Jon has been gluten-free since July 12, 2006. I have worked very hard over the past year and a half to make sure he understands all aspects of the GF diet and why it is important that he follows it. He is pretty good about following it and our motto is “When in doubt, go without”. Jon is 12 and will be going with his hockey team to a tournament out of state this coming weekend. He will be going without us (DH and I). I am a little freaked out by this for several reasons. First of all, he is my baby (don’t tell him that, though, he might freak out). Second of all, he has never been that far away from me before. Third, he has never been away from us for that long before. And finally, he has to eat GF! I actually feel bad for his coaches/chaperones. I totatlly bombarded them with information regarding his diet the other day. I printed out a few menus (Wendy’s, McDonald’s & Panera) and copied my Triumph Dining Card for Jon to have one copy, the coach is carrying the wallet version. I wrote out things to watch for and things that would be simple for Jon to purchase from a gas station or convenience store. I emphasized how important it is to ask about cross contamination, as Jon is very sensitive. I called the hotel operations manager and discovered that they are very familiar with the GF diet and can easily accommodate Jon in one of the 3 hotel restaurants. He gave me directions for Jon to follow to ensure his saftey. Also, when checking in, they will put a mini-fridge in the room for Jon to keep any perishable items that he brings along. I mapped local restaurants that would be safe for him to eat at. Phew. That wore me out! LOL! I think the coaches might have been a little overwhelmed, but I assured them that Jon was pretty good at knowing what he can & can’t have, it is just a matter of him taking the initiative to do what he needs to do. In the past if something seems too difficult, Jon will just go without or drink a pop (cringe). I told him that this was no way to support your team and if he doesn’t eat properly, he will be useless to the team.
So last night Jon had a bit of a trial run. Jon had a scrimmage that his team manager picked him up and drove him to. I had parent/teacher conferences last night and couldn’t take him. He called after the scrimmage and said that the team was going to BW3 and could he go. He asked what he could eat (I told him “naked” bone-in wings, verify dedicated fryer and BBQ sauce on the side). He came home later and told me how things went. The Manager was less than friendly to him. GRR!! However, he did manage to get a safe meal. He got a grilled chicken breast (cooked in a clean pan…GO JON!) and BBQ sauce on the side. His plate came out with fries and he SENT IT BACK! I am so proud of him. He told them that they needed to get him an entire new piece of chicken and re-cook it. I am very, very impressed with how he handled that. Not bad for the first time dining away from Mom & Dad with a special diet. The only thing I told him he may want to watch for next time is making sure the chicken breast wasn’t marinated in something with gluten (some sauce with soy/wheat). He thought I told him to get chicken breast when I had said the wings. No biggie, he didn’t get sick and this was a great first experience for him. I have a little more confidence now in his traveling this coming weekend. Baby steps.
I did stop by our local health food store, Raisin Rack to grab some GF snacks/bars for him to take along. I had some Enjoy Life coupons AND all of their stuff was 40% off! I got some of the snickerdoodle cookies, sunbutter crunch bars, caramel apple bars and the new Boom Choco Booom bars. I also picked up some Think Thin bars for him. Yes, I know he isn’t dieting, but these are GF and high protein, which I figure can work for him while traveling if there is nothing else safe. He won’t go hungry, that is for sure. He may not eat ideally over those 3 days, but I can live with that. My goal is that he not get sick.
Breathe. Okay. I think I have calmed down a bit now. It will be what it is going to be.