How do you manage yours?
With lockdowns coming to an end, it’s time to start socialising again. This means eating out again, eating at friends and events. But how do you manage your child at family events to ensure that they are safe?
If they are older, and aware of the disease that they have, it’s important that they have the confidence to question adults/waitresses etc to ensure that they are eating the right foods and that they are suitable for them.
But if they are younger, you probably have to watch them like a hawk, take a packed lunch and watch what other people unknowingly offer them too. It can be so tricky and you have to have eyes everywhere. It can make a family event so utterly stressful for both you and your child.
With a coeliac child, planning in advance is key; always check with a venue before you arrive to ensure they can cater for you, always have a back up snack or two in your bag, a back up packed lunch is always a help at family events especially if its a buffet to ensure your child is kept safe.
Pre-Covid I would ensure that a packed lunch or several back up snacks were available in case the venue or the family member wasn’t 100% aware. If it was to be held at a venue, there would always be several calls and clarification that they could cater for her and that they understood the cross contamination requirements.
It makes planning family celebrations a little hard when venturing out but it can be done.
For my birthday celebration, I wanted to go to one of my favourite local restaurants, The Black Horse. I made the reservation online, and left a message so that I could discuss our dietary requirements. Having never taken my daughter to this restaurant post her diagnosis, I wasn’t sure what they could offer.
I needn’t have worried, as ever their customer service is second to none and they had great knowledge with regards to her requirements as well as having a separate fryer specifically for GF items & chips (always her first option) along with their menu marked up clearly stating what is gluten free / dairy free requirements. We could have a great family lunch out with fantastic food and know that I’d done everything I could to ensure that she could have a meal with the family, be included and more importantly be safe.
More venues are beginning to understand the importance of having gluten free options that are safe for Coeliac’s. Let’s hope that it continues as it makes life so much easier for us parents.
Have you got a favourite venue that caters for you and your child? If so, shout about them in the comments below.