Memorial Day is just a few days away and we're sure many of you will either be hosting or attending family picnics. We love this time of year; being able to celebrate the brave men and women who have defended our country while enjoying the warmer climate with family and friends. Though Memorial Day will certainly offer a host of quality events we know that this can create some angst for parents of children with food allergies. Below we have outlined some tips for enjoying a food allergy free Memorial Day weekend:
1. If you are attending a picnic check with the host to see what they are serving. Most outdoor parties involve grilling, and that’s great because grilled meats are among the easiest to make allergen-free. Ask the host to prepare a portion with nothing added and no sauces for your food allergic child. That might mean no cheese in the burger, or no sauce on the chicken. Stay away from hot dogs and sausages unless you are sure of the ingredients. Ask to have your child’s portion cooked first on the grill, to eliminate the possibility of contamination, and skip the bun.
2. Offer to bring an allergen-free side dish. Typical side dishes for picnics – macaroni salad, potato salad, and cole slaw – tend to be made with milk and eggs. One of our favorite recipes is the Allergen-free Coleslaw from Living Harvest.
3.Bring your own serving utensils and serve your child a generous portion first, before everyone else digs in.
4. Try fruit salads for dessert. Fruit salad is often a good choice for food allergic families, or choose one of the great new non-dairy frozen desserts on the market, like the new Tempt ice cream bars. With flavors like Blueberry Pomegranate Swirl and Chocolate Fudge, you can’t go wrong. Be sure to bring some for all of the kids at the picnic, because these are so good everyone will want them.
Most importantly, follow your food allergy safety rules, and always carry your child’s medications. On behalf of everyone at Nutricia North America, we would like to wish you and your family and happy and food allergy free Memorial Day!