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Vacations And A Gluten Free Diet
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My 5-year-old was just diagnosed with celiac disease. We have a vacation planned to Disney World. Does anyone have suggestions of what to eat while visiting amusement parks all day? Most gluten-free foods seem to need time to prepare them. The first few days will be fine. I can cook a big meal and then heat it up when needed. But I am at a loss for the rest of the trip. Ideas??

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Hello: My 3 year old son has celiac disease. We went to Disney World in July. If you are staying at a hotel, ect. Call them. They are very familiar with celiac disease in Disney World.

I stayed at the Grand Floridian. I let them know ahead of time that I would need gluten free foods. They were extremely accomodating. Since we ate at a different restaurant each night, I called each and every one to speak to the Chef. (Call at least a week before you go). Most places actually made me Gluten Free bread from scratch!!!!!!!. Most places have Gluten Free waffle and pancake mix also. There is also a category on the Disney World website for food specialties. I would call the 1-800 # for that also. Good luck!!!

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P.S. I forgot to answer your original question: At the amusement parks I brought my own food. I packed a cooler full of fruit, juices,gluten-free peanut butter (they come in squeezable single serving sizes now!!!! (by Skippy), Organic crispy rice bars made by Invirokidz. I would also make a sandwich of peanut butter and Jelly on rice cakes. I used the apple cinnimon flavored by Quaker. I hope this helps!!

Have a great vacation!!!!

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I found this really good article about vacationing at Disney World Gluten Free.

Here is the link enabling.org

It is from one of their old newsletters.

Once there click on "Doing Disney World Gluten Free".

I hope you have a wonderful vacation. don't let them hassle you about bringing in your ice chest full of food either! You have a right to bring in anything that is medically necessary.

God bless.

Mariann

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I'm just curious: do you have to be officially diagnosed and/or carry a doctor's note to be able to take medically necessary food into amusement parks and such places, or do they actually take your word for it that you have celiac disease? My in-laws want to take all of us to Idlewild park this summer, and the last thing I would want is to find myself all tangled up in red tape--my life is already complicated enough, and I need a lot of work on being more assertive when I am face-to-face with someone who disagrees with me!

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Thank you everybody for all the great suggestions. It makes me feel so good to know that there is some support, especially when you are new to this whole gluten-free thing. About the amusement park, I was also wondering the same thing: Do you need a letter or do they take your word for it that you have Celiac Disease? I actually just got a letter from my daughter's doctor, so I will be sure to keep copies handy...one for income taxes, one for parks, backup, etc.

Thanks again everybody!!

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    • Thank you for going through my long post and responding. I have been both dairy and gluten-free free for 10 months now. Yes, even I was worried about other food allergies. I mentioned it to my GI doc and asked if I need food allergy test to eliminate other allergens. He said, food allergy tests give a lot of false positives and are not accurate. He said: not everything is because of food allergy and it's refractory celiac which is causing issues as the jejunum biopsy, done recently, is showing villous flattening.

      My doubt: 1. If I have so much damage in my small intestine (villous flattening) then how was I keeping fine for 6-7 months ( eating eggs, soy, rice and meat) - was constantly losing weight though - but was able to work out regularly - not much fatigue. 2. If it is other food allergens ( out of mentioned allergens, I take eggs, soy chunks, almonds only) why does it happen only few times and not always - I keep well for 7-8 days and then fall sick again - this without any change in diet.  
    • Oh, Trish at the GlutenFreeWatchDog tested Planter's honey roasted peanuts three years ago.  The can did not state gluten-free, but showed no gluten ingrediants (per Kraft policy).  Test result: less than 5 part per million which is pretty much gluten-free.  
    • What if it were something else that glutened you?  Maybe you ate too much of a good thing?  I once (three months post dx) ate too much gluten-free fried chicken, vomited, passed out and fractured my back (osteoporosis) in the process.  Paramedics, ER doc and Cardio all thought I was having a heart attack.   No.  It was sheer gluttony and bad bones.  Not good to overload with a damaged gut.    Maybe you did get some contaminated nuts.  Afterall, anything processed is suspect.  What might be well tolerated by some, might be too much for others.  We all have our various levels of gluten intolerance.   The old 20 parts per million is just a guideline, but science does not really know (lack of funding......doe anyone really care enough to find out?)  My hubby has been gluten-free for 15 years.  When I was first diagnosed, I tried to eat the gluten-free foods that I normally gave him.   Problem was he was healed and I was not.  Things like Xanthan Gum in commercial processed gluten-free breads make me feel like I have been glutened, but it is just (and still is) an intolerance.  So no bread for me unless I make it myself using a different gum.   Too lazy, so I do without.   so, ask your doctor if you really want to know or lay off the cashews and test them again in a month using a certified gluten-free nut.  I wish this was easier!    
    • I have intolerances to a few foods now, so I was wondering about that.. I love cashews though, and a month or two ago I was eating them all the time with no problems at all. I mean, could I really have developed an intolerance to them since then? I don't know if they're made on shared lines (it didn't say on the package so I assumed they weren't), but I'll give them a call. I'm really, really sensitive to cross contamination. Even if something is just made in the same facility (but not on shared lines) it will make me sick. If that's not it, then I'm not really sure
    • Research with KP and find a celiac-savvy GI in your area ( read the biographies). and ask your PCP/GP for a referral to that specific GI (not his buddy).  Ask the GI for the rest  of the celiac panel or proceed with an endoscopy/biopsies -- 4 to six.  Keep eating gluten daily until all testing is complete.  Document and request in writing.  Do not worry about symptoms.  There are over 300 of them and some celiacs have none!   Research all that you can about celiac disease.  The University of Chicago has a great celiac website that has testing Information etc.   Poet me know how it works out.  Hope you feel better soon!  
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