Traveling with food allergies pt. 2

We are off to Canada next weekend to see my Grandma. My parents are already there and have been on the nut-free food hunt for us. They found bread and Quaker has six new granola bars that are nut-free and made in a nut-free plant in Canada. It seems that Canada is ahead of the game in many aspects of being aware of food allergies and accommodating people.

I am still afraid of flying with her allergy and the snacks on the plane. We are flying Northwest Airlines and they don’t serve peanuts, but the snacks they do serve might have nut in them, so who knows. They will make an announcement at the gate if you ask when you check in as well.

I am still afraid of going to restaurants on our trip. I don’t like confrontation and it is my fear that I will bring up my daughter’s peanut allergy and they will say everything is fine and then there will be cross contamination and she’ll have a reaction. I have restaurant cards that I printed out and hopefully people will be understanding.

I am a new fan of Sunbutter. It does taste just like peanut butter and my older daughter loves it. My allergic one doesn’t like it but that is okay since I don’t want her to get used to it and then accidentally have pb somewhere else when she gets older. She might associate it with her initial reaction which was from pb.

I contacted Disney for our trip in September. They are great. They have an entire division for special diets. They recommend that you make reservations in advance. Then about 2-3 days before, call the restaurant and remind them about your food allergy. Then when you get to the restaurant, talk to the manager and chef and they will prepare a special safe meal for your child. I have read great things about them. Here is one families’ experience with it. I will blog about it after we go.

I bought two books – the Peanut Allergy Handbook which is a small book that you can put with your epi-pen and benedryl. It has pages to put medic-alert info and details on yoru child as well as helpful advice to deal with the allergy and if there is a reaction, what to do. It is also good to give caregivers. I also bought the Peanut Allergy Answer book. I will start reading it this weekend. They are both available on Amazon.

As always, be vigilant and educate everyone! We are in this together. It really does take a village.

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Posted on July 25, 2008, in food allergy, peanut free snack ideas allergy classroom birthday and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. I also have a son with a peanut allergy and we are traveling this weekend. It is so nerve racking!! I’ve got plenty of safe snacks and I researched safe fast food places as well as restaurants (posted them on my blog if you are interested). But I’m still nervous. I guess that’s just part of being the parent of a PA child.

    I’m very interested in those granola bars in Canada. We live less than an hour from the border so I may have to go over and get some of those. Are they a certain “nut free” variety (does it say it on the box) or have they just stopped using nuts in their bars? Just curious. Thanks for the tip.

    -Robyn
    http://www.peanutallergykid.com

  2. Hello,

    I came across you blog searching about allergies and found it very interesting. Although I had some idea about the severity of a peanut allergy, I do think mention of wearing a medical alert bracelet or necklace because of the condition should be made. Perhaps you or readers of this blog would be interested in checking out Universal Medical ID’s Medical ID bracelet:
    http://www.universalmedicalid.com/mkt_uk/detailscategory.php?catid=1048027492

    It’s amazing how a tiny piece of medal can get such an important job done just in case you aren’t around. It can serve as a chaperon of sorts, especially for children that might not know better.

  3. Thanks for sharing your story with us. I am also a parent of a child with peanut allergy. I live in Canada and I would caution you with what restaurant staff tell you. I had one bad experience at a Chinese restaurant lately whereby the waitress informed me that the entree was “nut free”. My daughter is usually very careful and will keep a bolus of food in her mouth for 5 seconds before swallowing. Unfortunately, the bolus that she initially had in her mounth did not have the offending allergen. By the 3 bite of her food she had an allergic reaction. She couldn’t make it to the bathroom to throw up. When she was actually at the toilet, she had projectile vomit coming out of her nose even. We had to take her to emergency to make sure she was okay. She has had a few misses at restaurants, even big chains in Toronto. Cross contamination is a huge problem. I have contacted the Chief Medical Officer of Public Health in Toronto expressing my concerns with poor education and understanding of the issues. I would be more satisfied if the restaurant would tell me that they “cannot guarantee peanut allergy free” then to give me false hope. It has been two weeks and I am still waiting for a reply. I also plan on setting up a blog to illicit stories and support for this cause for the City of Toronto. I know there are a few States in USA that have managers in restaurants that are specially trained in this area. I hope we can set up the same system here. An estimated 150 (preventable) deaths related to food allergies occur each year according to one article I read. Look forward to hearing more.

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