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Sending a Gluten Free Kid to a Non Gluten Free Camp

Posted Sep 28 2011 10:43pm

Getting my Celiac child ready for camp last week was no easy task.  Well, it was easy, just took a lot of thought and preparation.  It was kind of a last minute decision to send her, so if I had had a little more time, I would have done a little more home cooking preparation.  Due to time limitations, we went for the processed foods for a week.  

Why in the world would you send your child to a non gluten friendly camp?

Well, I decided to do it for a couple of reasons.  Number one being that I have to let her live as normal of a life as possible.  She already feels left out a lot when around others at parties and friends homes.

Two, her best friend was going.

Three, I felt it would be a great experience for her to grow up some.

Four, I feel very comfortable with how she feels about her food.  She knows the questions to ask and is very familiar with what she can and can not eat.

Five, I spoke with the camp director and the camp chef, or food preparer and felt very comfortable with them following my instructions and menu for my daughter.

How I prepared:  First of all I got the camp chef to send me a menu of what they would be eating for their meals the week they would be at camp.  Then I highlighted the items that my child could eat/drink.  After evaluating what she was going to not be able to eat, I started filling in the gaps with gluten free food.  When they were having corn dogs for lunch, I made her home made corn dogs to take with her to eat.  They were having spaghetti one night, so I sent a frozen lasagna for her to eat that night.   When they were having pizza, she got a gluten free pizza.  You get the picture.

Sorry you  can’t see this very well.  I spent some time putting it together and gave my daughter a copy and a copy to the chef/food preparer.  I have literally spent hours trying to get it to post to my blog, but had to settle for a photo.   This gives you an idea what we did.

We kept it simple.  Breakfast foods we brought included cereal, french toast sticks, frozen pancakes, and donuts.  Her lunches include sandwiches, corn dogs, and pizza. (I did take our toaster for her to use while she was there for her bread/french toast sticks).  Her dinner meals are frozen lasagna, their taco salad, their ham, and fish sticks.  Some extras I packed her included some canned soup and Thai rice noodles.

She had a whole box of snacks.  This included things like Stax, Cracker Jacks, Fruity Pebbles snacks, Think Thin Bars, string cheese, cookies, Annie’s snack crackers, fruit roll ups, and much more.  I think she won’t go hungry this week.  :)

Upon arrival to the camp I met with the food preparer and her team.  I went over the menu in detail and showed her all the foods and snacks we brought.  I explained to her that any bit of crumb can contaminate her whole meal.  I felt confident leaving that they would do the best they could with her.  They told me they would prepare her sandwiches and meals first before they would handle all the wheat foods.

I have only been able to send emails to my daughter this week, she doesn’t have access to let me know how things are going.  We get her tomorrow morning so we will see how she did!  I can’t wait to hear!  She has not had a celiac tummy in about 6 months or so now, I hope we didn’t break that winning streak this week!

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