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Camping with food allergies

Posted Oct 15 2009 10:04pm
Ainsley and Dave are doing the YMCA Adventure Princess (dad/daughter) program for the first time this year, and it involves a lot of camping. Dave is not exactly the camping sort (we have gone camping exactly 0 times in the 13 years we've been together) but Ainsley is quite excited about it so he is being a good sport and planning on taking her to all of the campouts. Much to his relief, Adventure Princesses is really "camping lite" - they will get to sleep in air-conditioned cabins with normal bathroom facilities. So there's not a lot of roughing it involved.

The first campout is coming up soon so Dave has started to communicate with the other dads about Ainsley's allergies and safe foods for her. He and I have also talked about accommodations he needs to check on at the various campsites, including whether there's a refrigerator or microwave available to prepare her meals.

So far Dave has done a wonderful job of making sure the other dads in the group know about her allergies, and we were quite pleased that, at the group's first meeting, the host family provided fresh fruit as the snack so that Ainsley could eat it. Likewise, the dad in charge of buying some "camp food" (hot dogs, smores) for the upcoming campout was very understanding when Dave emailed him the safe-food list. It turns out that that dad's daughter has a tree-nut allergy, so he is quite familiar with food-allergy issues.

It is actually a really nice change having Dave coordinate Ainsley's food-allergy issues with regard to a special event. So much of the time, the burden falls on me as the mom to take care of everything like this. I have years of experience in coordinating food-safe playdates, packing safe foods for vacation, and dealing with preschool food-allergy issues. Dave has gotten used to me taking care of these things, which is fine, but it's nice that he's now learning all that is involved in making sure Ainsley (a) stays safe and (b) enjoys the event. Now if only I can get him to volunteer to be the room mom for Ainsley's kindergarten class next year ...

Anyway, since this group camping thing is all new to us, does anyone have any specific camping-with-food-allergies tips?
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