With an eye on the food allergy community as a unique group of consumers since 2008, we're on a quest to find and share ways to continue enjoying the good things in life.


27 February 2009

What If You Choose to Cook Your Meals on Vacation?

At long last, I am finally starting to think about our annual summer trip. It's about a 10 hour drive each way and we stop about halfway to give ourselves and the kids a break, and to see something educational and/or entertaining that we don't ordinarily do at home the rest of the year. Each year, I try something new with regard to meals too. Although it's more work for me personally, I feel less stressed if I bring as much food as I can for my peanut allergic son (and the rest of us) to eat since unfamiliar restaurants can be more challenging than familiar ones at home. He seems to react to invisible trace amounts of peanut, and hard to find a restaurant that is peanut-free. We do eat out a few times on the road, and it's been fine, but there is very little to choose from at our destination and to some degree, I feel like we've just been lucky more than anything.

To make matters worse, the relatives we visit do not understand food allergies at all. They believe he will just grow out of the peanut allergy--and wouldn't it be nice?--and they definitely do not understand that an allergic reaction could be fatal. I plan to cook some meals there at their house so I can control what my son eats and monitor food preparation. These relatives are serious peanut butter eaters--last summer, I saw auntie with a huge spoon full of peanut butter in one hand and a jar of Jiff in the other. I would have felt better if she'd at least waited till we went to the hotel for the night so I hadn't seen it!

So here's my question: are any of you avid campers? If so, what are some easy kid-friendly recipes with few ingredients that would be easy to whip up in the summer heat on the road? We do a crock-pot meal at our relative's house but that takes care of only one meal and frankly, it's almost too hot and steamy in the summer to use that thing. Mac n'cheese comes to mind, sandwiches, but what else? I need to get my mind in a camping /picnic sort of mindset for a week's worth of meals, I think, and I'm coming up blank right now. Got any quick n'easy camp recipes or names of camping/picnic recipe books to get me started?

10 comments:

Kelly said...

you are a brave soul to go camping! just kidding. my brother in law and nephew love to make pancakes for breakfast in a portable skillet over the fire. i recommenend premeasuring the dry ingredients in a large resealable bag, label with a sharpee what to add (water, soy milk and veg. oil) and fry it up. It is a warm hearty breakfast.

Leigha said...

I recently wrote a post on traveling with food allergies and listed a few kid-friendly meals that I prepare for my daughter when we're on vacation: http://foodallergyfamilyfun.blogspot.com/2009/02/traveling-and-food-allergies.html . Hope it helps!

Jennifer B said...

Thanks, Kelly and Leigha!

Pancakes and waffles are good. It's tough, sandwiches get pretty boring after a few days! And kids are so picky! Another problem I run into is that by the end of the week, the bread gets old and it's difficult to find a safe brand away from home.

Karen said...

In the past I have researched grocery stores on line, that are on my travel paths.

Make your own nut free trail mix, for snacking on.

Jennifer B said...

Thanks, Karen. I do that too--last year I had a list of every Whole Foods Market from here to there! It did help and I was able to get more fruit and some Ian's Naturals frozen meals.

Anonymous said...

How about a tortilla filled with cheese, salsa, and beans? We've prepped this ahead of time for our first meal on the backpacking trail. By the time we are ready for lunch, the cheese is melted!

Enjoy Life has some great nut free snack bars.

Dehydrated mashed potatoes is another filling and nut free food.

Anonymous said...

I like making sloppy joes. After you've browned the ground beef (or turkey) I put a half bottle of Heinz Chili Sauce in and simmer for 15 minutes. They're easy and everyone loves 'em!

Good luck on your trip!

Krista said...

We love to make baked potatoes over a camp fire! Just cover them in foil and throw them over the coals. Have fun!

Ruth Smith said...

We do what the French do. Cheeses, fruits/fruit salad, baguettes, maybe some cured meats...you could do quick quesadillas..which are the same as a sandwich but for some reason my kids think it's different. Travel yogurts, cottage cheese. I'm assuming you'll have a cooler. Sounds like a fun vaca!

Jennifer B said...

Wow! Thanks for all of these great suggestions. It's nice to think of summer despite the impending snowstorm tomorrow!

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