How Will We Eat? Summer Traveling Tips
Vacations are a wonderful time for families to bond, relax and enjoy! You will find many tips here to assist you if you (or your child) are on a special diet, even if they can normally eat any type of food. These suggestions will be helpful to make your vacation a wonderful memory for many years to come.
How will we eat?
Pack foods that are not perishable. Always be on the safe side, in case you cannot get to the hotel in time, or have to go to a restaurant that will not accommodate your special diet.
Foods to carry with you:
Pretzels, bagel chips, crackers, breadsticks, snack bars, cereal, granola, trail mix, chips, dried or freeze dried fruits and vegetables, nuts, fruit cups or “squeeze-ables”, fresh fruit, nut spreads, jerky, etc.
If you are staying with relatives or camping and have access to a place where you can boil water, this new product can be ideal. There is no refrigeration needed. These products are fully cooked: they just should be heated. They can be heated in the pouch that they come in and could even eaten cold, bet they do not taste as good as if they were to be heated. Some of their products can even be put into a microwave. http://www.myownmeals.com. Some of their meals can even accommodate a variety of special diets: http://www.myownmeals.com/special-diets-and-food-allergies/
If you are on the road and driving from place to place (or driving a long distances), you can use backpack coolers or regular coolers to keep your food fresh and cool. Use ice from the hotel, for the road, or use freezer packs. Buy small ones because many hotel freezers only have a small amount of space. Ask the hotel if they can keep your items in a larger refrigerator or freezer. Mark them VERY clearly in a sealed bag. This is especially important if you have to check out of your hotel but will not be hitting the road until much later.
Here are some companies that sell backpack coolers and other types of travel coolers.
A cooler on wheels is also a wonderful idea for traveling. They can be wheeled into your hotel room or to your camp site. Here are some rolling coolers:
Eating Away From Home ALLERGY-FREE REGISTRIES
There are several online registries that list restaurants and bakeries that can provide special dietary menus or have staff with allergy-free knowledge. Keep in mind not ALL of the listed locations have provided training regarding cross contamination and special handling of food. Some of these sites are not up to date. It is wise to contact the establishment prior to your arrival to see if they are still in business and if they can properly assist your needs. Since the advent of modern technology there are many apps that can now assist you, too. See my article in Parenting Special Needs Magazine, Taking Care of Your Child’s Special Food Needs in the March/April 2015 issue.
Many places in the world:
Other Ways and Places to Travel
Since the airlines do not allow gel packs, use frozen peas to keep your allergy-free foods safe for plane travel. Bring some of the ideas listed above to snack on or eat, if it will be mealtime. Check with the airline’s web site to be sure you know what you can and cannot carry on the plane. You might want to pack some food in your luggage, too.
Many amusement parks are great about catering to patrons with special diets. Call ahead and view the following web sites to find out what establishments within the park can best meet your needs.
California call 1-714-781-DINE.
Florida call 1-407-WDW-DINE.
LINK: https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/guest-services/special-dietary-requests/ (Neither has a toll free number.) If you give them enough advance notice, they will send you lists of food locations and restaurants in the park that accommodate your special dietaryneeds.
For other Disney parks check their web site.
San Diego (Carlsbad), contact 760-846-0876 or
LINK: https://www.legoland.com/california/things-to-do/theme-park/dining/. Contact them at least 72 hours, prior to your arrival.
Windsor, UK contact the park at least 24 hours prior to your arrival, allowing for more time, during peak times.
For the other Legolands contact their food service department to inquire about how they can assist you.
Many amusement parks are very good about allowing you to bring in your own food and beverages if you tell them, prior to them searching your bags, that you or your child are on a restricted diet. It might be wise to carry a “doctor’s note” just in case they ask you for proof. If someone gives you a difficult time, go to Guest Relations.
Vacations should be a wonderful experience for family time and connecting. Do not let food restrict your time together. Have a wonderful time. Bon Voyage.
Barrie Silberberg is the author of The Autism & ADHD Diet : A Step-by-Step Guide To Hope and Healing by Living Gluten Free and Casein Free (GFCF) And Others Interventions. Her web site is: www.puttingyourkidsfirst.com
Where to Purchase Gluten Free Casein Free (GFCF) Foods and Some Favorite Brands
- Benefits of Special Diets for Special Needs Children
- Do You Struggle With Planning Healthy Meals for Your Family?
- Traveling with Special Dietary Need
- Traveling Tips for Parents of Children with Special Needs
- Kids with Special Needs and Family Travel
- Ways to Save Space When Packing for a Trip
- Explore and Discover Our World With the Help of These Apps
- More than a Diaper Bag: Practical Tips for Car Travel with a Special Needs Baby
- 7 Perks to Traveling with Your Special Needs Child
- Finding GFCF Baked Goods While You are Traveling
- Eating out While on a Special Diet
- Where to Purchase Gluten Free Casein Free (GFCF) Foods and Some Favorite Brands
- Travel Tips for Parents of Children with Sensory Integration Issues
This post originally appeared on our May/June 2015 Magazine