When life gets busy, we often look to the fastest and easiest options available—especially when it comes to eating! We rely on meal delivery services, grocery delivery, drive-up orders, grab and go, fast food, the list goes on.
Many families take advantage of these services to keep up with their busy lives. However, for food allergy families, these services aren’t always an option. I learned this firsthand when my son Liam was diagnosed with allergies to peanuts, tree nuts, eggs, and milk at just six months old.
As if being a new mom wasn’t enough of a challenge, I suddenly had to dedicate additional time to planning out every meal so our son didn’t have a life-threatening reaction. It was both stressful and eye-opening.
Navigating Life with Food Allergies
As someone who once loved to cook (and still loves to eat 😉), I was forced to adjust recipes my husband and I loved with substitutions to accommodate Liam’s allergies. This took significant time and effort, and required cooking knowledge I just didn’t have! The planning that went into finding safe ingredients was time-consuming, isolating, and exhausting. I yearned for the quick solutions and convenience I previously leaned on.
While I explored meal delivery services, I was concerned about the risk of cross-contamination. Plus, the selection for top allergies was extremely limited. Online grocery shopping was helpful, but the ingredient labels were often missing or inaccurate.
It took a trip to Hawaii for me to realize I needed to do more. I was hopeful we could find safe options for Liam on the airplane, or at least in between flights, but was disappointed to find his only option was to eat the three SunButter and jelly sandwiches I had prepared that morning just in case.
With 32 million Americans managing food allergies, it was shocking to witness how few options were available for families like mine.
Creating Safer Plate
I decided to channel my frustration into something productive. I partnered with my father-in-law, Tom Nelson, and Chef Gilbert Junge to create Safer Plate: a meal delivery company free from the top nine allergens AND gluten! Our convenient and delicious meal kits and heat-and-eat single-serving meals are now shipping to 15 states. The Safer Plate chefs do the heavy lifting: sauces, marinades, and seasonings come prepared, making the meal kits easy to put together on a busy weeknight.
Our goal is to help families with food allergies have a positive relationship with food. We want to provide options everyone can enjoy—regardless of their dietary restrictions.
Angie Nelson is the CEO and co-founder of Safer Plate. She is passionate about changing the stigma food allergies can bring. Prior to Safer Plate (and prior to being a stay-at-home mom), Angie worked for Target Corporation in Merchandising and Marketing. She resides in Minnesota with her two boys, Liam and Jack, husband Paul, and dog Mya.