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 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.
This free app for iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad, allows you to view safe and unsafe ingredients "while on the move," according to developer Tracy Corbett.
Users rate the app a four out of five, but note that it would benefit from a "search" function.
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.
Find Me Gluten-Free, a free app for both iPhone and Android, allows users to view local business reviews and look at gluten-free menus from local and chain restaurants. Users also can get directions and call businesses directly from the app.
The app is available for iPhones beginning with 3GS, third generation and later iPods, and iPads. It's optimized for iPhone 5, and requires iOS5 or later.
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.