Thursday, August 5, 2010

Traveling GFCF With Children Part 2

Traveling with special needs children takes planning. Add on top of that dietary restrictions and it is even more tricky.

 Since being being GFCF we had not ventured into a eatery. I had not felt comfortable enough to know how to order correctly or to know the right food. When we were stranded in Detroit that changed. We were lucky enough to make friends with one of the cooks. I told him about the kids issues and he was soooo helpful. We got a great break. Usually they marinate their chicken breast in Italian dressing but they were out. They have a designated fryer for the fries~but it was broken. Luckily baked pots were an option. My kids eat ketchup rather than butter on taters and the ketchup was GF brand.
     I asked our friendly cook about our breakfast options in the morning. He could not offer any advice other than to order it straight from the grill. So that is what I did. I ordered my $12 breakfast of scrambled eggs and 4 slices of bacon. Sarah Beth and I suffered through the standard continental breakfast stuff. Oh and I was able to get fresh fruit by asking. So it was not that bad of an experience.
Thank you God for making sure my babies had good food to eat.

If it is a planned vacation with eating out most times you can look at the restaurant menu ahead of time online. My GFCF friend J does this. She says it makes a huge difference in their vacations. Who wants to wait for a table only to find out there is nothing the kids can eat there? I know that many restaurants in Seattle area now have GF menus. Makes life helpful. Disney is another food allergy safe place to be. Upon arrival ask to speak with the Chef. Explain dietary restrictions and food allergies. They will prepare an awesome meal for your child!
      If it is not a GF friendly eatery I would bring my kids their own food. Many times I have been out with our family and seen other families in restaurants brings McDonaldd for the kiddies while the parents ate steak or whatever. I would explain we want to eat there but why the kids could not. If they are not understanding do you really want to give them your business?

Some other thoughts to share:

     When we go through airports our son uses a wheel chair due the inability to ambulate long distances. Those traveling with wheel chairs and walkers are allowed to use a special lane when going through TSA security. Family is also allowed to go through this line as well. You still go through the standard security procedures unless the child is unable to ambulate. Then they are strolled through the metal detector and must then be hand metal scanned. The first time Joseph went through this he flipped out. I was 3 people behind him. That hopefully taught a few TSA agents to listen to a mom with an ASD kid. There was poor Joseph screaming at the top of his lungs screaming NO and beating his head. Images I would like to block out.
     If you have a a handicap hang tag for your vehicle be sure to take it with you. I have never had any problems using mine in another State. Any questions contact the DMV for the State you are visiting.
     When staying in hotels I always make sure that I tell the staff as soon as I check in the our son is ASD with limited communication skills as well as severe food allergies. This is listed in the data base in the event of an emergency. Our son has not wandered in a hotel but I am not putting it past him. I always ask to be near an exit in the event of a fire on the first or second floor. If the motel has rooms facing outdoors I always request a second floor room. I can get to our son faster if he goes outside. I do not need to worry about cars.
This is a general over view of traveling GFCF with children. If you have ideas, specific questions or comments please feel free to share.

Part 2 of a 2 part article

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