Since we are travelling and we are on a special diet, I thought I’d share my 5 cents worth on the topic.
The boys are on a GFCFSF (gluten free, casein free, soy free) diet. This diet is very restrictive, but it is possible to travel and still stick to it!
1. In the airport or while “moving” from place to place. Take food with you. Don’t rely on any restaurant to have food or snacks that will accommodate your diet. We did stop at an airport restaurant and I ordered a fruit cup for the boys. Thinking it would be fresh fruit. Nope. Canned mandarin oranges and canned pineapple. These are OK for them to eat, but I would have preferred fresh fruit. I learned that there is little that they can eat from restaurant menus.
2. Upon arrival at your destination. Before your trip, kindly ask your host/hostess if they would be willing to purchase a few items for you to have on hand upon arriving. Assure them that you will reimburse them (or thank them if they resist!). Send a detailed list with brand names, product names and store names, if the item is obscure and can only be found in specialty stores. (We have to get some things at Whole Foods because my mom’s grocery store doesn’t have some of our favorite snacks.) Make a quick run to the grocery store as soon as you arrive to pick up any other products that you might need.
3. Eating out. Make friends with your waiter/waitress. I found that they were very helpful after I briefly explained the diet and asked about ingredients. One waitress even went to the kitchen to read a label for me. Very kind of her to do. When choosing a restaurant, ask your host/hostess about ones that use fresher ingredients, like a small cafe or deli. These smaller restaurants are more likely to change recipes or leave out ingredients, to suit your dietary needs than those larger chains with “premade” foods and dishes that can’t be altered.
Having children on special diets is a challenge. Travelling with children on special diets is really challenging. With a little planning and help from your host/hostess, your travel experience will be a little easier. Your kids will stay healthy and you will enjoy your time away.