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My older son will be going for surgery in two weeks, so my family will be staying in a hotel for 4 days. What do I do about my middle boy's (4yo) gluten-free diet?? Do I start calling around to restaurants, make and take? It's in a city I've never been to so that adds in a bit of a curve ball.

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Does the hotel have a frige and microwave in it (per room)? If so, you could make up some meals, freeze them, then reheat.

There is always samwiches and whatnot.

Crock pot? Rice cooker? Those type of things you could do and make meals out of it.

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I would get a hotel with a fridge and a microwave in it. Even if you can't stay where the rooms have microwaves, call and tell them you need a fridge for a medical need. Ask the hotel, there may be a grocery close or even a Whole Foods near. I would not suggest eating things infront of him that he might want but can't have. So plan to all eat the hotel room food.

I have a small "camp stove" that uses a little propane tank. $20 on sale at this time of year. You could freeze pre-patty burgers, chicken, hot dogs etc and cook in the parking lot.

Cook some things like burgers ahead and freeze & then microwave.

Some meals that don't need a microwave but need a fridge or a cooler:

Sandwiches

Cold cuts

Cheese slices

Crackers

PB/almond butter/seed/butters

nuts

yogurt

fruits

carrot, celery, etc sticks (dressing if he likes that)

Cereals

Cereal snack mix - just mix Chex, nuts, gluten-free pretzels, M&Ms

hummus with crackers or carrots or pretzels

pudding/jello cups

guacamole and chips

pepperoni slices & string cheese with some pasta sauce to dip

bag salad & pre-cooked and frozen chicken - salad dressing or salsa, guacamole & chips on it

corn torillas to make sandwiches with

You might look on the restaurant or travel section and see if anyone mentions that city. Or even post a new topic like "Eating in Kansas City?". Someone may have suggestions. Maybe the hospital will have gluten-free food in the cafeteria but I wouldn't count on it. They will have chips & yogurt & milk & juice.

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This could be a blessing in disguise for you. You said yesterday that there wasn't much for gluten-free food in your area. If you are in a city there will be lots of places you can get it. Check ahead to find the locations of health food stores. You can try all of the different products like Udi's bread and other gluten-free foods to see what you and your son like, then you will know which things to order online in the future.

If you have a George Foreman grill you can bring that and cook in your room. Just clean up and put it in a bag when you're done so the maid doesn't find it. Even if the room doesn't have a frige you can bring a cooler and stock it with whatever you want. Most grocery stores in big cities have dry ice available and that will keep your cooler cold for days and days. You can even stock up on foods to bring home. :)

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We discussed this not too long ago and I found the thread!

Maybe there are some ideas in here for you too.

Karen did a lot of work putting it together.

I also suggest a Koolatron for your car.

Hope this helps!

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My niece who travels a lot for business never stays in hotels. She always does a short-term apartment rental. I had not known there were such things. She said it often works out about the same as a hotel and is much more convenient. It might be worth investigating if you will be in a large city.

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When the budget allows, we stay in a hotel room with a fridge and microwave. The hotels do charge extra for this though in a lot of instances. One trip my FIL helped pay for the hotel room so we got basically an efficiency. That was nice but not usual for us. So suggestions that I have done when I don't have any ammenities in the room:

-take a refrigerated cooler(will plug into the cigarette lighter in your car and has a cord for regular outlets too) too keep cold cuts, meat etc in. If I don't have my plug in cooler then I use a regular cooler and get ice

-electric skillet. It's amazing what you can do with one of those.

-research the area before hand and scope out the best grocery stores nearby.

-take easy things like cereal etc and plastic utensils and disposable plates/bowls

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We just got back from our first trip to a hotel with my 2 year old. Asked the hotel for a microwave, which they provided, and they also agreed to freeze a few items for us. It was a drag having to ask them to retrieve it and put it back each time but better than nothing! Good luck.

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When we traveled, I brought most of the food for me and my youngest son. Husband took older son out to dinner and we ate in our hotel room. I packed lots of easy, "snacky" meals (crackers and hummus, crackers and tuna, crackers and peanut butter) plus lots of fruit, etc. When we had a fridge, I also bought a bag of salad and veggies to add to it. The hotel was happy to supply plates and things for us. For breakfast, (they served a buffet) we would join the family, but bring our own cereal (chex). At the buffet, we would get yogurt, fruit, bacon, etc. It all worked out fine.

I thought my younger son would feel left out since the other one was going out to eat. Turns out he thought our "hotel" meals were very special since it was just the two of us and we got to watch TV. Go figure.

I would also check to see if there is a Celiac Support Group in the city you are visiting. Usually you can hook up with other moms and get their advice on safe places to eat and where to shop. I don't really trust places that say the have a gluten free menu - I have to know they know what they are doing. When we went to NYC last fall, I was in contact with a mom who lived in the neighborhood we were visiting. She had all kinds of great suggestions for us. We even got pizza delivered, fresh baked breakfast breads, and more.

Even on this list . . . there might be someone who lives in your destination city.

Good luck -

Cara in Boston

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I would also check to see if there is a Celiac Support Group in the city you are visiting. Usually you can hook up with other moms and get their advice on safe places to eat and where to shop. I don't really trust places that say the have a gluten free menu - I have to know they know what they are doing. When we went to NYC last fall, I was in contact with a mom who lived in the neighborhood we were visiting. She had all kinds of great suggestions for us. We even got pizza delivered, fresh baked breakfast breads, and more.

That is a brilliant idea!! Thank you!!! We are going to Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada...I have a week to research!

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