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Air Travel, Newly Diagnosed 5 Year Old
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14 posts in this topic

We have just received a diagnosis celiac disease for my 5-year old. He's had horrible eczema that has just gotten worse and worse over the past year. The eczema has not been identified as DH and I'm not qualified to make that determination myself.

Complicating matters is he appears to be very reactive to all dairy and eggs, according to his IgG and IgE results. We were told to stay away from dairy until his skin clears up, at which time we can try re-introducing them.

Anyway, we received all this information while we are preparing for a trip out of town to Seattle, leaving tomorrow (non-refundable everything, of course, and we're expected at family events so we can't cancel). I'm packing snacks that I have found at health food stores that say "gluten-free" (as well as dairy free) for the plane trip, but I am concerned about providing some protein for my little guy during the trip. Does anyone have experiences with airport restaurants and can offer advice? We'll be making a connection in Phoenix.

I appreciate suggestions that include "pack a cooler" but I am limited in what I can carry... he's not my only special needs child. I need to know about peopel's experiences with airport snack bars and restaurants. How bad are hot dogs? I know they can contain fillers, but what are people's experiences with them?

(We have peanut allergies in our family, so packing peanut butter is not an option. I'm concerned about cross-contamination with the other nut butters, so those are not options either.)

Thanks,

Carrie

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Carrie-

Have you found any of the enjoy life products? They are gluten free and free of the top 8 food allergies... Might be a good option for all of your kids, even if their allergies are different. http://www.enjoylifefoods.com/

Ck out this recent thread, it might give you some ideas... It is also about foods to take while traveling/away from home...

http://www.glutenfreeforum.com/index.php?s...575entry52575

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It seems like most airports have at least one major fast food place, like Mcdonald's. Not the greatest food in the world but it's a lot better than nothing. Most places will also pack meals for you to take on the plane.

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It's tough, especially since your child is so young. (My son is 4 and has celiac disease, so I know...) The only non-nut protein sources I can think of are

Cold cuts (depending on how long they will be out - try freezing the gluten-free bread if you are worried)

Tofu - You can get it in an aseptic packages (like juice boxes). That depends on whether your kid will eat it raw. Maybe with some wheat-free soy sauce.

gluten-free protein bars

beef jerky

If none of that stuff will work, get soy milk in a small package that looks like a juice box. You can get a three-pack. Just watch out for barley syrup. I used to use those for great traveling pick-me-ups even before I was diagnosed. If your son isn't used to that stuff, you might want to get the chocolate ones. You're going to need to investigate soy milks and rice milks if you need to stay dairy-free.

McDonalds has a poster that lists common allergens in their meals. You might be stuck with french fries though.

Hot dogs are tough because not all are gluten-free and you have to worry about crumbs from buns and tongs getting on those rollers.

I have found that the more emphasis a restaurant puts on service, the more likely you are to be able to get help.

If your kid is like mine, he might skip protein all day anyway.

Good luck.

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When we're traveling, I often make pasta salad. I use "fun" shaped gluten-free noodles and add chopped veggies and chicken. Recently, I've used Annie's Naturals, Low Fat Honey Mustard Vinaigrette. The dressing is gluten-free and doesn't contain dairy, soy, or eggs. I just throw it in a soft cooler with an ice pack. My 3 year old often picks through the salad but I can usually get her to eat a few bites of each veggie and the chicken. Then the rest of the day we just pick through the pre-packaged gluten-free things we've packed. :)

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Thank you so much for all your help!

I do have a question about exposure. I have several celiac friends who aren't worried about cross contamination and they do just fine. (They'll just remove the meat from a sandwich and eat it and they haven't had problems.) And the doctor we saw, whose own daughter had to go gluten-free, said that if our son got trace amounts he would probably be okay.

Of course we are erring on the side of caution. But when I saw that the chocolate rice milk only had .002% barley extract in it, I didn't worry about it because that seems so minute.

I know many of you are very sensitive and can't have trace amounts, but is it possible that some people can still get trace amounts and be okay? My son doesn't have the gastro-intestinal problems, so I know he won't get sick if he does have a trace amount. Again, if I have a choice I'm going to not let him have something. But if we're caught in a bind, I'm probably not going to flog myself.

(We've kept our son safe from peanuts for 7 years... no reactions. The odds are very against that, from what I've heard, so I am experienced in reading labels and being vigilant. Or maybe he's outgrown the allergy or isn't that allergic. Who knows. None of this stuff is black-and-white.)

Thanks again for all your advice!

Carrie

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I have several celiac friends who aren't worried about cross contamination and they do just fine. (They'll just remove the meat from a sandwich and eat it and they haven't had problems.)

But when I saw that the chocolate rice milk only had .002% barley extract in it, I didn't worry about it because that seems so minute.

Even if there are no symptoms in your friends or your son, small amounts of gluten can still cause intestinal damage which puts them at an increased risk for various problems. I am not a doctor, but I believe that the amount of gluten in that chocolate milk or on a slice of meat from a wheat sandwich could be enough to cause intestinal harm.

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Even if there are no symptoms in your friends or your son, small amounts of gluten can still cause intestinal damage which puts them at an increased risk for various problems. I am not a doctor, but I believe that the amount of gluten in that chocolate milk or on a slice of meat from a wheat sandwich could be enough to cause intestinal harm.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

The doctor who we saw, the only person to know anything about celiac disease and who other celiacs talk to, said it was okay if he had minute traces. His blood work indicated there was no intestinal damage so far. (I know only a biopsy can tell for sure, though.) Seeing as how he's had this problem for several years and was quite the wheat addict, I think we'll be fine. I appreciate that this can be a problem, though, and will continue to be vigilant. As I said earlier, we've been very successful with the peanut issue so we have the reading-label skill set and we're good at erring on the side of caution. We just can't live our lives in a bubble though.

Thanks again so much for all your great advice!!

--Carrie

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Even if there are no symptoms in your friends or your son, small amounts of gluten can still cause intestinal damage which puts them at an increased risk for various problems. I am not a doctor, but I believe that the amount of gluten in that chocolate milk or on a slice of meat from a wheat sandwich could be enough to cause intestinal harm.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I went back and rechecked that Rice Milk label. It does say .002% trace of barley. I bet you inhale that amount of flour when you walk through the grocery store or go into a restaurant or sit next to someone eating sandwiches. With the prevalence of wheat products, there's no way to avoid it.

Just a thought.

(Don't everyone jump on me. I realize it's important to be vigilant.)

Carrie

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I'm sure that one slip up would not do too much harm, but I think that if you were eating things contaminated with gluten or with traces amount of gluten in them on a daily basis, than I think it would cause intestinal harm. I personally wouldn't knowingly eat anything with gluten in it or something that was contaminated since the smallest traces of gluten make me very sick for about 2 weeks.

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I'm sure that one slip up would not do too much harm, but I think that if you were eating things contaminated with gluten or with traces amount of gluten in them on a daily basis, than I think it would cause intestinal harm. I personally wouldn't knowingly eat anything with gluten in it or something that was contaminated since the smallest traces of gluten make me very sick for about 2 weeks.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I found a Wild Oats rice milk product that is gluten free, so I'll be buying that in the future. My husband accidentally fed my son sausage two days ago that had traces of wheat starch in it. We will have accidents, I know. We're learning.

Carrie

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Carrielynn-

I use wild oats rice milk and like it a lot...

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For what it's worth, I fed my son about 8 oz. of regular semolina pasta over the course of two days. I felt like a bad dad, but the doc wasn't worried that causing a long term problem.

Then again, his views on celiac disease are different from the mainstream. Maybe that is because he is an allergist and not a GI guy?

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