When you need to find food on the road the more specific your needs are, the more difficult it feels to be spontaneous. Every trip requires extensive planning and mapping out your available food options. All of a sudden, the food you are eating overwhelms the fun you are supposed to be having.
Here are some tips to travel gluten free with your kids without obsessing over your food:
No Fuss Food
Bring a supply of nuts, cheese sticks, popcorn, fruit and vegetables with you in a cooler bag. This will relieve your mind of finding food in out of the way or inconvenient places, and simplifies your work, since these items can be found in your regular grocery store.
G-Free Eating Out
There are fantastic lists of chain restaurants that cater to the gluten-free community. The site Glutenfreepassports.com features restaurants with gluten free options worldwide. Chain restaurants are not always the healthiest option, but the standardization of preparation in these places can protect you from gluten transference, which insures a happy vacation. If you can not find a G-free approved restaurant don't worry. Focus on ordering simple grilled meats or fish and skip the starches. Make sure to ask for olive oil and lemon juice for your side salad to avoid contamination in the dressing and ask the waiter to skip the bread basket altogether.
Gluten-free families often feel guilty that their child is “missing out” on foods they might otherwise eat. You have nothing to feel bad about. Avoid overcompensating with boxed gluten free cookies, wafers and processed foods that can cost as much as your hotel room per day. Instead, focus on the result, that eating whole food improves the health of the entire family.
If you do find your food contaminated on the trip it is important to be prepared. Bring peppermint tea bags to sip and calm upset stomach, as well as the proper medication based on your personal experience with attacks.
Celiac disease or gluten intolerance can limit your options when you go on vacation. However, the food does not have to become the focus of the holiday. You can find more personal recommendations from other G-free families to help choose your hotel as well at Glutenfreehotels.com. Once you have your hotel booked and your cooler bag is stocked, you are ready to go. Preparation is important when you have a limiting allergy or food need, but with a few simple adjustments you can travel freely anywhere.