Last year, I saw an Instagram post by AllergyKid2006 that showed the impact of food allergies on budgets. Another family commented that it becomes even more expensive when there are multiple allergies. Those families live in the USA, but it certainly seems like we pay more to keep the Allergy Brothers safely fed in the UK too. I wondered how much the difference in prices is exactly, so I took a notebook along to my last supermarket shop…
Allergy Brothers’ Equivalent
Asda Soft White Rolls £1
Asda Fusilli 45p
Asda Semi-skinned milk 48p per litre
Fairtrade Dairy Milk chocolate (45g) 60p
Old El Paso Regular tortillas (326g) £1.49
Asda Golden Balls cereal (375g) 89p
Asda Sunflower spread 90p
Radox Kids Bath and Body Wash (400ml) £2.50
Pizza and Pastry Multimix £2.99
Eskal Corn Pasta £2.02
Ecomil Almond Milk £2.49 per litre
Kinnerton Free From Chocolate (85g) £1.30
Old El Paso White corn tortillas (208g) £1.90
Nature’s Path Munch cereal (300g) £3.89
Pure Sunflower Spread £2.35
Jason Chamomile Body Wash (887ml) £10.99
It’s shocking to see the differences in prices. This doesn’t include additional costs, such as petrol used to travel to larger supermarkets or the cost of electricity or gas to bake the bread mixes.
In the UK, gluten free foods used to be prescribed by doctors so people with Coeliac disease could access them for free. This has been restricted since December 2018 to just bread and mixes, although, in some areas, even this has been stopped. The Allergy Brothers have never been eligible for any financial help, as they have allergies, not Coeliac disease; and they are allergic to most of the prescribable breads anyway!
AllergyKid2006 linked to an American not-for-profit organisation called the Food Equality Initiative, which provides free from foods to families in need, who have allergies or Coeliac disease. As food bank use soars in the UK and the NHS stops prescribing safe foods, it seems likely that we are going to need a British equivalent to the Food Equality Initiative or see families really struggling to feed their children safely.