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Mommy2Ellie

How Do You Deal With Eating Out?

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Just curious how to deal with this? We eat out about twice a month, or whenever we go to the nearest city, which is about two hours away. I don't know how to order food for Ellie! All of their baby plates or kids meals have gluten. Any advice is GREATLY appreciated!!!

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Wanted to say welcome first!

Many big chain restaurants like Bone Fish, Legal Seafoods, Not Your Average Joe's, The Outback have gluten free menus. If you call ahead, you can ask if they've dealt with gluten-free before.

I usually write down what I can't have and then ask them what they recommend. Another option is to get the Triumph Dining Cards or make your own. I list most common things like flour, bread, pasta, breadcrumbs, malt vinegar, etc.

The good news is that in the last 3 years- places have become MUCH more aware!

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We eat out a couple of times a month and so far have been very lucky. Before we go, I try to research a possible restaraunt and check their website to see if they have any allergy information. I also check with our local celiac chapter's website for suggestions of gluten free friendly places. We also discuss the importance of gluten free with the server when we order and have found most places to be pretty knowledgable.

My biggest complaint is that the gluten free options tend to be in adult portions instead of kids meals. If they can't accomodate the smaller portion, she just brings home a doggy bag (although this tends to up the cost quite a bit).

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I have found calling ahead to be invaluable. Try to talk to the head manager or the head chef. Tell them it will be 2 adults and one child eating and the child needs gluten-free food. Could they prepare something just for her so that your family can enjoy and frequent their restaurant. The economy isnt great right now and restaurants need our business. You might find that they are more than willing to accommodate you.

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We eat out a couple of times a month and so far have been very lucky. Before we go, I try to research a possible restaraunt and check their website to see if they have any allergy information. I also check with our local celiac chapter's website for suggestions of gluten free friendly places. We also discuss the importance of gluten free with the server when we order and have found most places to be pretty knowledgable.

Good advice. I do the same when we go out of town. I'll add that I have checked to see if the place I'm traveling to has a Celiac Support Group and contacted them for info on local options. I have also mapquested a town and clicked on restaurants for a list and through a process of elimination picked a couple that had webites with menus(they happened to not be large chains but local family owned and small chain) and e-mailed them for info concerning a few dishes that I thought might work. I also print out gluten-free menus and allergy info pages from the large chain websites and put them in a presentation pholio with clear verticle pocket pages and carry it in the car with me. Don't be afraid to make up and order your own dishes that are not on the menu, as long as they are simple and use the ingedients that that restauraunt is likely to have, they will usually accomodate. I order one meal at a restaurant that used to be on the menu but is no longer, however they still use the ingredients, so will make it that way. Another place I've ordered something that is not on the menu but I make up from the list of ingredients that is on the website's extensive allergy info page.

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My girlfriend who is a member here, who's son has Celiac Disease, actually answered this question for me today! She said there are restaurants who do offer Gluten free items, and for the ones that don't she brings a separate meal for her son. She said there was a place online, and some stores, where you can purchase gluten-free ready to go meals. She just brings them and a microwave container, and has them heat up her son's meal. She has yet to have any difficulties doing this. She also advised me of the fact that McDonald's french fries contain gluten, but that Burger King does not. I called both in our area to confirm this today, and they informed me of the same. Which for us is a God send...as Tristan is obsessed with french fries!

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We tend to go to Thai and Japanese restaurants where we can get Mr. Picky-ness a bowl of rice pasta. He likes to squeeze lemon juice on it.

At a lot of places, hot dogs and french fries are a pretty safe bet, if you call first and make sure they understand about cross contamination.

Otherwise, we pack a meal for him and order him a fancy drink or something. If the city near you is medium sized, you may be surprised by the options. We found a ton of gluten free food in Bemidji, Minnesota and all over rural New Hampshire when we specifically looked for it.

Good luck!

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