Our Peanut-free Journey

Life with a peanut allergic son.

Disney – Food Allergy Tips — November 24, 2015

Disney – Food Allergy Tips

Our fourth Disney trip is in the books. While I am no expert on all things Disney, I have learned some very important things along the way. First and foremost is that Disney is very food-allergy aware and accommodating. It is so nice to be able to take my son to a place where they get it. Food allergies are scary. Disney makes it a little bit easier.

If you go to Guest Services at any Disney park you can ask about their food allergy dining. There is a vast amount of places you can eat if you have a food allergy. Simply tell the person that is taking your order about what you are allergic to and they will be able to help you.

We had one sit-down meal while were there and it was at Whispering Canyon in Wilderness Lodge. In addition to having the chef come out, they also had a menu just for food allergies. Luckily, my son is only allergic to peanuts so we only had to worry about one food. Great food and great fun.

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As far as snacks go we don’t eat that many while we are in the parks. If you have a food allergy, Disney allows you to bring your own food into the park. Honestly, no bag checkers even asked why we had our own snacks, I don’t think they worry about it too much. We did have a Dole Whip float while in the Magic Kingdom. It is pineapple soft serve ice cream with pineapple juice on the bottom. I was assured that it was safe as it only contains sugar, water, and pineapple. Alex didn’t like it anyway but it was a nice treat for me.

Epcot was crazy busy when we were there. It was the second to last day for their Food and Wine festival and it was nuts. No pun intended. We could hardly get through the plethora of people. It was here that my daughter wanted a funnel cake. Right on the window it had a warning that people with food allergies should not eat it. They did not serve any kind of nut products but with a warning like that we decided that Alex shouldn’t take a chance. My daughter was more than happy to have her own funnel cake.

On our last night in Disney we decided to go to Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas party. I knew that hot cocoa and cookies were involved but I had read that the cookies were Snickerdoodle and that they had gluten and nut-free cookies for those with allergies. I still wasn’t holding my breath. It turns out that the cocoa is Nestlé’s and that the cookies for Alex were Enjoy Life chocolate chip cookies. Totally safe and so good! He was so excited to feel like a part of the group.

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Overall a very positive experience as was our other three trips. We just really enjoy going to Disney. Even if it was crazy crowded. Stay tuned for my next post. I’m going to give tips on things that I have learned over our last four trips.

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New Book — July 11, 2011

New Book

I’m anxiously awaiting the release of a new book called “Don’t Kill The Birthday Girl”.   I saw it mentioned in today’s Parade Magazine. The book is stories written by a woman who has multiple food allergies in addition to other environmental allergies. While the author is not allergic to peanuts, she is allergic to several “main ingredient” foods and I’m sure I will be able to relate to her stories. The book is released on July 12, just in time for our beach vacation. I’ll be back with a review after I’ve read it.

Disney World and Peanut Allergies — October 31, 2009

Disney World and Peanut Allergies

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We just got back from a trip to Disney World and it was wonderful! I wish that I could say that I had tons of fabulous information for you but the truth is that we didn’t eat all that many meals *in* Disney. However, they are very knowledgable of food allergies and cater to those people extremely well. Here are some standout things that Disney does/has for food allergy sufferers:

  1. Every Disney theme park has an information center. At this information center you can ask for a stapled packet of papers that lists their restaurant and food vendors in that park. It then is broken down by types of food and what allergens/cross-contamination possibilities exist at certain places to eat. A great little packet to keep with you during your stay at the park.
  2. Each restaurant is well versed in the plight of the food allergic patron. However, Chef Mickey’s was an all-star  restaurant to eat at with a peanut allergy. The chef came to our table and took me around the buffet letting me know what was and was not safe. He explained that they are trying to go as peanut-free as possible. They are even trying to become a self-sufficient restaurant so they control everything that goes into the food. There were only a few breakfast items my son could not have that included granola (the only item left with actual peanuts in them), French toast (chance of x-contamination at the bakery it’s made at) and a couple of the desserts such as brownies. The highlight for my son was the Krispy Kreme doughnut which is peanut and x-contamination free.
  3. T-Rex Cafe was another great restaurant to work with. Again, the chef came out and told us what was and wasn’t safe and that the only peanut product they had was not used anywhere near the kids meal station. While I realize that a peanut product (a dip I believe?) being in the kitchen could cause x-cont. issues, I felt comfortable with the chef’s knowledge of food products to trust him. My son was fine and even got to have a slushey for a drink.
  4. Mickey Mouse Ice Cream Pops. If you’ve ever been to Disney you know what I’m talking about. The popsicle is shaped like Mickey’s head and is vanilla ice cream covered in a hard chocolate shell. Yum-O! These are made by Nestle specifically for Disney and are free of peanut and tree nut allergens. My son had one at each Disney park we went to. He loved it.
  5. All (pretty sure that’s what the paper said) Disney restaurants used a Canola oil in their kitchens. No peanut oil used at all.

So there you have it. My top five reasons to spend your next vacation at Disney!!

Vacation Fine – RAST not good. — June 29, 2008

Vacation Fine – RAST not good.

Our beach vacation went great. Alex was able to eat out without incident and enjoy most of the things the beach had to offer. He was a like a fish in water with the ocean. He loved it. Although he loved the beach, he loved playing games on the boardwalk the best.

While we were there our daughter did something to her eye and I ended up having to call the pediatrician. As they were hanging up they said that there was a note on Alex’s chart that he RAST test came back and he is still a Class 3 peanut allergy.

Alex started as a Class 3 and then the last two years he was a Class 2. I had such high hopes of it being a Class 1 this year. At least we would be headed in the right direction. But to be a class 3 was such a blow to my already fragile state. Fragile due to the school situation. Which we still haven’t decided on. I have a month to figure out what we are going to do. Right now I am leaning much more toward homeschooling. At least until he is able to understand the symptoms of an allergic reaction and able to administer his epi-pen himself.

This latest test score has pretty much told me that Alex will not outgrow his allergy. I have decided to look into some teaching hospitals around us to see if they are doing any kind of clinical trials. I would love to be able to send Alex to school without worrying that a slight touch of peanut would send him into anaphylaxis. I have read stories of peanut allergic children who ingest a small amount of peanut protein every day. They are able to withstand some amount of peanut with no problem thus taking the “may contain” scare out of day-to-day living.

 

Next Hurdle — May 20, 2008

Next Hurdle

Now that preschool is over it should be pretty smooth sailing this summer. The only thing we have to worry about is our vacation to the beach next month. When we are home it is pretty easy to make him a dinner to take along to a restaurant. When the luxuries of home aren’t available it makes things a little more difficult. I plan on callling some restaurants at our destination and explaining our situation. I am hoping that I can find some places that are food allergy aware or even better peanut-free. I don’t think the latter is really a possiblity but one can hope!

There are also food-allergy cards you can print out on the internet that a waitress can take to the chef explaining that they have a guest with food allergies and to please avoid cross contamination. If nothing else, it makes them aware and hopefully a little more careful with their food preparation. Wish me luck!