanted to share our top tips for how to meal prep for a top 8 allergen-free diet so you can keep being excited about meals.
What are the Top 8 Food Allergens?
Diet changes are very common, and food allergies can be a big reason to switch up your diet. The Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act of 2004 (FALCPA) says there are eight major food allergens in the United States:
- Tree Nuts
Fortunately, U.S. food labels must say whether these eight allergens are included in food products, which makes shopping for foods a little bit easier for you and your family. More recently, sesame has been identified as the ninth major food allergen, but labeling sesame as an allergen is not required yet.
At WayFare Health Foods, we recognize that there are 10 common food allergens—the tenth being mustard. We’re proud to make foods free from the top 10 common food allergens so more people can experience the joys of experiencing delicious, plant-based foods.
Tips for Top 8 Allergen-Free Meal Prep
Find Allergy-Friendly Recipes
Start your meal prep journey by finding recipes that are free of the top 8 allergens. If you’re wondering where to look, we’ve got you covered:
- Check out our WayFare recipes page for recipes crafted by our team! Many of our signature recipes accommodate a top 8 allergen-free diet, and they’re crafted with quality and top-notch taste in mind. Whether you are a vegan or have a gluten-free dairy-free soy-free diet, our WayFare recipes can simplify your meal prep strategy.
- A quick Google search can pull up a wide selection of recipes that perfectly complement your top 8 allergen-free diet.
- Many modern cookbooks account for food allergies as well, so visit your favorite bookstore to see your unique, flavor-filled options.
Some recipes can be easily customized to fit dietary needs, such as replacing butter with olive oil or a dairy free butter. Don’t be afraid to experiment with recipes and adjust them to your needs. Once you find recipes you enjoy, create a master collection to use in the future. Whether it’s a Pinterest board or a colorful folder, have fun gathering your personal collection of tasty recipes!
Create a Menu Every Week
Forming a steady habit of meal planning is a great way to make meal prep permanent in your life. Start by setting aside time once a week to line out your menu. You can make this time extra special by sipping on your favorite drink or playing your favorite music while you plan. Menu prep time can be relaxing “me” time, too!
Your menus can be set for a week or an entire month, so choose a timeline that fits your personal and family’s needs. Remember to make room for any small plates you want to include before or after breakfast, lunch, and dinner. You can reinvigorate your meals by considering the color, variety, and nutrition of your dishes. Adding bright vegetables and fruits can not only spruce up your dish’s color and variety, but it can add extra nutrients, too.
Also, if you recently developed food allergies, remember to double-check the labels on your favorite condiments and seasonings before outlining your menu. Whether you need meals that include gluten and dairy free foods or want a completely vegan meal plan, you may need to replace frequently used foods to accommodate your new needs.
Choose Ingredients Strategically
One great way to get the one-up on your menu creation is to choose ingredients that can be used in multiple meals. For example, tomatoes could be used to make marinara sauce, tossed in a salad, or added to a sandwich for a burst of flavor. Express your creativity and be a strategic genius with how you pick ingredients and use them!
Also, freezing meals can save you the time of making a new meal every day. When planning your menu, put a star next to meals that can be frozen for later so you know where you have extra wiggle room in your schedule.
Savor Your Menu’s Flexibility
While it’s important to have a plan in place, you don’t have to stick to it perfectly. If you don’t feel like eating a certain meal one night, switch it out with one you have scheduled for later in the week. Meal prep is about taking stress off your plate, not adding more to it! Enjoy the freedom a meal plan can bring.
Example: A Day of Eating on a Top 8 Allergen-Free Diet
- Chia pudding with cinnamon and bananas
- Mixed berry smoothie made with plant-based milk
- Whole grain, gluten free English muffins with dairy free cream cheese and veggies on top
- Cucumber sandwich with dairy free cream cheese and gluten free bread
- Healthy lunch bowl with tomatoes, spinach, quinoa, chickpeas, and red peppers
- Crunchy Broccoli Salad
- Roasted red peppers stuffed with quinoa and dairy free cheese
- Mixed vegetable stir fry with garlic and ginger
- Baked potatoes (try our recipe for Vegan Loaded Baked Potatoes!)
Let’s Jumpstart Your Meal Planning!
Ready to make your meal prep simple, amazing, and delicious? We want to help! At WayFare, our foods are great for a top 8 allergen-free diet, and they’re packed full of flavor, too. From dairy free cream cheeses to yummy dips, our whole-food, plant-based products are perfect for anyone’s home menu. Shop our products now online or find our foods in a store near you.