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mommy2twoboys

Traveling With Toddler

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I am headed on a road trip with my 2 year old, we will be driving up north about 10 hours than staying in a hotel for a few days. I have not been far from home since we found out he was Celiac a year ago. I don't even no where to begin as far as eating out on the road. I have requested to have a fridge in the hotel room, they said I could also use the microwave in the breakfast area if needed but I am sure we will be eating out alot. Are most resturants ok about bringing in our own food for him? I feel stuck!! I think I am ok on snacks and stuff but need help on the main meals. Please help!! Any suggestions would be so appreciated!!! Thanks again!!!

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You should look on restaurant's websites and get their gluten-free menues. Chili's, Wendy's, Outback, and lots of others have a gluten-free menu that you can refer to and then order safe foods for him. I can't think of any others off the top of my head at the moment (it is a bad night), but others will have more help for you!

ptkds

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I am headed on a road trip with my 2 year old, we will be driving up north about 10 hours than staying in a hotel for a few days. I have not been far from home since we found out he was Celiac a year ago. I don't even no where to begin as far as eating out on the road. I have requested to have a fridge in the hotel room, they said I could also use the microwave in the breakfast area if needed but I am sure we will be eating out alot. Are most resturants ok about bringing in our own food for him? I feel stuck!! I think I am ok on snacks and stuff but need help on the main meals. Please help!! Any suggestions would be so appreciated!!! Thanks again!!!

How is your two year old about eating? Ok, picky, kinda in between? I traveled across country with my daughter when she was 18 months. Now at the time celiacs was not an issue however she wouldn't eat anything in a restaurant! I packed a cooler with ice and packed it with cheese and yogurt and brought lots of fresh fruit in the car with us which she loves. Another thing you can bring for the car trip is cereal bars if he will eat them, the Kinnikinnick animal crackers are a hit with us as well. Anyway, we spent 3 days on the road and she ate yogurt, cheese and fruit for three days. She was tired of it when we got to our new home, but she ate because she was hungry. Occasionally I could get her to eat a pancake, like I said, celiacs was not an issue.

As for restaurants, she still won't eat anything in them. We have never had a problem bringing in our own food. I have an insulated lunch box for her. I tell them that she has a severe gluten intolerance and is very picky. Most restaurants still want your business so they won't see a problem with it, especially for such a little one. My dd is 5 and we still do it all the time. We just ask for a clean plate and give her her food when the rest of ours comes.

You could probably prepare him some meals in the microwave in the hotel and then bring them with you to the restaurant. If you are able to get a fridge in the room, make some gluten-free pancakes the night before you leave and throw them in the cooler, that is a quicky to heat up. bring some tinfoil or termal containers with you to keep things warm till you get to the restaurant. Also if you boil some gluten-free pasta and put oil on it so it doesn't stick you could heat it with some gluten-free jarred pasta sauce or cheese for cheese and mac in the hotel microwave, that might get you through a couple of meals in the first day or two. (or even mix it with the sauce and put it all in a container and heat it up as is) Bring some containers with you, if he will do gluten-free beef franks, you can boil one in the microwave in water. Maybe buy a cheap toaster to take with you and bring some gluten-free bagels and cream cheese. Another one dd likes is a cream cheese sandwich on gluten-free bread. We use that one kinda like grilled cheese. Another one you could do if he likes melted cheese is gluten-free tortilla chips or 2 gluten-free corn tortillas with shredded colby jack cheese melted in the center with some gluten free lunch meat to make a quesadilla of sorts. As I said sometimes I can get away with yogurt and fruit for lunch with some chips or gluten-free crackers. We also really like raw baby carrots or cherry tomatoes sliced in half.

There is also a gluten-free restaurant guide you can buy online and maybe get a rush order on it. It lists restaurants by the state that have gluten free options! Not sure how soon you are leaving, but if you have a week it might be something to look into.

Good luck to you! Sorry I can't offer more advice, since dd won't eat anything that is gluten-free in restaurants, we don't venture out too much! I hope you are able to enjoy your trip and your little one stays healthy! If I think of anything else I will send it. I am sure some of the veteran cealiac mom's and dads will have more advice! Take care!

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In WA state you can not bring in your own food. It's a health code violation. However, people do bring in baby food and baby's bottles and I never see anyone complain about that.

I've made several cross country moves and I've seen more and more people bringing their own food to eat in the breakfast area. I once saw a family make a meal out of canned refried beans, bagged salad, shredded cheese, jarred salsa and a package of corn tortillas.

I expect it would be easier with older kids since they can eat more foods than a toddler can. Or perhaps are more willing to try more things. My daughter had all of her teeth at age 1 so as a toddler, she could eat pretty much anything. She was able to eat a whole apple or baby carrots and she never choked on food.

What your toddler can eat might be different though. A lot of places we stayed at provided breakfast for free which may or may not work out for you. There is usually fresh fruit and single serve peanut butter packets. I don't know if your toddler can eat peanut butter or not. My daughter is allergic to peanuts and bananas. But a banana with peanut butter on it can make a nice breakfast if you can eat it.

At a restaurant with a toddler, I would be inclined to get side dishes of things like cottage cheese, mashed potatoes, applesauce or canned fruit. Maybe a plain hamburger patty. I know that doesn't make for a complete meal but toddlers are not usually ones to sit down to complete meals anyway and you can make up for whatever was lacking by giving them a snack in the car.

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Thank you so much!!! I am feeling alittle better about taking this trip...sometimes it just feels alittle overwhelming...as you all know :) I never even thought about bringing the toaster...great idea!! He usually is a good eater and will eat well but he has not been wanting to eat much of anything these days. Seems to just want to pick at his food...hopefully it's just another stage!!

Thanks again for the great ideas...I will definetly get online and do some research on the resturants close by. My family made reservations to one place...I am waiting on a call back from them to see what their menu is.

Thanks again!!!

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chek the resteraunt section on this board it has been very helpful for me.

My dd is different she will try anything once. At 4 my sil took her to a thie place and she loved it! Of course this is before celiac but still how many 4 yr olds would like thie! LOL

This past weekend we went to PFchangs and she ordered gluten-free ginger chicken and broccoli and loved it.

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When we travel, I pack restaurant toys. (little things that will occupy them when they are starving in a restaurant. - That is a big issue for mine!) I pack little travel snack size containers of apple sauce, canned fruits, etc. Bring crackers and cheese if your child can eat it. Bring cereal.

We eat out fairly often. I try to stick to gluten-free menu restaurants, but I will try most places. A bunless hamburger with chips, baked potato, steamed plain veggies, etc makes a great meal for a kid. I live on this :o) Even if you bring your childs meal into the restaurant, find something to order for your child. Order drinks and fruit if that is the only option. I just feel it makes a big difference in the acceptance of your brining food into a restaurant if you try to order something for your child. In Florida, you are technically not allowed to bring food into a restaurant, but I bring supplemental stuff with us. Crackers and fruit usually. So far, managers have never questioned me. They have come by to talk about the GFmenu and what we need.

Breakfast is scrambled eggs or plain omlet (verify that nothing is added). Fruit cup. Crackers. gluten-free toast. gluten-free muffin. Mine love bacon too!

Lunch is a burger or grilled chicken strips.

Dinner is a burger or grilled chicken strips.

Boring, but it is food and that is what matters. Hope your trip goes well.

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