Plan Ahead to Eat Out – The Food Sensitive Shopper
Avoid Avoid Avoid
That is what we, the community of food allergic, intolerant and sensitive, do…it is our mantra to stay safe and feel healthy.
Avoid allergens. Avoid lactose. Avoid gluten. Avoid play dates. Avoid celebrations. Avoid eating out. The list goes on…
But all of this avoidance isn’t good for the heart or soul. We need a change of scenery, a break from cooking three meals a day, contact with the outside world, and to have fun – safely.
Plan Ahead… so your food sensitive family can stop avoiding eating out
1. Create or download chef cards that specifically state the allergens. These are valuable in restaurants, cafeterias and even grandma’s house
2. Look online at restaurant menus – most have allergen information, ingredients listing, and contact information
3. Call the restaurant during off hours (non-eating times) – at least 24 hours prior – to ask questions about food allergen safety. Hint – if they are too quick to say ‘oh yeah we’ve got this, no worries’ and do not explain exactly how they care for patrons with food restrictions then you may want to go elsewhere. This type of answer is called ‘being dismissed’. If you have been dismissed by restaurant staff your needs are not being adequately cared for…go elsewhere.
4. If possible, visit the restaurant – or better yet, have a meal there without the food sensitive loved one so you can observe, ask more questions, taste the food and get a feel for the place.
5. Be open minded – Going to TGI Friday’s will probably not work – more on our experience with this restaurant soon on Allergy Free Table Facebook page.
6. Check ingredients, food handling and cooking practices wherever you may eat away from home.
Our simple motto eating out – If you are unsure about the food don’t eat it
Be sure to contact us if you have questions about eating out.
Here’s a great resource for you to read restaurant reviews from others who are food sensitive: