I have a 21 month old son who was just diagnosed yesterday with a peanut allergy. I originally didn't freak out, but now I am beginning to because it all seems so overwhelming. What has anyone found to be the best source of information regarding restaurants. We live in North Mississippi (both Tupelo and Memphis, TN are close to us) so if anyone has information about restaurants in those areas that would be helpful. Also, we have a trip planned for next weekend to Nashville, TN to see the Wiggles and will be staying in a hotel and eating out most of the weekend and I am feeling overwhelmed about planning this trip now. Any suggestions about traveling? Thanks for any information and I know I will be back often!
On Jul 18, 2008
WELCOME! I'm so sorry to hear about your son's diagnosis. It can be all so overwhelming at first. Eating out is definately one of the hardest things when you are putting faith in someone else cooking and prepping food for your child.
Things I do when condisering different restaraunts to go to is first research them on the web and see if their website has any allergy information. I tend to stick to the bigger chain type restaraunts as they usually have a coporate policy to abide by...though that doesn't necessarily make each individual place "safe".
Then I will call ahead of time and ask and if they seem safe we will go. Before we unload everyone from the car I will run in and talk to the manager. I ALWAYS talk to the manager, the hostess and even most of the wait staff will likely not know. If after talking to the manager all is good then we will go in and when taking our order I will let the wait person know I spoke to the manager and give them a chef card to go back with our order. Here is a couple different links for the chef's cards - [url="http://www.allergycards.com/index.php#top"]http://www.allergycards.com/index.php#top[/url] [url="http://supermarketguru.com/allergies/form.cfm"]http://supermarketguru.com/allergies/form.cfm[/url]
Another good source is this message board. You can search different restaraunts and see what others have had as good/bad experiences, latest updates, etc....
As for Chik-fa-la that is a personal comfort level thing. I personally will not chance it and we do not go there.
There are some great books out there to read too. The Peanut Allergy Answer Book by Dr. Michael Young was very helpful to me and my family (I got them all copies too!). It is a really easy read but great information.
It all is overwhelming at first but you will find your comfort level and it will begin to seem like second nature.
On Jul 18, 2008
I just posted this on another post as I didn't realize you had already introduced yourself here!!
Anyway...Welcome!! I am so sorry that you son has PA. Trust me, life will get easier. But there will be a lot of "freaking out" on this PA road. It's just comes with the allergy. For what it's worth, my allergist said to avoid PA so we do.
In terms of where to eat out, I just made a list for our upcoming vacation last night. Places I consider "safe" are Burger King, McDonald's, Arby's KFC, Taco Bell, Subway, and Long John Silver's. Just stay away from desserts and even some salads even if they say they are "peanut free" just to be safe.
I just started a blog for PA parents. Feel free to stop by (address is below). Shoot me an e-mail if you have more questions. We've been living with PA for over two years. As I said, this will get easier.
On Jul 18, 2008
Sorry for the diagnosis. Traveling is stressful but I have don't it with my son. We just got back from Canada. I agree I try to go to chain restaurants. A lot of restaurants post the menue out side to look at. I check first to see if there are peanut items ont he menue if not I ask the mgr about other things like cooking opil ect. I f all is well and they have a childrens menue we go in. you CAN travel it just takes a little extra effort! I took my son to see the wiggles 2 times when they were inthe area! what a fun show! enjoy!