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My DS is nearly 2 and has been gluten-free for 2 mos, with major improvements and many thanks to this group! We are going on our first road trip, and I'd love some tips for a full day living out of the car/ what road-trip restaurants might be safe for us. We have gluten-free snacks, but aside from pulling over for pb + apple, I'm just not sure how to keep my boy happy and full. Thanks for any tips!

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My DS is nearly 2 and has been gluten-free for 2 mos, with major improvements and many thanks to this group! We are going on our first road trip, and I'd love some tips for a full day living out of the car/ what road-trip restaurants might be safe for us. We have gluten-free snacks, but aside from pulling over for pb + apple, I'm just not sure how to keep my boy happy and full. Thanks for any tips!

When I was a kid, we went on long road trips. We brought a cooler and made sandwiches for lunch. We would stop at big rest stops or go into little towns and stop at the park. This gave us a chance to run around. When my kids were little, we did the same thing, bringing a soccer ball. Kids need to get out and run around.

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When I go on road trips I pack as much food as I can--I make a big cooler for the trunk with things that need to be kept cold in individual containers like fruit, raw veggies, hard boiled eggs, cooked chicken breast, diced. I also used to take yogurt and cheese when I could still eat them. we would pull into a rest stop and eat at the picnic tables. I usually made a little chef's salad with all the veggies and some lettuce. For a toddler there are lots of dry things you could bring like chex cereals.

My other stategy for traveling is to make a list of grocery stores in major cities along the way. I have a GPS but it is not always accurate about findign the closest store to the interstate (and not all stores are listed in it). So I make a list of the stores close to the interstate, their address, phone number and exit numebr if I can figure that out. That way I have a back up plan in case I run out of food or we have car problems or something.

I also do the same thing with resturants--I make a list in advance of the restaruants that have gluten-free menus, and I print out the menus if they have it online. I put it all together in a little travel binder. Go to glutenfreeregistry.com and type in the cities you will be driving to find some options. Just be sure to check the restaurant's website or even call ahead to make sure they are still in business/still offering a gluten-free menu. I recently had a problem when traveling--we had planned to trya gluten-free pizza place and when we got there they were not open. It turns out they had gone out of business just that week. Fortunately I had my list of restuarants and we could just go down the road to a Five Guys for a bunless burger and fries. But if I ever plan to go somewhere tha tonly has ONE gluten-free restuarant option I plan to call ahead so i at least I will know if I have to go to the grocery store and eat bananas and nuts for my dinner. :D

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I agree with the cooler idea's. I have had to do a day drive for a camping trip and a cooler was a must. Recently I traveled out of the country and put my cooler bag in the freezer the night before packed with frozen gogurts and anything else I was taking frozen.

FYI, Pre freezing the cooler bag helped alot as I couldn't take cooler packs or ice onto the plane (liquids not allowed)

Map out some parks for a good leg stretch and lunchtime . It will help.

Keep a small snack/drink bag in back seat in easy reach, and put food cooler in trunk with lots of ice.

have fun

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We usually keep a cooler with food and then buy beverages, fruit, and candy along the way. Most places you can get fruit, juice, milk etc. Sometimes I pack cereal in a disposable container and then we buy milk so it's cold. Many convenience stores have microwaves which we have used to heat up soup or amy's mac and cheese or etc. Once we got in trouble in a really rural area, the grocery store had only pre-made stuff, and I bought some Progresso soup and heated it up in the gas station microwave. I also found that there are little packages of things like peanut butter, jam, cream cheese. You can also buy cold cuts, cheese sticks, etc. in a lot of gas stations. Also if you google gluten free on yelp or something similar you can get recommendations for grocery stores and restaurants in the area. Also, the gluten intolerance group of North America has resources. When we went to Elbow Lake, MN I contacted the GIG director there and she let me know where to buy stuff and which restaurants she went to. When we were traveling around Hawaii, I put the Udis bread for the day in the back window of the car and when we went to eat it is was nice and warm and we made sandwiches with cold cuts and pbj from the cooler. Not sure how long your trip is, but my brother-in-law took my celiac nephew to Yellowstone and packed a portable burner and rice pasta to make him pasta (which is actually the only thing he likes). I guess if you are in a car you can pack your toaster oven too (that is if you are staying in a hotel) We always try to travel somewhere that we have access to a kitchen as restaurants can be pretty tricky. Also, look at some of the food allergy sites. There are lots of good ideas there too. Also, for airports I bring and empty freezer bag and fill it with ice once we're past airport security. You can also bring an empty water bottle and fill it with ice water.

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