Tips for Those (Who Have or Know People) with Food Allergies

Dining Out with Food Allergies / Special Dietary Needs

  • Research restaurant menus before planning — if you’re wary of being “annoying”, remember that phone calls & emails can be anonymous
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for food substitutions – most restaurants will accommodate if you present them with a list of your allergies
  • It’s a great idea to prepare a portable list of your allergies (such as on a business card for your wallet) that the chef(s) can refer to in the kitchen
  • Don’t be afraid to ask them for a list of hidden ingredients either! (I’ve been glutened by “potatoes”, sauces, etc filled with wheat before!)
  • Usually the most expensive places like ones with steaks and seafood will have Paleo-compliant dishes
  • Vegetarian and vegan places are often great places too – but beware of soy!
  • Emergency on-the-go fast food meals: burgers with hormone/antibiotic-free patties and lettuce wrap or gluten-free buns; chips and fruit at grocery stores and gas stations
  • If all else fails and you can’t find a restaurant to cater to you BUT you absolutely have to dine out for one reason or another, bring homemade meals on the go with you & eat before hitting up the restaurant
  • Consider investing in Gluten Detector tester devices
  • Probiotics exist for when you accidentally ingest gluten & lactose!

Catering to People with Allergies & Dietary Restrictions

  • Be patient and accepting with them – they don’t to seem like a burden to you; don’t make fun of them or say things like “it must suck to be you” or “try it, a little won’t hurt!”
  • Ask them about ALL their food allergies – that gf bun might contain soy or almond flour – other common allergies
  • Let them have a say in resto choices whenever possible – and at the very least, make sure there are allergen-free options for them
  • Gluten-free salads are boring & often it is hard to justify paying $15 for a bowl of lettuce… try to find places that offer fun alternative dishes 🙂 or understand if they decline to attend
  • Beware of cross-contamination
  • Be sure someone always has an anti-histamine or EpiPen around, just in case

Preventing Histamine Increases in Food for Those with Histamine Sensitivities

  • Always buy fresh fish/meat that is frozen — or try canned fish that is frozen & canned asap in BPA-free liners
  • If defrosted, always cook meat within 1-2 days, as the histamine content increases as soon as the food is no longer frozen
  • Be cautious with foods that have been left out on the counter all day (or overnight!)
  • Research foods that are naturally high in histamine