Allergy Mom Video: Going Big Box Shopping for Allergy-Safe Finds

in Food Allergy, Managing Allergies
Published: May 21, 2024

Shopping at big box stores can be a great way to stretch your grocery dollars. But with food allergies, are you likely to find what you need?

I’m here to offer a resounding, “Yes, you are!” Come along with me in this video of my recent trip to Sam’s Club in my city in Idaho. This episode of Allergic Living’s Megan’s Minute series should give you great insights into what’s available in the big box store.

With four kids, including two with food allergies, I’m always on the lookout for both allergy-friendly products plus ways to rein in our grocery budget. If I can find allergy-friendly products for a little cheaper, I’m all for that!

With the products I cover in this video, I’ll show the ingredients on-screen. Be sure to read them to see if they suit your own family’s special diet needs.

My Big Box Shopping Finds

While you can pause the video on the ingredients, following is also a list of the big box shopping products I discovered at Sam’s Club. Each links to the product’s ingredients.

Italian Ices – Wyler’s Authentic Italian Ices will be a fun treat to cool off with this summer. They’re allergy-friendly for my kids, check out if they are for yours as well. Product ingredients are here.

Potato Chips – My family goes through a lot of Lay’s Classic plain potato chips. I find them especially handy for summer barbecues. Product ingredients are here.

Juice Pops – These Good Pop Juice Pops were new to me. A bonus: they contain fewer additives than the Italian ices and are made on a dedicated line. Product ingredients are here.

Cereal – We eat a lot of gluten-free Cheerios, though I do wish Sam’s had the Multigrain, as that’s my kids’ favorite flavor. Note: Oats are naturally gluten-free but can be grown in proximity to grains that aren’t gluten-free. Cheerios use a mechanical sorting process for removing gluten-containing grains, but some experts don’t recommend these oats. My son with a wheat allergy tolerates them fine, but this is a personal decision. Product ingredients are here.

Canned and Preserved Fruit – Big box shopping outlets like Sam’s offer the ability to purchase in bulk. In their canned and preserved fruit aisle, they had many varieties. I stocked up on mandarin orange cups for school, applesauce as an egg replacer, plus applesauce pouches for on-the-go snacks. Most are just made of fruit and are free of top 9 allergens.

Pasta Sauce – Many food allergy families love Rao’s Homemade Marinara Sauce because of its simple ingredients. I find prepared marinara sauce saves a few steps in multiple recipes, especially in my Spinach and Sausage Pasta. Product ingredients are here.

BBQ Sauce, Meats, Salsa & Guac

Barbecue Sauce – Sweet Baby Ray’s brand is one we’ve used for years. It’s an easy solution for making great grilled barbecued chicken. Product ingredients are here.

Coconut Oil – Since my family is dairy-free, we use coconut oil a lot as a butter replacement, for making rice crispy treats and in making popcorn. [Editor’s note: if you’re tree nut allergic, see this note about coconut.] Product ingredients are here.

Rice – Since my family eats gluten-free, we don’t often have rolls or bread as a side, but rice instead. So, we go through a lot. Sam’s had quite a few brands to choose from, all in large quantities.

Coconut Milk – We use coconut milk frequently since it’s a good dairy milk substitute, especially in my chicken tikka masala. Product ingredients are here.

Prepared Meat – The Sam’s Club brand of pulled pork also looks like a dinnertime saver to serve with sides. The ingredients are simply pork and a few basic spices. Product ingredients are here.

Prepared Potatoes – Oven-roasted potatoes in a hurry? Yes, please. Reser’s Main St. Bistro sea salt and black pepper potatoes will make for a fast and filling side dish. Product ingredients are here.

Guacamole – Guac, anyone? These individual serving cups are great for school lunches and on the go snacks along with your favorite chips. Product ingredients are here.

Salsa – Chips and salsa are another great snack option. Salsa is often allergy-friendly, and the big box store had regular and a mango option, for a sweeter twist. Product ingredients are here.

Frozen Pops – My kids love Icee Pops, while I like that they come in a paper sleeve, instead of melting down a popsicle stick. Product ingredients are here.

Snacks: the Healthy and the Sweeter

Fruit Bars – Outshine’s fruit bars are a favorite for many food allergy families. They come in pineapple, mango and watermelon flavors in a box of 36. Product ingredients are here.

Meat Sticks – Archer Farms Minis are made from grass-fed beef. These sticks are a good way to get more protein into busy kids. Product ingredients are here.

Popcorn – My kids love Boom Chicka Pop’s Kettle Corn. This would be fun for movie night where you can share … or not. Product ingredients are here.

Fruit Chips – I love finding healthier snacks, and the brand Bare’s dehydrated fruit chips fit the bill. They come in individual portions – perfect for school lunches or a car ride to game practice. Product ingredients are here.

Vegetable Snacks – My kids have been eating Veggie Straws for years. I do wish they had individual packs, as my kids have been known to rip this bag – and have them spill everywhere. Make sure you’ve got a good chip clip handy! Product ingredients are here.

Sweet Treats – Lastly, they get you with sweet stuff by the big box store registers. I included the Sour Patch Kids and the Ring Pops in the video. However, I was also pleasantly surprised to see our allergy-friendly staples like Skittles and Starbursts too. Great for those times when you’re craving some sugar.

Sour Patch ingredients are here, while this is the list for Ring Pops is here.

Join Allergic Living monthly for a new installment of Megan’s Minute with Megan Lavin of the Allergy Awesomeness blog. Follow her on Instagram and Facebook.

More Megan’s Minute Videos:
How to Host or Attend Big Family Get-Togethers
How to Plan Meals with Food Allergies
Our Food Allergy Family’s First Cruise
Packing Easy Lunches with Food Allergies
Going to Birthday Parties

See all Megan’s episodes on Allergic Living’s Youtube channel.