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On the Road with a Peanut Allergy - Part 1

Posted May 05 2009 5:45pm

Eating out is one of the biggest challenges when dealing with a food allergy, particularly a peanut allergy. Last week we took a trip to Springfield, IL (the town the boys were born) and Chicago, IL. We were gone for 5 days and there was a lot of eating out that happened!

I will chronicle each meal (yes, I am that detailed), what Tyler ate, and the reason I allowed him to eat it. I know for many of my readers, eating away from home seems a near impossibility. The thought of being on the road for 5 days and eating out frequently is enough to send them into a cold sweat.

Hopefully, by showing what we did, I can help you see that traveling, eating out, and safety really can go hand in hand as long as plenty of research and planning is involved.

I had quite the challenge on the trip down to Illinois. Not only was I managing Tyler's peanut allergy, I was also caring for a 2 year old that was recently out of the hospital and was on a very, very bland diet. Managing PA while traveling is a challenge, but when you add in the sick child, it really kept me on my toes!

Here is a little glimpse into our trip as it pertained to eating:

Friday, April 24

Breakfast: McDonald's. The boys split a sausage egg McMuffin. (Tyler ate half the English muffin with the sausage, Dylan ate the other half of the English McMuffin with the egg to accommodate his "no grease" issues).

Lunch: We stopped at a truck stop where Tyler got a cheeseburger at Burger King and Dylan was able to get a chicken taco at Taco Bell with a little cheese. Man, was I glad there were several choices!!

Dinner: We ate at a BBQ joint called Hickory River. Their website shows they are safe. Tyler ate mac & cheese and some fried okra. Dylan was able to eat grilled turkey and mashed potatoes.

Saturday, April 25

Breakfast: Home cooked at a friend's house(Dylan's dietary restrictions were thankfully lifted on this day!! Yeah!!)

Lunch: TGI Friday's. Tyler ordered pizza. I explained to the waiter about Tyler's allergies, he spoke with the chef, and he assured me it would be safe.

Dinner: Dinner with friends, home cooked.

Sunday, April 26

Breakfast: Mostly home cooked at a friend's house (more on this meal on Thursday because we had "issues")

Lunch: Home cooked meal at a friend's house

Dinner: Home cooked meal at a friend's house

Monday, April 27

Breakfast: Home cooked meal at a friend's house

Lunch: McDonald's chicken nuggets

Dinner: Olive Garden; Tyler ate spaghetti

Tuesday, April 28

Breakfast: At the hotel. Normally this would not be OK with me but there were some safe options. He ate prepackaged Yoplait yogurt and a sausage patty.

Lunch: Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. He ate a burger and fries. I explained in detail to the waitress about his allergy and she assured me of the food's safety.

Dinner: CiCi's

Wednesday, April 29

Breakfast: At the hotel again, repeat of previous day with some scrabled eggs

Lunch: Burger King, chicken nuggets

Dinner: Boston Market, Tyler ate chicken, mashed potatoes, and corn bread

All in all, we had a great trip! I always have a little anxiety when we are somewhere unfamiliar. You will notice Tyler always ate very simple meals. They may not have been the most healthy meals but his allergy is more important while traveling.

All of the families who cooked for Tyler were well educated about his allergy. Most of them had cooked for him since he was a baby. So I did not have many qualms about that.

As I stated, we had one issue. I will talk about that more in detail on Thursday.
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