Cooking is great and necessary if you have a food allergy, but no one wants to cook all the time. Of course, the alternative is eating out, but there is some risk with it when you have food allergies. If you or your child have recently been tested for a food allergy, the lifestyle adjustments might still be new to you. The key to eating out when you have dietary limitations is being prepared, which is possible by looking over our tips for eating out with a food allergy.
Do Some Research Before
Before you order out, you will want to do some research. Many restaurants, especially chains, make the ingredients and other nutrition facts for their foods easily accessible. Look up their menu online, choose what you might be interested in, and see what is in it.
However, it’s not always as simple as looking on the restaurant’s website to see if the food may contain an ingredient you are allergic to—sometimes allergens hide in sauces and breading. Therefore, you should ask questions as you order, such as the dish’s ingredients and preparation process, to give you a better idea of whether the food is safe or not.
Make Special Requests
If there is a food item on the menu that you really want to enjoy, but you know it contains a food ingredient that you are allergic to, make a special request. For example, if you suffer from celiac disease, ask for your cheeseburger without a bun. Don’t be afraid to make adjustments to the meal based on your allergies.
Let Them Know
You also shouldn’t be afraid of letting the restaurant know what food you are allergic to—in fact, it’s imperative that you do. When you are letting them know, make sure to be respectful but clear. Communicating with the restaurant is one of the best ways to make sure that harmful food doesn’t end up in your meal.
Don’t Risk It
The final tip for eating out with a food allergy is to go with your gut. If you don’t get enough information about the meal or don’t feel confident with what you know about it, don’t risk it. If necessary, choose a meal you’re sure doesn’t contain your allergen, and ask for it without sauces, breading, or other extras that might have hidden ingredients.