Monday, November 22, 2010

Holiday Traveling with Children who have Food Allergies

My little hunter (wheat-allergy)
Ahh, the Holidays. Most people love the piles and piles of food at holiday gatherings. For a family with severe food allergies, or just people who are trying to eat heathy foods, the holidays pose a challenge. A huge, enormous challenge. Think misery!

We just returned from a hunting trip to Illinois with my dad and we had a very successful, enjoyeable trip inspite of our food allergies. Here's a few of my notes for future reference (I tend to forget things so please forgive me!).

1. Communication and forethought are paramount. My family is so open and supportive of our unsual needs. My step-mom made what they normally eat but also asked what we needed. We even went grocery shopping at a small store called Common Ground Food Co-op. I almost cried! Food we could eat all in one store just blocks from their house and great prices, bulk herbs, and local produce. Could this be true? So, we talked and planned ahead and everyone was happily feed things they could eat.

2. Packing food for the journey worked great! No trying to find things to eat at a fast food joint with hungry, crying was heavenly.

3. Don't sweat the small trace amounts (unless of course it is a life-threatening nut allergy etc). This one is hard for me, but I took deep breaths. The children will survive, amazingly.

4. When we arrived home, we started herbal and food treatment. Fresh crushed garlic with honey, bee pollen, and vitamin C were their night-time "snack." The boys each ate 4 cloves! Whew!

5. Take green smoothies with you. Yummy and I even got my dad and brothers to try it.  A little bit, it's progress.

These things helped us to travel happy, stay healthy, and avoid allergens that make us very ill. Home again and just a few sniffles is a wild improvement from previous trips that we had to cut short or do drastic things because of sickness (the last couple times we have made long trips have not ended well). The children do well and are understanding that some items we cannot eat. We do not make a big deal about it and thus neither do they.

How do you plan to keep your crew healthy this winter, holiday season?

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