Traveling with kids with food allergies: Ten essential items to bring on the plane
This post is dedicated to sharing ten essential items our family brings on the plane to help stay safe and enjoy while traveling with kids with food allergies.
Traveling with kids with food allergies has taught our family to be flexible
Traveling with food allergies can feel daunting at first. There can be many things to think about and plan that it can feel safer to stay at home within the comforts of our kitchen. We put travel on hold after my daughter’s last allergic reaction. I let fear take over but I missed traveling because it was such a big part of our lives.
Over the years, I’ve come to realize that figuring out how to travel safely is an important life skill to teach our food allergic girl. Trips may not go as planned with food allergies but it has taught our family to be flexible.
Traveling with kids with food allergies means focusing on experiences rather than the food we’re missing out on
In turn, we’ve tried to model that with proper planning, traveling with food allergies is not only possible but that exploration is a valuable gift. I’ve seen my daughter grow confident and bottle up memories that are centered around experiences rather than the food she was missing out on.
Ten essential items to bring on the plane for your food allergic kids
Clorox travel wipes for wiping down tray tables, seat, seat belt and buckle, windows and surrounding area. We prefer not to use the holder basket because most people use it to stuff food or garbage containing food products. We like Nice-n-Clean wipes to use for wiping hands. I also bring an extra plastic bag to discard all of our wipes. Since we are a family of four, we wipe down four seats and that’s a lot of wipes!
2. Crib Sheet
When our girl was younger, this baby crib seat from Ikea provides an extra barrier, in addition to wiping down seats and surrounding areas, from allergens. It doesn’t fit perfectly but works and it’s washable which makes it safe to use on our next flight.
3. Tray Table Placemat
I like this silicon placemat from Skip Hop because it doesn’t move around and covers the tray table. It also works dual purpose in any given restaurant or picnic area. You can throw this in the dishwasher for easy clean up. As our girl has gotten older, she likes these.
4. Sippy cup or thermos for water
We fill our cups with filtered water at the airport after we leave security.
Disposable gloves can provide an extra barrier against allergens or residue from allergens in an airplane restroom.
6. Auto injectors and medications
Check with your doctor/allergist prior to your trip about any questions related to your allergy action plan, current medications, auto-injectors and items needed for your trip. We carry our medications in an insulated, padded case like this pack . Show Your Teal has a larger pack to hold all medications including inhalers and auto injectors. Keep these important items in your carry on bag.
7. Doctor’s note and emergency care plan
Although we’ve never had to use it, we feel reassured knowing we have an updated doctor’s note in case anyone in security questions us about our daughter’s food and medications. We carry our child’s emergency care plan. You can find one here on the FARE website.
8. Food and snacks
We carry a bag full of food and snacks. We prefer to carry whole foods such as fruit and veggies. We also pack sandwiches with safe bread, Sunbutter and Mac-n-cheese in case our flight gets delayed. We do not buy any food/snacks at the airport or eat meals provided by the airline. We bring food that we’ve eaten safely before at home (no new foods). Our Co-Founder Kortney has a rule where she only brings food she’s eaten safely at least three times. I love that rule!
9. Extra change of clothes
I pack clothing in a ziplock bag which I place in my carry on bag. I have my daughter wear long pants/leggings and long sleeve shirts because her skin is protected in case she comes into contact with any of her allergens.
10. Packing Cubes & Reusable bags
Travel cubes are helpful for overall organization. We like something like this from TravelWise. Stasher bags are great because you can keep a designated bag for food and/or wipes. They are also washable and reusable which make them handy for travel.
- Consult your doctor and medical team before flying with food allergies.
- Every airline has a different policy for pre-boarding, accommodating food allergies and serving snacks. Check with the airline first.
- First flights of the day are generally cleaner on an airplane
- Some of the items on this list have changed over time as my daughter grows up. For example, we no longer use a crib sheet and instead just wipe everything down. Everyone has a different comfort level but this has worked for us.
- Here is additional information regarding flying with children and food allergies from the website; Kids with Food Allergies
- Our Co-founder Kortney shares her tips and thoughts on traveling with food allergies in the New York Times.
- If you will be dining out while traveling, we love these cards from Equal Eats
Shahla is a mom of two girls who live with environmental allergies such as asthma and eczema. Their food allergies include tree nuts, peanuts, sesame and other seeds. Shahla is trained as a Natural Chef who wants to share the comfort that cooking has brought her family. She believes that everyone, regardless of dietary requirements, deserves a plate full of color and flavor.