Last week my Grandma passed away. She was a wonderful, humble woman who loved her large family (10 children, 26 grandchildren & 37 great grandchildren)! No matter the time of day, she would have lunch or snacks ready for us when we came to visit. Even though she never understood how to cook for my daughter’s food allergies, she would never judge or try and get my daughter to eat anything we weren’t sure was safe. She was welcoming and caring and loved hearing what was going on with us. She will be greatly missed.
My Grandma’s passing created some interesting circumstances for us because she lived about 6 and a half hours away. My daughter has life threatening allergies to peanuts & tree nuts, which we are used to packing for. We’re also currently completing a test for gluten intolerance where 3 of our family members need to eliminate North American gluten for 6 weeks (as requested by our Immunologist). Because the timing of my dear Grandma’s death happened in the middle of our gluten test, I was forced to figure out how to visit small town Saskatchewan given all of our food restrictions, new & old. I was determined to go to the funeral, and re-starting the gluten test was not an option for us. So I needed to figure this out. Thinking about it now, I think that our new gluten restrictions forced me to become even more creative than in the past, which is a good thing! I spent some time planning and decided I needed a tool to help organize my thoughts. So I got to work and created this FREE PRINTABLE. Using the printable, I found that if I planned in a certain order, and jotted things down as I went, it made things easier.
Here’s what I did:
1. Using the printable, I made a list of each day of the weekend we would be gone and the corresponding meals: Breakfast (B), Lunch (L), and Dinner (D).
2. I thought about where we might be and what we would be doing when those meals took place. This helped me to understand if I would need to pack a lunch or if we would be at the hotel, or if we needed to eat before a certain family or funeral event. Some of these were estimations because we didn’t know the full weekend schedule until we got there.
3. Then I brainstormed an easy meal for each open slot.
4. Last, I made a list of what I would need to make each of the meals/snacks. This would include either baking/preparing, taking something from our freezer, or buying at the grocery store before leaving or at the destination.
This method was extremely easy and helped a lot, but honestly, there were one or two hiccups. Make sure to remember the “hard” items. These include plastic cutlery, paper plates, sandwich bags or small containers, insulated lunch bag, foil, ice packs, napkins, paper towel, etc. I was so focused on the food that I forgot to bring sandwich bags which made it hard to tote sandwiches. We luckily had a bag with fruit that I emptied and packed the sandwiches in. I also forgot paper plates. We ended up using napkins when we were in our hotel room, which worked ok, but it would have been easier to eat and keep the hotel room clean with plates. Don’t worry, I've updated the printable to include these items so you don’t forget like I did! Other things to remember are your medications such as Asthma meds, and of course Epinephrine injectors (I usually pack around 3-4 for a weekend, depending on where we go).
We have been on several weekend trips in the past. But even though we had extra food restrictions this time, this was one of the easiest trips to plan & pack meals for. I started out being stressed but ended up being very relaxed by the time the planning and packing were done.
This format of packing would be great for other weekend trips this summer, and so I’m going to share the FREE Packing Printable with you. I’m hoping it will make YOUR summer weekend trips less stressful too.
Please let me know what you think of the printable in the comments. And I would love to hear your ideas for easy hotel meals you’ve made too!