Whether you are travelling near or far…having multiple food allergies can pose many challenges. It is how you face those challenges that will really help in determining the outcome. Thinking positively, keeping an open mind, learning how to effectively communicate your needs, and reviewing past experiences will all assist you planning your journey outside of your safe environment… home.
Living with children with mulitple food allergies is a constant learning process. I am not an expert in the field by any means. I feel that I have learned, and am still learning, to adapt to our unique situation.
Every family living with food allergies, atopic dermatits, asthma or similar afflictions in their repertoire, has their own story….their own journey. A journey that will be ever changing as families move through the many stages of life. Learning their risk tolerances and learning to balance their lifestyle to create a safe environment is an ongoing process.
Travelling before we had children with multiple food allergies usually entailed making sure we had our identification and a credit card. Post-multiple food allergies, well, the list continues to grow.
LAST HURRAH OF SUMMERl
Labour Day weekend is here. Time for another adventure. So we are off to my mom’s house.
Travelling anywhere requires a checklist. No matter where we are heading, we always make sure we have:
1) All medications. This includes epi pens that are worn, extra epi pens, antihistamine, puffers and all medicated creams. Making sure all medications have not expired and the puffers and creams are not empty.
3)Allergen Free food and safe snacks for the car ride
Our destination determines the extras to bring. We are visiting my mother for the second time this summer. On our last visit I had planned ahead for this trip. I left behind non-perishable allergen free food to limit the amount of allergen free food to bring and time spent grocery shopping for it all.
I called ahead and discussed with my mother her removal of the peanut butter from the main refrigerator and to refrain from eating her almonds and muesli (my mother has been very understanding of our requirement to living in a peanut/nut free environment). We review the dinner menu plan and I always offer and follow through with cooking a meal or two.
When I arrive with all our allergen free food, we create a shelf just for it in her fridge to limit any cross-contamination. I place the boys extra epi pens on the desk in the kitchen by the phone for emergencies. I help in the kichen with the food prep and clean up in order to keep an eye on any cross-contamination.
Over the years, I have purchased and left behind items at my mom’s that basically make my visit and life easier. These items include: an aging Black and Decker Bread Machine, a rolling pin, and bakeware. I feel more comfortable using these items knowing that they have not come in contact with any of my children’s allergens.
On previous visits, I have checked out the local health food store and major food chains, to make sure products that I like to purchase are available. If they are not, I either bring the products myself or enquire if the store can order it in for me.
Visiting family and friends is important to our family. Communicating our basic needs for my children’s personal safety is key.Taking the time to ensure that safety precautions have been put in place makes for a more enjoyable stay. When everyone is on the same page, looking out for the health and welfare of my multiple food allergy children, I can relax!
PS: As always, any products I mention in these posts are my own personal recommendations. No one’s paying me to recommend them. They’re just what has worked for our family. Your own needs and preferences may be different!