Thursday, July 10, 2014

Traveling With Multiple Food Allergies

Our favorite "cooler" backpacks for traveling. We love them so much 
that we bought three.  They are fully lined and have collapsible cooler
bags: perfect for carrying a whole day's worth of meals and snacks
that need to stay cold.  For this trip, we used flat ice packs, and bags of
 frozen blueberries, which we enjoyed the following morning for breakfast.

I was super nervous before and during our recent trip away from home.  How does a family eat safely on the road when both mother and children have multiple food allergies?   Baby Brother, at 18 months, has several known and confirmed allergies: wheat, dairy, garlic, banana, avocado, peas and almonds (so assuming peanuts and tree nuts).  Wouldn't you think that I'd rather not travel and be home in my own kitchen? Yes, I much prefer to be home with my Thermomix, our own cooking utensils and our stocked fridge and pantry. Airplanes, restaurants and socializing are some of the major sources of stress in my life, but they are also part of traveling. Next time we go anywhere, it will be a must to have a kitchen wherever we stay.  For this recent trip, we didn't have that necessity; however, I found ways to safely eat. As you can imagine, we do not improvise anything about food so there, as always, was a lot of planning involved. As I reflect on the nerves involved in this trip away from home, I realize that the allergy stress is compounding with each new ingredient to be avoided. I have a lot of fear about food these days, a whole new sense of vulnerability and loss of joy.  Here is a series of photos with captions explaining our meals and snacks.  

I take along my apricot and coconut bliss balls when I travel
or am out for several hours.  They travel nicely with an ice pack
and are great any time of day

Baby Brother's first meal cooked by someone other than his mom
And at a restaurant.  Not just any restaurant, but Blue Ginger.  
Yes, a dream come true!
I will be posting one of these daysabout our experience 
Breakfast at cute little park next to Flour bakery
Big Brother enjoys his croissant: eating out at bakeries is rather new
 since outgrowing his egg allergy
Mom has black coffee with honey and the breakfast cookies she baked in Houston
Papi gets to enjoy a chocolate croissant since he isn't
breastfeeding allergic child or allergic to nuts himself
Baby Brother eats some apple Happypuffs in his stroller, away from allergens
And there is my MEC backpack I take everywhere with 4 Epipens, Bendadryl
and Seventh Gen wipes for cleaning surfaces
After eating, we will all wipe our hands with baby 
wipes/wash up before touching Baby Brother 

Breakfast at Whole Foods
Allergic Mom eats large bowl of their steel cut oats cooked in water as
dairy is being avoided while nursing Baby Brother who is allergic to dairy
Delicious with maple syrup, cinnamon, frozen wild blueberries and coconut flakes
Baby Brother asks for: "Boobayees" and "coco tips"

Whole Foods's Catering team prepared Baby Brother's lunch
 every afternoon in Boston 2 chicken thighs, 
a giant sweet potato and 4 hardboiled eggs
were cooked safely for him
I took the two foil pans back to the hotel and saved
in containers in hotel room fridge
for that day's dinner and following day's breakfast

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