5 Tips On Dining Out With Food Allergies


One of the scariest things to find out as a parent, is that your child has an anaphylactic food allergy.  I have a soy allergy and my daughter has a severe peanut allergy.  I’m Asian, and growing up, both allergies were very uncommon if not completely unheard of.  So imagine my surprise to discover I’m allergic to soy and my daughter to peanuts.  Both ingredients are highly used in Asian cuisine.

Personally, we tend to make our own meals and baked goods just because of the challenges we face when eating out.  But when we have relatives or friends come visit, dining out is something that is requested since we live in Niagara which is known for it’s wine and culinary.  So what do we do when we eat out?

Here are my 5 tips:

1. Carry an Epi-pen. A severe food allergy should never be taken lightly nor can you assume that others take it seriously.  This handy pen will SAVE YOUR LIFE or that of the person with the allergy.

2. Do your research. If you know where you’ll be dining, go online and check out the restaurant.  See what’s on the menu. It’s best to pick a restaurant that can meet what you need and will accommodate you.

3. Call ahead of time. Best thing to do is call the restaurant ahead of time and let them know of your allergy, so that special arrangements can be made and the chef is aware of what is needed.

4. Eat at off-peak times. Since it requires time and preparation, it’s better to eat at a time when it’s less busy.

5. Know what’s in your food.  Sometimes there are hidden traces of food allergens that we aren’t aware of.  So it’s always a good rule of thumb to ask what is in the food (I.e seasonings, etc)

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