Family travel means for some people you have to learn how to eat on the road when you have food allergies. At home, you can adapt your pantry and cook all meals from scratch, but while on the road it can be really tough to know what is safe and what isn’t. It is less of an issue for adults, but when you have kids traveling with you there is fear involved in how to make sure they don’t get caught eating something that can cause reactions. Things like gluten sensitivity may be minor, but others who have celiac disease, severe allergies and even potential for fatal reactions have to gauge everything they are around before considering a travel destination.
How To Eat On The Road When You Have Food Allergies
Pack your own groceries. This is easy for things like snacks when flying, and even easier for full meals if you are traveling by car. It takes a bit of extra room in your car and some planning but is well worth it. Being on the road can make it tough to cook meals, but if you bring along a cooler you can easily throw together safe foods. Depending on your allergy restrictions, you may consider packing things like: sandwich stuff, canned tuna or chicken, crackers, cheese, yogurt, fresh fruit, salad ingredients, tortillas for wraps, canned soups or pastas for quick microwave meals, granola bars, nuts or other easy breakfast staples. Pack according to your dietary restrictions, as well as how you will be able to prepare things. A cooler and ice will keep things safe on the road. Most hotel rooms will have an option for a microwave and refrigerator.
Map out safe restaurants. While it can be tough to find a local small restaurant you know is safe for your allergies, there are many chain restaurants that put safety practices in place for those with allergies. Whether it is gluten, dairy or peanut allergies you can usually find a great chain restaurant that you can map out locations of along the way. Finding out places you can stop while on the road that offer safe foods is key to staying away from problem food while still feeling like you are getting a treat every now and then.
Avoid places with extra exposure possibilities. If you have severe allergies to something, avoid eating at a place or even visiting a location that could cause issues. This may sound weird, but it there are things you should avoid simply to protect yourself. For those with peanut allergies, flying could be hazardous. Ask ahead of time to make sure there are no peanuts on the flight (the person in the seat next to someone with a severe allergy could cause a reaction just by opening the bag). For those with gluten allergies and celiac, visiting a brewery can be a horrible decision as you would potentially be exposed to so much in the air. Those with allergies to dyes may want to avoid visiting locations like candy factories and plants where various dye would be used and not only could be in the food, but in the air around them as they tour a facility.
Learning how to eat on the road when you have food allergies is really all about thinking and planning ahead. From taking your own food with you, to finding locations and restaurants that offer allergy free foods, you just have to plan. Knowing what is a sensitivity and what are true allergies also makes a difference. Some things cause real allergic reactions, and others simply cause issues in behavior or minor reactions. There is no sense in taking risks, but understanding the difference can help tremendously when you are making fast choices for dinner on the road.
Do you have food allergies? What kind of strategy do you use when on the road in regards to food?