Sunday, July 15, 2012

Shop Well

I've always thought this whole food allergy thing would be a whole lot easier if there was an app to help me. I found one or two, but their capabilities were limited, as were their databases. Shop Well is WONDERFUL app and website! The app is free and so is registration on their site! Either part can be used separate from each other, but you can get the most out of their product by using the app and site together.

When you begin (either on the app or the site) you are prompted to create a profile in which you select your dietary needs. There are some preset choices like no gluten, no eggs, less sodium... but if you have a food intolerance or allergy not listed, you can enter in any individual food you choose to avoid.

The program uses a 100 point rating scale in combination with red, yellow, and green color coding to determine how closely the foods meet you needs. Foods that score closer to 100 are better matches for you and will have a score marked in green meaning it's OK to eat. Lower scores are not good matches and have ingredients you're trying to avoid. They're coded with yellow (caution) or red (avoid). The website allows you to create grocery lists that you can print and bring to the store. You also have the ability to see possible "Trade-Ups" which are foods that would be a better options than another, lower scoring food.

Step up your experience and ingredient checking ability by using the ShopWell app too! It allows you to scan the bar codes of foods, and it will show the food's score, ingredients, and nutritional information. The app allows you to make grocery lists as well.

I haven't used this app a whole lot, but I did use it during my latest grocery trip, and I found it extremely helpful. Their database is the most extensive of any similar app I've tried. There were one or two items it did not recognize, but all in all I'm pleased with this program! Note: If one variety of a particular food does not come up, try scanning a different version of that product... ex. I scanned shell pasta which was not found in the database, but the rotini pasta in the same brand (ingredients were the same too, by the way) did show up.

Check it out! Happy scanning ShopWell!

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