The Ultimate 7-Day Vacation Meal Plan for Food Allergy Families
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We’re coming up on a time when a lot of us are thinking about getting away. Either for a family spring break vacation OR summer vacation. Our family loves to travel and explore new places, but we sometimes just like to have a slowed-down, do almost nothing (except swim and play) vacation too.
For these times, we love to book accommodations with a kitchen and a BBQ available. Of course, we pre-clean the kitchen, cooking tools and equipment, to remove any traces of allergens, but once that’s done, we can forget about it for the most part. I do, however, bring some things from home like foil to place on top of the shared bbq grates to avoid cross contact.
We have peanut, tree nut allergies plus a gluten intolerance; but all of the ideas below will be flexible to remove eggs, milk, peanut, tree nut, and wheat. You may also be able to remove the other top allergens, depending on the products available in the area.
Allergy-Friendly Breakfast ideas:
Most of these are brought from home because I can bake them safely and easily transport them in Ziplock containers and freeze them once we arrive. Baked goods are easy to take from Canada into the US too. If you’re bringing Sun butter or Wow butter, make sure to put it in your checked luggage. We learned the hard way that it’s not allowed in carry on.
toast with safe bread from home (bring Sunbutter/Wowbutter)
fruit (buy at location)
Allergy-Friendly Lunch ideas:
Charcuterie (selection of ham, cured sausages, cheeses (if safe or omit) plus cut up veggies and fruits. etc). Add crackers (bring safe ones from home) and Wowbutter/Sunbutter and maple syrup (to use up if you buy it for pancakes).
Rice noodle bowls with a few added fresh veggies like green onions, cilantro, lemon juice, shredded carrots etc (bring safe pre-made noodle bowls from home and add whatever veggies you like to the dish).
Taco salad (use leftover ground beef from taco night. Buy a safe a pre-made ranch dressing from grocery store, OR create a quick “ranch vinaigrette” using 1 tbsp white vinegar with 3 tbsp oil plus 1-2 tsp dill and garlic powder and 1-2 tsp fresh parsley plus salt & pepper to taste). If making the ranch vinaigrette, make a double batch if you plan to make the side salad with the shrimp in day 5 below.
Bacon, Lettuce, Avocado and Tomato Sandwiches - BLAT (Make extra bacon on day 3) Bring safe bread from home.
Pre-made Pizza (store-bought)
Leftovers from any given night.
Allergy-Friendly Snack Ideas:
Tortilla chips + salsa
Made Good, Enjoy Life OR Free Yumm granola bars
Apple sauce pouches
Super Seedz flavoured pumpkin seeds
Mini pepperoni sticks plus crackers (bring safe crackers from home)
Your favourite junk food item (for us it’s potato chips)
Allergy-Friendly Dinner ideas:
Here’s where we get a little more fancy, but just barely. We want food to be simple, safe and delicious, so we don’t go too crazy. I want to have a vacation too so dinners should be easy peasy.
Keep in mind these amounts are for a family of four. You will have to adjust for your family size.
Day 1: Steak Tenderloin and roasted veggies.
Chop root veggies like mushrooms, zucchinis, onions and peppers and put in a foil package with baby potatoes. Drizzle with oil and season liberally with salt and pepper. Cook on bbq at medium high or in oven at 425 degrees for 30-45 min until vegetables are soft.
Season steak with salt and pepper and dash of cayenne pepper if you have it. Bbq for 4-5 minutes per side (depends on thickness and desired doneness). Use foil to cover bbq for the allergy meal.
Day 2: Ground beef tacos.
On vacay I just use ground beef instead of lentils and I mix the spices before the trip and bring in a small baggie like a homemade taco seasoning. If you have a milk allergy you can omit cheese and instead top with avocados mashed with salt and lime juice to taste.
If you have a dairy allergy, omit parmesan OR substitute with 2-3 tbsp to taste of nutritional yeast (bring from home).
Day 4: Italian sausage rice bowl.
If dairy is an issue either omit parmesan cheese OR add 2-3 tbsp to taste of nutritional yeast.
Day 5: Easy Shrimp with side salad.
Marinate 1 lb shrimp in a mixture of 1 tbsp lemon juice plus 2 tbsp oil plus 3-5 cloves minced garlic plus 1/2 tsp salt and pepper (if you’re going to make the meal from day 6, then make double the marinade and store separately in refrigerator to use tomorrow). Marinate shrimp for up to an hour. Place in frying pan with 1-2 tbsp oil at medium high. Fry just until all shrimp are pink and no longer translucent; then remove from heat.
Use bagged salad and dress with additional ranch dressing or vinaigrette used for taco salad in the lunch section above.
Day 6: Chicken tenders with fries.
Buy enough chicken fillets from the meat department to feed your family. Marinate for a minimum of 1 hour in the rest of the marinade from day 5. Grill or bake until juices run clear. Dip in a safe sweet and sour sauce OR sweet thai chili sauce or leftover ranch dressing.
Bake frozen french fries on cookie sheet as per package directions. Serve with ketchup or the same dip as above.
Day 7: Hamburgers with caramelized onions and raw veggies or fruits.
If you have egg, dairy or wheat allergy, specifically look for “all beef” patties made only with meat and no fillers - sometimes found in meat department. If you can’t find this, then sub with a chicken breast for a chicken burger instead of beef. Bring a safe bun from home. Look for ketchup and other desired fixing while out and about so you don’t have to buy a whole bottle of ketchup!
Chop a large onion into rings. Fry with some oil, and a little sugar or balsamic vinegar until brown and caramelized (about 7-10 minutes). Add 1/4 cup of water to pan if onions are drying out and still need a longer cooking time. Use to top burgers as well as other fixings like tomato, cheese (if safe), and lettuce.
What’s for Dessert?
We love to let our kids have a few more treats than usual on vacation. There’s nothing worse than seeing all the goodies around a vacation resort and not allowing my daughter to have ANY of them. Because of this, we ALWAYS bring some safe treats from home.
We usually take my daughter to the grocery store before we go and let her peruse the candy isle. She chooses 2-3 things that she REALLY wants (and maybe she can’t normally have). These items will serve as her dessert and treats throughout the trip. Other things we might bring are pre-packaged, safe cookies.
Get it on the Allergy Meal Plan
Now that you have a bunch of ideas, you’ll want to get it all onto a meal plan that you can bring with you so you know exactly what to buy when you get there.. Get your free template here (*BONUS - you can use this for your day-to-day meal plans at home too)!
5 Simple Steps to Complete Your Ultimate Vacation Meal Plan
1. Simply fill in the days you’ll be away and the dinners you plan to make. If you’re going somewhere that has many safe restaurants and you know you’ll be eating out a lot (i.e. Disneyland or Disney World), you can even stretch the meal plan out to two weeks.
2. Print the recipes you need and attach it to the meal plan.
3. Enter ALL the ingredients into the list (even the ones you’ll be bringing from home).
4. Go back and decide on your breakfast, lunch items and add those ingredients to the grocery list. Don’t forget snacks!
5. Use this master list to pack everything you’ll need from home and have a list of what to buy when you get there. Just cross off whatever you brought from home while you’re packing.
Pro Tip - KEEP this same meal plan and reuse it over and over. Put it in a plastic “page protector” and just make a copy of it for every vacation. OR If you have an Iphone, take a pic of the meal plan. Cross things off right on the pic with the edit —> markup feature on your phone. This way you don’t have to bring the physical copy with you. Using either of these methods, you’ll never have to plan meals for vacation AGAIN!!
Now that’s what I call a vacation! Having everything planned so all we need to do is shop once and then we can enjoy our vacation to the fullest. What do you think? Will this meal plan make your vacation easier? Let me know in the comments.