Embarking on a child friendly holiday might feel a bit scary when your know your child has food allergies. Whether it’s a severe allergy or even simply a mild intolerance, it can really disrupt the holiday- so what can you do?
- Choose accommodation that has it’s own kitchen meaning you can cook from scratch whenever you need to. Don’t feel you’re missing out- you should be able to get some lovely fresh ingredients from local markets, which will still allow you to sample local cuisine.
- Stick to your guns. If you can’t read the ingredients or there is any doubt whatsoever, then don’t let your child eat or drink the product.
- Keep an eye on your child whilst they play. It’s impossible to constantly watch your child every minute of the day, but just be wary of other little ones sharing their snacks in the playground.
- Bring your own snacks both for travel and during the holiday, it’s always good to have back-up.
- Don’t be afraid to ask. If a host or new holiday friend decides to prep a meal for your family, then be sure to double check what the ingredients are. Better to have a healthy child than worry about offending the chef!
- If your child has a very severe allergy then be sure to bring a Doctors note. You may also need one if you’re bringing certain extra bits and bobs in your hand luggage, such as soy milk (for dairy allergies) or any pre-opened allergy medication.
- If you need a specific feeding formula then pack extra, just in case you can’t get hold of any once you’ve arrived.
- ALWAYS keep neccessary medication on you, such as epi-pens.
- Before you fly, make airline staff aware of your child’s allergy. Try and mention this on as many occasions as possible so that the message gets through- staff would far rather be over-prepared, than have to deal with a child having an allergic reaction at a moment’s notice.
- Before you book, check your airline’s allergy policy so you know what to expect. If your child is heavily allergic to an ingredient such as nuts, it may be possible to request a ‘nut free zone’ of passengers seated near to your child.
- It’s also handy to have a pack of wet wipes- especially on planes, where things like nut residue can end up still lurking on tray tables. If it’s a problem for your family, give seating areas a quick wipe down before you get settled, or even ask if you can pre-board to make sure your child’s seat is safe and properly clean.
- Choose to travel on an early morning flight if you’re particularly worried about leftover crumbs or bacteria, as the plane will have been cleaned more thoroughly over night and there will have been less time for any food residue to build back up.
- Don’t let your child take any precautionary antihistamines before you fly- this will numb their natural reactions in the circumstance that they accidently eat something with an ingredient that they are allergic to, meaning they could consume a large amount before you realise there’s an issue.
- If you’re staying on a resort or in a hotel, make staff aware of your child’s allergy as soon as possible- they may be able to organise some special meals for your child, or prepare things separately to avoid cross contamination.
TOTS TOP TIP: You can buy some excellent allergy translation cards, which details any allergies your family may have in the language of the country you’re visiting. Get them HERE or HERE.
Some Tots properties that can cater for food allergies:
Don’t be tempted to let food allergies hold you back from travel- among my own closest family members there’s one with a dairy intolerance, one with a gluten intolerance, one vegetarian and one who won’t touch a vegetable to save his life so I know it can be a challenge!
But from personal experience I really think that with the right preparation, travel with allergies can be perfectly safe and sensible. Happy Holidays!
Visit www.totstotravel.co.uk to see what baby and toddler friendly options we can offer your family!
Tots to Travel offer baby friendly holidays and child friendly holidays both in the UK and abroad. Our range includes child friendly villas, including perfect villas for kids, baby friendly cottages, baby friendly villas and more…