Mar 26, 2011

New SimpleNutrition Tags at Safeway

Locating gluten-free products at Safeway is now even easier with the introduction of SimpleNutrition. Green shelf tags, with two nutrition and ingredient benefits listed in different colors, can be found throughout the store. The color of the gluten-free tag is orange brown. Only products that have been identified as gluten-free by the manufacturer can receive the gluten-free tag.

"The 22 benefits included in the program encompass two groups of messages: those that meet lifestyle or dietary needs, and those that meet specific nutrition or ingredient criteria:

• 4 benefit messages for lifestyle/dietary needs: Gluten Free, Organic, Natural, and also Calorie Smart

• 18 benefits with specific nutrition criteria: Made with Whole Grains, Good Source of Fiber, Fat Free, Sodium Smart, Low Saturated Fat, Low Fat, Sugar Free, Good Source of Calcium, Good Source of Vitamin A, Good Source of Vitamin C, Good Source of Iron, 0g Trans Fat, 100% Juice, Low Cholesterol, Good Source of Antioxidants, Good Source of Potassium, Good Source of Folate, Lean Protein"
"Although a product may have more than one or two key nutrients or ingredient benefits, the green SimpleNutrition tag displays the benefits that are most relevant for that particular product."

Safeway sent me gift cards as a thank you for writing about SimpleNutrition. I found many gluten-free tags throughout the store, but there are also many gluten-free products that aren’t labeled. The tags would be especially useful to someone new to eating gluten-free. The number of gluten-free products at Safeway has also increased recently. From French Meadow Bakery to Waterfront Bistro Panko Breaded Butterfly Shrimp, there are many gluten-free options.

Mar 23, 2011

Book Review: Nick and the Shrinking Inner Spaceship

Nick and the Shrinking Inner Spaceship is a fiction picture book that only focuses on the villi. There is a picture in the book of healthy villi, and an explanation about what happens to the villi when someone has celiac disease. In the book, Nick is a kid scientist who invented a shrinking spaceship and uses it to go in his little brother’s body to find out if he has celiac disease. This would not be the book to read to learn all about celiac disease and eating gluten-free. Some people may not like the end of the book, while others might think it is cool.

The book is written by Nick, a boy who has celiac disease, and his mom. You might want to read the note from the authors before you read the book to give you more knowledge. In the back, there are recipes for ribs, pancakes, cookies, and pumpkin loaf cake. That is a useful tool. For a good book that explains about celiac disease, read Mommy, What is Celiac Disease? or Cilie Yack is Under Attack.

This review was written by my daughter, who is 9-years-old. She does not have celiac disease, but knows a lot about it. The author sent us this book for free to review. You can buy the book on the website.

Mar 21, 2011

Book Review: The Celiac Kid

The Celiac Kid is a new book that would help young kids understand celiac disease. The book is written for kids around preschool to first grade. Since the book is for young kids, it does not mention cross-contamination or eating out. Unfortunately, The Celiac Kid does not mention barley, rye, or oats. It says that “gluten is in wheat, but it also hides in a lot of other foods.”

I like that The Celiac Kid says that “most of the time I am a regular kid.” It is important to know that you are just like other kids, except for how you eat. I also liked that the book makes it sound like eating gluten-free is easy, and that is how you should feel. It talks about how you might think that it is hard, but that it is not that bad. It is good to have a positive attitude. I think they did not need to mention birthday parties, but that may be helpful for some people. Overall, this book is a good one.

This review was written by my daughter, who is 9-years-old. She does not have celiac disease, but knows a lot about it. The author sent us this book for free to review. You can buy the book on the website or Amazon.

Mar 20, 2011

Free From Gluten: Store Review and Discount Code

Free From Gluten is a new online store that carries over 2,000 gluten-free products. In order to review the store, they paid for my order ($56 plus free shipping). Most of the items are sold as a bulk pack of six, but there are several items sold in packs of two. Free From Gluten has large icons on the side of each product page: Kosher, dairy-free, soy-free, nut-free, trans fat free, cholesterol-free, egg-free, lactose-free, yeast-free, and salt-free.

I ordered several items sold in packs of two and a bulk pack of six boxes of Kinnikinnick Animal Cookies at a good price of $21.03. The box containing the two-pack items arrived very fast from Pennsylvania, but the bulk pack of Kinnikinnick Animal Crackers took about 10 days to arrive from Texas. All items had good dates and nothing was broken. Free From Gluten has a nice selection of products, and some items are priced better than others.

I used this as an opportunity to try some new products. I was eager to try the new Grainless Baker Cheddar Snacks, but unfortunately they have too much pepper, so we couldn’t even finish one serving. We loved the Schar Sub Sandwich Rolls, but they aren't showing on the site now because they are temporarily out of stock. The Schar Sub Rolls were perfect for our meatball subs. I was impressed to see Sunstart Caramel and Chocolate Dessert Delights, which are made in Ireland. These very unique cookie bars were enjoyable. My daughter liked the Orgran Itsy Bitsy Bears with Chocolate Bits, but I didn’t like them.

The site offers free UPS shipping on orders over $50. For frozen items, there is an additional $20 charge per cooler, and each cooler holds up to ten frozen items. Use code GFOPTIMIST to receive 10% off your order. The coupon code is valid until April 30, 2011. I would order from Free From Gluten again, especially since they are always adding new products.

Mar 12, 2011

New Gluten-Free Products Debuting at Expo West 2011: Part 2

There are so many tweets about new gluten-free products at Expo West that it sounds like gluten-free paradise. Hopefully, we will see most of them in stores in the near future. I am very excited about the bagel chips and ice cream sandwiches.
  • Pur Gum chewing gum
  • Chocolate Pirate’s Booty
  • Sahale Snacks: On April 1, they will be certified gluten-free.
  • Dr. Praeger’s Veggie Littles
  • Luna and Larry’s Coconut Bliss Ginger Cookie Caramel Ice Cream
  • Glutino Bagel Chips: Regular and Parmesan Garlic
  • Kinninnick Mixes: Pancake and Waffle, All Purpose Flour Blend, Just Add Water Kinni-Kwik Bread and Bun, and Cake (Angel Food, Chocolate, and White)
  • The Simply Bar
  • Julie’s Ice Cream Sandwiches: Carrot Cake with Ginger Cookies and Cherry with Chocolate Cookies
  • Starfish Italian Breaded Sole and Breaded Shrimp
  • Sushi Party Sushi Wraps
  • Purely Elizabeth Ancient Grain Granola Cereal
  • Schar Frozen Bread: Hearty White and Hearty Grain 
  • Ener-G Biscotti
Special thanks to Jennifer Harris @jenniferGFinGA, Cassandra Gee @delightfullygf, and Kendall Egan @gfliving for great Expo West tweets. For more Expo West gluten-free news, read New Gluten-Free Products Debuting at Expo West 2011: Udi’s, Rudi’s, Enjoy Life Foods, and More.

Mar 11, 2011

New Gluten-Free Products Debuting at Expo West 2011: Udi’s, Rudi’s, Enjoy Life Foods, and More

Many gluten-free products will be debuting at Natural Products Expo West 2011 in Anaheim. The trade show opens today, but several companies have already announced new products.

Rudi’s Gluten-Free is rolling out multigrain hamburger buns and hot dogs rolls in May, just in time for summer grilling. Additionally, Rudi’s has a new gluten-free pizza crust. Udi’s Gluten-Free just announced on Facebook that they are debuting hamburger buns, hot dog buns, and two new breads (Millet-Chia and Omega-Salba) at Expo West.

Enjoy Life Foods posted these photos on Facebook of their six new products. Enjoy Life has four new Crunchy handcrafted cookies, Double Chocolate Crunch Granola, and Mega Chunks semi-sweet chocolate. The Enjoy Life Crunchy Cookies must be the mystery product the company mentioned one year ago and delayed releasing.

The MSRP for all three Rudi’s products is only $4.49. Here are the Rudi’s product descriptions from their press release

  • "Gluten-Free Multigrain Hamburger Buns (MSRP - $4.49) – This soft textured bun made with wholesome, all-natural ingredients and a hint of molasses and honey is the perfect complement to a hamburger or veggie burger.  
  • Gluten-Free Multigrain Hot Dog Rolls (MSRP - $4.49) – A tasty combination of flaxseed, sunflower seeds and cornmeal provides a flavor the whole family will love and a texture that can withstand a loaded up chili dog just as well as a plain hot dog.
  • Original Pizza Crusts (MSRP - $4.49) – Made with all natural ingredients you can pronounce, these gluten-free pizza crusts have a thin, crispy crust that’s perfect for that family pizza night."

Below are some other new gluten-free products that will be at Expo West.

I look forward to following all the gluten-free tweets and Facebook updates about Expo West this weekend.