Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Traveling With Food Allergies







I was on the internet the other day reading various articles on traveling with food allergies. I love to travel, but it does make it somewhat harder when taking my daughter's allergies into consideration.

I remember one time when we flew to Seattle, Washington for a visit. We were out walking around and it was close to dinner time and we hadn't eaten yet. She was getting hungry, so I stopped by the nearest McDonald's (this is a treat for her because we do not do fast food places). In the middle of our order she noticed that the buns had seeds on them. Where we live they don't have them on the kid's buns, so I assumed it would be the same there. I was wrong. I should have inquired before placing an order. This just goes to show you that just because it is the same "restaurant" they may not prepare their food the same way.

I also read where some people were talking about traveling to different countries and having to deal with food allergies. Sometime ago I was thinking about moving to Scotland for awhile (just the thought of it makes me want to hop on a plane). So I thought to do extensive research on the types of food that they had in restaurants over there.  Most of the places she would be okay to eat in. I also looked into what types of grocery stores they had to offer also. I primarily shop for organic foods, so that would have to be a big option for me. It makes you realize how easy it is for people who don't have to worry about food can just up and go pretty much where they want. But for those who have food allergies or have kids that have them, must take an extra step in order to make sure their lives or their love one's life is safe.

During further reading, I discovered that in some countries it can take up to two months to get an epi pen replaced. It would be terrible to be somewhere and have used the epi pens that you have and not be able to get a replacement for them. I know of one person who traveled to another country and took about 4 epi pens with her family so that they could be covered. Now if you are a neurotic mother like me when it comes to the food that passes your child's mouth, then 9 out of 10 times you probably won't need to use the epi pens, but it is better to be safe than sorry.

Even though my daughter's food allergies aren't as severe as other kids, I still take it seriously and try to protect her as best as I can. I feel that it is highly important for her to be well traveled and will not let her food allergies stop that from happening. I just tend to be extra cautious and take as much food with me, that is safe for her, that they will allow me to carry in our suitcases.