Travelling with kids is stressful enough, throw in a dairy intolerant child and it becomes even more so. But don’t let your child’s food allergy hold you back from exploring the world with them.
One of my own sons is dairy intolerant, so I am very excited to have a dairy free expert over on the blog today to share her tips on how to plan a stress free holiday with a dairy intolerant or dairy allergic child. We are just getting to grips with eating out in Ireland with him and the thought of taking him abroad is daunting but with these tips I am feeling much more confident about it.
Laura is a busy Irish mammy to 2 boys, both of whom have a cows milk protein allergy. She shares her tips about shopping, cooking and living with dairy free kids over on her blog dairyfreekids.ie and she has kindly popped over here to share her experiences and tips on travelling with dairy free children.
The postcard version of our holiday for our happy family of four. Donning our best summer clothes, sun hats, smeared in sun cream out and about enjoying the sun, sea, sand, pool and the guaranteed nice weather for a few days. Everyone is happy and content. We all get along famously without the everyday stresses of home. Ahhhh, bliss!
The reality is a little different. One must always remember that when a food allergy is an issue, it needs to be taken as seriously as ever even when on holiday. Holidays are meant to be relaxing, but you can’t relax on this or your child will become ill.
- Any medication must be carried at all times, especially if your child has an Epipen.
- A little bit of foreplanning on the food front will go a long way too.
Preparation is key to avoiding tantrums and struggles where you won’t find anything to give them in a hurry!
Top Tips for Travelling Abroad with your Dairy Intolerant Child
Plan Ahead Check with airlines in advance regarding how best to carry Epipens, inhalers, antihistamines etc. that may be necessary for your child. This will avoid any unnecessary stress during security at the airport. Ensure you have enough of each medication also for the entire trip.
Do your Research Perform searches on Google to find out the names of the big supermarket chains in the country you are going to visit. Then check the supermarket websites themselves and see if you can locate milk alternatives, yogurt alternatives etc. For France and Spain all the big supermarkets carry milk alternatives. You can also visit travel forums such as the Lonely Planet or allergy forums and ask questions about products available in the country you are about to visit.
Book extra luggage if necessary so you can bring some safe snacks with you, having some emergency supplies will come in handy! Children are children and will not be patient when tired and hungry, so having snacks or meals ready on time or earlier if possible is a must.
For Travel with a baby or toddler bring along enough formula for the whole trip as you may not be able to get the same one abroad.
Bring along translation sheets for when you are eating out abroad. I have some for French, Spanish, German and Serbian ones on dairy free kids with more to come soon. Asking your waiter/waitress in advance if there are dairy free desserts available will be a tantrum saver later if your children are expecting dessert and there is none available. I used to bring my own sometimes, little soya dessert pots or something similar tucks away in my handbag easily.
Allow extra time when eating out. If your child is normally hungry at 1, go to the restaurant at 12.30, remember it takes a while to actually get the food, especially in a tourist area where restaurants can be very busy! Bring along crayons and colouring pages or something similar to keep children occupied while you wait for your meal.
Pack a Picnic or do your own cooking/barbequing at your accommodation. This can be a welcome break from eating out. It can be more relaxing as you know exactly what your children are eating.
Enjoy your holidays!
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