Going out is always extra work when you have a toddler with allergies, but speaking from my own experience… the extra work is worth it! There’s nothing worse than being confined to your home day after day for fear of the outside world. We don’t go out nearly as much as we used to pre-baby of course, but here are some tips I’ve found helpful.
So far, we’ve never ordered food from a restaurant for our toddler. The number of foods he can eat is still very limited and the risk of cross-contamination is simply too high. Nothing would spoil an outing like having to ring 000. Instead, I pack lots and lots of small containers of different foods – something like a degustation menu for a toddler. That makes it sound very fancy huh?!
Unlike other products, especially baby/toddler products I’ve looked at, there is little contamination when it comes to tinned foods. The foods I use only have one or two ingredients which means I know exactly how my child will or won’t react. You don’t have to heat it up then cool it down, and you can carry small tins with you for some of those emergency situations.
My discovery of tinned food has helped me tremendously when we go out or when we’re just at home and for whatever reason my toddler rejects the food I’ve already prepared. Who knows, maybe it was too hot, too cold, too hard, too soft, too big, too small… the list goes on…
The main idea behind this list is it’s food my toddler can eat without too much assistance. The smaller the pieces, the longer it takes for them to eat it, thus the longer time I have to actually consume my meal and also enjoy the company.
You get the idea – sometimes I mix a couple of tins together, add some chopped tomatoes and chopped avocado, and you have an instant salad. Mind you, these last two ingredients tend to lend themselves to a messy toddler at the end, but it’s still quick and pretty healthy when you think about it.