Have you ever stood in the grocery store holding a package and wondered if that food truly was gluten-free? What about when you find yourself wandering around a new town or city, enjoying the scenery but wondering if there's a gluten-free restaurant where you can eat? Several iPhone application developers have taken on the challenge to create iPhone apps that help you identify gluten-free foods and ingredients, along with celiac-friendly restaurants with gluten-free menus.
Is That Gluten Free? from Midlife Crisis Apps is designed for "those with gluten sensitivities, celiac disease, or anyone wanting more information on gluten-free products or leading a gluten-free lifestyle." The iPhone and iPad-compatible app includes more than 14,800 verified gluten-free products from more than 360 brands, including private-label grocery store brands. The app also includes a searchable ingredients tab that designates safe, unsafe and possibly unsafe ingredients. It's possible to search for gluten-free food items by category, brand or product name, and you can follow one-touch links to company websites to search for additional information. The app costs $7.99, with free updates and no monthly fees.
Is That Gluten Free? Eating Out, also from Midlife Crisis Apps, covers 26 national and regional restaurant chains with gluten-free options, including fast food restaurants such as Arby's, fast casual restaurants such as Red Robin, and casual restaurants such as Outback, Red Lobster and P.F. Chang's. In version 1.1, the app also added a list of restaurants that do not provide gluten-free menus, and included those chains' statements and disclaimers. Is That Gluten Free? Eating Out, which costs $3.99, provides details on more than 2,000 menu items. It's possible to search by menu item or ingredient in each restaurant.
This gluten-free and allergy-friendly iPhone and iPad app from Allergy Free Passport allows you to select different allergens (dairy, eggs, fish, shellfish, peanuts, soy and tree nuts along with gluten) and then look through ingredient lists from various sample ethnic and international restaurant menus to determine what selections might be suitable for you. It does not include actual restaurant menus with allergen information – you'll still need to talk to the chef or the manager to double-check ingredients and to make sure the restaurant can make the meal without cross contamination. iEatOut Gluten & Allergen Free, which sells for $4.99, covers Chinese, French, Indian, Italian, Mexican, Steak & Seafood and Thai restaurants.
Triumph Dining has produced print versions of its popular gluten-free restaurant guide and gluten-free grocery guide since 2005. This app, compatible with the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch, features information on more than 30,000 gluten-free grocery store products. It covers products by brand names, such as Heinz, Coca-Cola and Kraft, and by store names, such as Walmart, and you can search by either one. The Gluten-Free Groceries by Triumph Dining app costs $17.99.
My Grocery Master, compatible with iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch, allows you to search for Kosher, gluten-free and lactose-free grocery items. The app includes more than 100,000 specialty food products from 360 different brand names. You type in your desired product by category, brand or product name, along with your zip code, and the app provides you with the name of the nearest store carrying that item, plus driving directions if you need them. It includes most of the top 100 grocery store chains in the United States, along with Internet grocery stores, and also offers frequent free updates, according to software developer Semaphore Mobile. My Grocery Master costs $1.99.
This iPhone and iPad app, developed by a working mom with three children who was diagnosed with celiac disease, provides more than 100 recipes and meals with gluten-free ingredients and specific brand names in order to take the guesswork out of grocery shopping and meal planning on a gluten-free diet. The recipes are broken down into categories: breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks and dessert. The app allows you to email recipes to friends, and to add ingredients to a grocery list that you then can email to yourself. Prep time for most of the recipes takes about 15 minutes, and the app also includes a list of frozen food items suitable for the gluten-free diet. Easy Gluten Free Recipes costs $3.99.
Gluten-Free Lifestyle includes an extensive database that's searchable by brand, product or store. It lets you craft your own personalized grocery lists, keep track of gluten-free food expenses for tax purposes, and exchange advice with others. It also includes U.S. Food and Drug Administration recalls and food alerts as an RSS feed within the app. The $1.99 app is compatible with iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch.
This free iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch app includes restaurant cards in more than 40 different languages that can be shown to a server, chef or manager to help ensure a safe meal.