Sunday, April 6, 2014

Doing Carry-Out with Food Allergies

This is what happens when Mom has been sick for a week...carry-out.  And as you know, carry-out with food allergies isn't exactly an easy thing to do.  So I thought I would show you how we managed it tonight. 

I will preface with a shout-out to my darling husband, who has held down the fort all week.  By that I mean, he's done breakfast and dinner and put the kids to bed while I lie on the couch moaning from sinus pain.  Granted, I didn't get a sick day off this I still had the kids during the day (remember, we home school), but the kids did great in giving me as much rest as I could muster.  And Miles became a pro at making lunch for himself and Graham.  I think I may stick with that little routine!

Anyways, I could tell Jeff had just about had it with kitchen duty.  He was keeping up well through the week but by the weekend, he was over it.  Dirty dishes everywhere, crumbs on the floor, Friday's home school still strewn out on the kitchen was bad.  So as I lie on the couch moaning this afternoon, I offered, "Honey, you deserve a break from making dinners.  Let's get carry-out.".  Actually, I haven't eaten much dinner this week and Panera soup was sounding appetizing.  Maybe that's why I really suggested it?  But either way, Jeff deserved a break.  ;)  

SO, after another dose of Sudafed, a lathering of some essential oils, a glass of hot tea, and a 30 minute catnap, I managed enough gusto to even offer to pick up the food.  I haven't left the house since Tuesday...can you say "ready for some sunshine?!"  

First stop, Panera.  I grabbed my and Jeff's favorite things.  We don't insist they be dairy-free.  

Second stop, this is most important...the health food store.  I grabbed Miles his new favorite "carry-out", Tofurky Pockets.  They didn't have his favorite version, BBQ Chicken, but they did have pepperoni.  He was still pleased.  Just in case there was any chance he might be a little upset about having food allergies on carry-out night, I picked up some So Delicious soy ice cream that would be sure to lighten the mood.  ALSO, the Panera plain potato chips are dairy-free so he got a bag of those, too.  

Third stop, McDonald's.  Graham just loves their hamburgers, but only gets them on special occasions.  We don't let Miles eat there even though I know many of you on Facebook talk about having dairy-free success with some McDonald's items.  Miles has a very severe milk allergy, and we just don't chance anything not pre-packaged and labeled.  I got Graham a hamburger and french fries.  I did not get a Happy Meal because that would upset Miles, and Graham totally gets that.  I love that he is so sensitive to Miles's feelings.  Nobody was getting a new toy tonight.  

Then I headed home with the food from my three stops.  I know some of you handle "carry-out" much differently, and that's ok.  I just wanted to show you what is working for us right now.  We don't do this often, MAYBE once a month.  And everyone seems content.  On the way home I thought about it some.  Really, if we all went into a restaurant, would we all order the same exact dish to make it fair?  No, we would all get our favorite dishes.  That's kind of how I do our carry-out.  Of course Miles can't have Panera or McDonald's, but Tofurky is one of his favorite food treats right now.  Mom didn't make it, and it's safe.  It's working, and I'm glad.  :)  We may have to tweak the system down the road, and we'd be willing in order to keep Miles content.  We are prepared to make changes when needed.

What do you think?  If you are doing carry-out with food allergies, how do you do it?  


molly said...

We don't do this very often, but Costco's hot dogs (and buns) are dairy free, as well as their rotisserie chicken. You'd have to double check ingredients because I live in WA state, which may be different than your state's ingredients. My milk/soy/nut-allergy daughter gets excited about Costco hot dogs because we also let her have some of the soda that comes with it (which she never gets at home-she's only 3). We have also given her Burger King chicken nuggets and fries, but usually reserve that for road trips when we don't have much choice. I can't think of anything else. You're right, it's hard being unable to cook when you're managing food allergies because it's not as easy as just ordering a pizza. Hope you feel better soon!

Jamie Kaufmann said...

Good tips, Molly! Sounds like a great compromise. :)