That's how I feel about traveling with kids and allergies. It is HARD and a LOT of work.
But this is my life... and I'm learning how to live this part out gracefully!
I'm not a PRO at this by any means. But this is how we do it - and it works!
Cute babies on cooler?! Makes EVERYTHING better!!!
I'd do this EVERY weekend for the rest of my life to keep them healthy!
STEP #1: QUESTIONS & AN EXPLANATION
I am still not very gifted with this step. I don't like people to feel uncomfortable or that they are not appreciated - and I always feel like my questioning could give that impression. Basically I get the low down...
"Do you have a menu plan for the weekend?"
"Is there anything I can bring to help?"
"Will there be any partying (birthday, Christmas, game night, etc.) going on?"
Then I usually give an explanation for my questions...
"We have so many allergies/sensitivities to food.
I would hate to put the burden of cooking for us on your plate. Ha! But seriously.
It is quite OVERWHELMING to produce a meal that we ALL can eat and enjoy."
I have seen a number of responses to this...
"Send me a grocery list - I'll buy whatever you can eat and we'll cook together!"
"Teach me. I'll try my best to accommodate you and your family."
"Bring whatever food you guys can eat - use my kitchen - it's all good!"
Soooooo... based on these responses I probably should never have a melt down ever again!
STEP #2: MENU PLANNING & GROCERY SHOPPING
Our latest family trip took us to Tennessee to visit some family! SO. MUCH. FUN.
2 days of driving and 2 days of hanging out with people we LOVE!
Not to mention a BIRTHDAY PARTY for our niece!
Since so many people were going to be hanging out in the same house/kitchen -
I decided that it would be easiest on all if I just brought food for my family.
...this was my menu plan...
veggie wraps, g-free grilled cheese (kids),
sweet potato chips, cucumbers, grapes/oranges, popcorn, and Clif bars
breakfast - pumpkin bread and bananas
lunch - pure veg stir fry, salad, and clementines
dinner - stuffed peppers, guacamole, and black bean/quinoa chips
***BIRTHDAY PARTY*** - bring flourless zucchini brownies and strawberries
Lindsay over at Delighted Momma is loaded with yummy recipes!!!
LOVE her space! You'll have to check it out :-)
breakfast - g-free cereal with rice milk and banana/kale smoothies
lunch - Daiya-broccoli rice noodles with fresh fruit
dinner - creamy kale soup with apple wedges
**We ended up taking the soup home for dinner after travelling and enjoyed some gluten-free pizza from Domino's this night! Crazy - I was shocked they make a RICE crust!
With a little cheese and some veggies - this was a SPECIAL treat for my babies!!!**
(lunch on the road/driving)
breakfast - rice flour waffles with applesauce
lunch - veggie wraps, Daiya quesadilla (kids), sweet potato chips, cucumbers, apples/grapes, and Clif bars
dinner - CHIPOTLE... one of the few places that we ALL can eat with no issues!
I made my grocery list based off of this menu and hit my favorite stores with these crazy kids!
STEP #3: FOOD PREP & PACKING
This is the most involved step.
I wanted to have most things ready to prepare or eat to make things easier on me.
...this was my prep list...
Rice Flour Waffles (recipe coming soon!)(made and froze for travel)
Zucchini Brownies (made and froze for travel)
Veggie Stuffing for peppers (made and froze for travel)
Creamy Kale Soup (made and froze for travel)
Stir Fry Mix (dumped bags of chosen frozen veggies into tupperware for travel)
It all was pretty much still frozen when we arrived in Tennessee
and we didn't have to buy ice to keep it cold in the cooler! GENIUS.
STEP #4: PLAN OF A SNACK
With kids, every five seconds:
"I'm hungry!" "I want a snack!"
... if you just move in the general direction of the kitchen they freak out: "FEED ME!" They have small stomachs - gotta meet their needs!
but these are quick, easy, and healthier option when on the road!
Clif Bars - my husband LOVES these
Cascadian Farm Granola Bars
Sunflower Seeds & Yellow Raisins (trail mix for a 2 year old!)
Fresh Fruit - enough to FREEZE when we got there to whip up smoothies!
(I brought my knock-off "Bullet" with me! TINY and perfect for travel!)
STEP #5: EAT & BE MERRY
HAPPY + HEALTHY... and NO MELTDOWNS!!!
Traveling is a complicated, blissful business!
It IS a lot of work to plan, prepare, and pack-it-all-up...
but eating and KNOWING the benefits of sticking to our way of life PAYS OFF!