Travelling with Food Allergies
Written by Nicole McMullen of www.nutritionforyourcondition.com
In contemplating where to take the kids for March break, I can’t help but marvel at how stress-free it has become travelling with a severely peanut/nut allergic son. What once hindered us from flying, travelling to places we loved and eating out is now but a normality of life that we have adapted to, and quite well if I do say so myself.
I recall the emotions that overwhelmed me when we first learned of my son’s allergy. I felt as though he had been handed a life sentence. I pondered everything, from the simplest of things like play dates at friend’s homes, to more difficult challenges like travel. Would he ever fly with peace of mind again? Would he be limited to resorts and hotels with kitchenettes? Would he visit countries where language barriers and lack of understanding with respect to food allergies would put him at risk? I am glad to say, that I have come to a place where the allergy does not restrict our lives to the degree that I once thought it would have to. The past ten years have been an evolution in the making where we have conquered the challenges of travelling with food allergies. The solutions we have developed have offered us the freedom to live life to the fullest and most importantly, send an empowering message to our kids…to a large degree we determine how restrictive we will allow our limitations to be.
Understanding the responsibility to offer your child life experience while keeping your child safe can often lead to overwhelming feelings of confliction. The methods I have adopted to ensure that my son is safe from his life threatening allergy has allowed me to provide him with unrestricted opportunities. About a year and a half ago I felt compelled to share the knowledge and resources I had attained with those struggling with food allergies. Nutrition for your Condition’s product line is a direct result of our liberation from the restrictions that food allergies can bring. I have to say…I love putting the various products we have developed to the test…they have allowed us to stay at some fantastic resorts that we would never have chosen otherwise. Products enabling me to prepare full meals, even with the most limited of facilities, ensure my son’s safety when in a place where I am reluctant to feed him restaurant food. I have eased up slightly in this regard, but still find it difficult to trust just any restaurant. He is accustomed to having me bring his food to places where we are not comfortable with the menu and we are really well received by those dining establishments that would prefer not to have the liability on their hands.
Our last trip to Florida was an experiment on a few fronts. We knew when developing the Carry-All Kitchen that it was a well thought out kit. I have put it into practice so many times now that I’ve lost count. I wouldn’t travel without it. We did our research well in regards to meeting carry on restrictions for flying. With it having appliances, we wanted to be sure that it was suitable for cabin stowage, as not to have items break while in transit. That meant adhering to safety, size and weight restrictions. Going to and from Florida, it went off with flying colors. Not only was it fine to take on board (minus any sharp items we put into checked luggage that are listed in our safety guide) it was also underweight and easy to manage. We were asked at security check points both flying there and back if we could open the tote so that they could examine the contents. They did a quick once over and sent us on our way…we were even met with their approval over what a good idea it was, now that was a pleasant surprise.
Flying since the allergy has been a bit more challenging to get over. With concerns over other passengers consuming nut products onboard we are very selective about the airlines we will fly with. Some have only recently adjusted their policies to make it more feasible for us to fly with our son. There are always safety concerns regardless and we have had to weigh the pros and cons. We recently took a flight to Florida with one of our best received products to date. Suitable for those with a variety of medical conditions, including but not limited to food allergies. Anyone with a restricted diet that requires either medication, supplements or even just extra space to carry items for the plane (headphones, iPods, books etc) should absolutely consider visiting our site to check out our Airline Kit and NC VersaBag. They are virtually the same bag; however, the Airline Kit includes seat covers that protect against nut residue in flight. I loved having my 6 EpiPens, wipes, Benadryl and all the food I needed to keep my son content for the whole flight handy.
So back to the question on our mind’s…where are we going for March Break? Well, still not sure, but just glad that I can honestly say…I won’t be basing that decision on a food allergy…I’m past that.
To learn more, please visit our friends at www.nutritionforyourcondition.com