Travel.

That one word is enough to strike the fear into the hearts of mothers the world over!

Having a child with food allergies and intolerances is hard enough at the best of times. Figuring out what to cook for dinner, navigating food labels at the local supermarket, and planning ahead for when you go over to a friend’s house. But what about when you go travelling…to somewhere you’ve never been beforeon the other side of the worldfor a whole month!

This was our adventure!

In September, we headed over to the west coast of the USA to visit my brother who lives in San Mateo, just south of San Francisco. We had been planning the trip for over a year, and couldn’t wait for the adventure to begin! We were starting with a few days in San Francisco, then heading off on an epic road trip – because that’s what you do in the US right! We were going from San Francisco to Yosemite to camp for 3 days, then on to Las Vegas via Death Valley, then to Los Angeles to take the girls to Wizarding World at Universal Studios, then up the coast to Monterey to see the Aquarium (my pick!!) before heading back to San Francisco for a few last days before the long plane trip home.

So given that our youngest has a severe dairy allergy, is gluten intolerant, and can’t eat soy, to say I was feeling a bit of apprehension and trepidation would be putting it mildly!

I’m used to travelling here at home, we do road trips up to Brisbane all the time for specialists. But, here I can pack food from home and I know what’s available in the Supermarkets, and which Servos to stop at for “safe” hot chips when I want to treat them.

But I had no idea what was available “over there”!

And first we had to get through the 13 and a half hour plane trip!

Fortunately we were travelling with QANTAS and were able to order special meals. I knew they had vegetarian options from when I travelled as a kid, and was really pleased to see that their gluten-free option was dairy-free too!

On the flight from Sydney to San Francisco, they served dinner, a mid-flight snack and then breakfast.

All the gluten-free meals were set, so you didn’t have any options like the regular menu, but at least there would be food!

For dinner we had chicken in creamy mustard sauce with assorted boiled veggies. It also came with a chia and quinoa roll with dairy-free spread (some sort of margerine), a packet of dried fruit, and a chocolate mousse (the wine was mine – my daughter had juice lol). Unfortunately, the dairy-free milk was soy-milk, so we passed on that one, but I drink my coffee black and Madeleine doesn’t drink milk, so it wasn’t much of an issue for us.

The chicken and veggies weren’t too bad, but the roll was really dry and hard – probably because it had been refrigerated. Neither my daughter nor I ate it. The chocolate mousse however (which was gluten, dairy & soy free) was delicious! Really rich and creamy – just like how I remember “real” chocolate mousse used to taste!

No photos for the mid-flight snack because there were no gluten & dairy-free options unfortunately. My husband enjoyed his cheese and crackers, Lindt chocolate and Weis ice cream bar however!!!

They also brought around some beef and mushroom pies which smelled divine, but again, we had to pass. They did however bring around fresh fruit and you could have as much as you like (a bit like the wine!!)

For breakfast, we were served a sausage, poached egg, hash browns and mushrooms in a tomato sauce. The egg was a bit rubbery (to be expected since they are cooked so far ahead of time), but the rest wasn’t too bad at all. On the regular menu, they also had the option of a seasonal fruit plate which looked lovely and would have been gluten & dairy-free too. The sausage and egg came with another one of the hard chia & quinoa rolls (which we left again), an apple & cinnamon muesli bar sort of thing, and a tub of preserved fruit.

All in all, I was impressed that the food was pretty much on par quality wise with the regular menu, and with the exception of the mid-flight snack, there was plenty! We certainly didn’t go hungry!

I wasn’t sure what to expect though, so I had packed a few treats for my daughter and I – a block of dairy-free chocolate (so she didn’t go without when everyone else had their Lindt thankfully, but she was disappointed she couldn’t have an ice cream when they were passed around – and hubby was disappointed we didn’t take one anyway for him to eat in addition to his own!). I had also packed a couple of packs of bliss balls. One thing to be wary of though when travelling on international flights is to only take enough food for the flight as you are often not allowed to bring food into the country.

So we survived the plane trip, but what options would we have when we landed???

Pop back next week and I’ll share our adventures in San Francisco and the gluten and dairy-free treats we found. They were ah-maze-ing!!!

If you have a trip coming up and you’re stuck for ideas of what to pack, check out my packed lunches cookbook. It has over 100 pages of yummy ideas that can be prepared ahead of time and packed for travel.

Would you like to…?

Free Cookbook...

Fuss-free Gluten-free Breakfast

Stuck with ideas for quick and yummy breakfasts now that toast and cereal are out the window?

I’ve got you covered with over two week’s worth of sweet and savoury delights that are sure to inspire your mornings.

Would you like to…?

Free Cookbook...

Fuss-free Gluten-free Breakfast

Stuck with ideas for quick and yummy breakfasts now that toast and cereal are out the window?

I’ve got you covered with over two week’s worth of sweet and savoury delights that are sure to inspire your mornings.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This