Food Appreciation is a little feature I’ll be doing from time to time about our adventures and misadventures eating out in the world with food allergies. Nothing endorsed or sponsored here. Just our experiences.
When your kid is allergic to everything, the little things get big. Even small outings require prep.
Everywhere you go you have to anticipate all possible food scenarios and pack accordingly. We have an extensive collection of boxes, bentos, and baggies stuffed with safe options on our person at any given time. If there is any chance an excursion will overlap with meal time, it’s prepared and packed. Meal time not likely? Still packing a crap-ton of snacks.
However, toddlers can be jerks and every effort and option will be ranked, idiosyncratically, on a scale of “That’s awesome, I will happily consume all the healthy options you have so lovingly prepared.” to “Screw you guys, I’m eating exclusively pickles now.” An unfavourable judgment results in a throwdown that escalates quickly and dramatically.
In general, fit or no, it doesn’t matter. There are no other options.
There aren’t, to be honest, many treats either. Especially at the mall.
Fast food service does not generally inspire faith in food handling practices and even when there are options that are supposed to be friendly, franchises take liberties with company protocol and say “nah…just throw that fish fillet in there…”
With our particular combination of allergies, there is but one shining beacon of indulgence at the mall, and that is…New York Fries! We can eat there. All of us!
Thank you New York Fries for using actual potatoes without some weird dairy coating! Thank you for using sunflower oil instead of peanut! Thank you for putting nothing in the fryer but those delicious dirty (skin on) fries! I will happily disregard the eye rolling from employees while I confirm this with a well-rehearsed series of questions asked in different ways to make sure everyone in this transaction has their facts straight. (Redundancy is important.)
Thank you for being the one place at the mall I can use as a carrot, to get both kids to cooperate, while I drag them through stores and pin their arms down so they don’t touch anything.
We made our purchases. We didn’t break anything. We all stayed calm. We all sat down and ate a giant bucket of hot crispy fries like a normal family. It was magic.