With holiday season looming, there will be a lot of traveling with family. It’s an exiting time of year, but traveling with a gluten free child can be daunting. Here are my top 10 tips for traveling with a gluten free child. Intended to take away the stress of traveling with dietary restrictions. I hope this helps:
1. Plan ahead. If traveling to stay with friends or family, send a basic supermarket wish list in advance, to ensure there are some gluten free basics waiting for you when you arrive.
2. If traveling with an airline that offers meal options, be sure to order gluten free for your child. In cases where gluten free is available only for adults, order it for yourself and give it to your child (if you can eat gluten), or call the airline and request the meal(s) that you require.
3. Pack gluten free snacks for the journey and put some gluten free favorite items in your suitcase, just in case… (Ours are the Envirokidz bars, as they serve as a great emergency gluten free breakfast or snack).
4. Remember, there are lots of foods that are naturally gluten free. Discovering fruits and vegetables that are in season locally at your destination can be fun and part of the adventure.
5. It’s easier to travel somewhere where you have the ability to cook for yourself. If not, check with the hotel you are thinking of staying at in advance and understand whether they have the capacity to provide gluten free food.
6. Make one of your first stops when you arrive the supermarket. Make sure that your child accompanies you and make the idea of trying new gluten free products fun. For example, we found Bob the Builder gluten free pasta in the UK – perfect for a little boy.
7. Do some research on gluten free products in the country that you are traveling to in advance, if it makes you feel more comfortable. If you are staying with friends or family and they have a time to scout the supermarket for you and take some photographs this can be really helpful.
8. Don’t be embarrassed to ask about gluten free options for your child wherever you go. You wil lmost likely be surprised at how common a question it is. At a restaurant in Sweden, my husband decided to ask for some gluten free bread at the table. I smiled thinking how sweet that was of him , but being sure that we would get ‘no’ as an answer. Lo and behold, they served up a basket of gluten free bread.
9. Don’t rely on tourist attractions to have cafés stocked with gluten free food. Pack gluten free lunches and take them with you on days out whenever you can.
10. Be relaxed and don’t let dietary restrictions hinder your ability to travel.