It’s the year 2022, and awareness and accommodation for food allergies have significantly improved. Just a decade ago, the situation was quite different.

A decade ago, I found myself inside a Trader Joe’s on a Friday night. I had just discovered my severe gluten allergy and needed to switch to foods that wouldn’t make me ill due to both gluten and lactose issues. My regular grocery stores didn’t have what I needed, so I turned to Trader Joe’s and was pleasantly surprised by the variety of food options available to me.

While gluten- and dairy-free food is more accessible now, Trader Joe’s remains my top choice for allergy-friendly snacks, dips, desserts, and baked goods that are enjoyable for everyone. Here are the go-to items I always pick up at Trader Joe’s to align with my gluten- and lactose-free diet.

1. Chocolatey Coated Coconut Macaroons

Source: Arianna Reardon

As someone who loves sweets, finding gluten-free dairy-free desserts can be challenging. These macaroons are a delightful exception. With a soft chewy inside and a chocolate coating, they are a heavenly treat when I crave something sweet.

2. Gluten Free Pumpkin Pie Spice Bagels

Source: Arianna Reardon

Most gluten-free bagels are frozen and can become chewy when thawed. However, Trader Joe’s fresh gluten-free bagels have a bakery-fresh quality without the need for freezing. The pumpkin pie spice flavor is my favorite for a fall treat.

3. Fresh Atlantic Salmon

Source: Arianna Reardon

In addition to snacks, I always grab fresh salmon at Trader Joe’s. Salmon is a nutritious choice rich in omega-3 fatty acids and other essential nutrients. I prepare it with minimal seasoning and pair it with gluten-free sides for a delicious and healthy meal.


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