Dealing with a food allergy is a challenge year-round. Summertime, however, can present special challenges: ice cream trucks, big barbecues, vending machines at the pool, and even sunblock.

Knowing what to avoid and how to get around the obstacles will help you and your family enjoy summer to the fullest.

Quick convenience foods

There’s nothing convenient about an allergic response to food at a remote location. Generally try to avoid the vending machine on the road trip or the ice cream from the street vendor at the beach. On the plus side, most treats are individually wrapped at the source so cross contamination is reduced. More and more vendors know there are allergy concerns and many carry ingredient lists with them if you ask. Some even carry soy or rice milk alternatives. Still, it’s a tough position to be in: standing there reading an ingredient list while your child waits hopefully as other children get their treats. Unless you know you can find a good option, you may want to avoid taking your child with you to the cart.

The big barbecue

Generally, this is a workable option. The problem is that among the friends and activity, you can lose sight of your child and the foods she is consuming. Always be sure to let your host and other guests know that your child has an allergy and should not be eating the sensitive foods. Let your hosts know in advance of the party so that they have the option of providing alternatives. Bring alternative foods you know your child likes and bring enough to share. No one will mind if you ask about the ingredients in the homemade barbecue sauce or in the marinade. Cross contamination can happen on the grill and in the prep areas. Depending on the severity of your seafood allergy, you may want to avoid foods prepped at the grill.

Be prepared

Keep antihistamines or injectors close by. Keep your cell phone on you. Have a reminder talk before you go to the event about food safety and having fun. Scan the area for food allergens and ask the host about removing any that are a great concern. And if the environment is too unpredictable, say a few nice things and leave. It’s better to relocate to a safe place than spend a beautiful summer day trying to regain good health.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}