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Jun 1, 2013

Food Allergies and Camping: Part 2

In Part 1 of my Food Allergies and Camping series, I shared some of the concerns I had while being far away from just about anything while going on a camping and canoeing trip.

A large part of my planning included my lists upon lists of groceries, meals, snacks, etc. Here is one of those lists:

Cereal (the boys can't seem to live without it...I buy Mom's Best brand)
Breakfast burritos
Banana Oatmeal muffins
Pancake Muffins

Lunches: (two of these needed to be packed to take on the canoe with us)
Ham & turkey sandwiches
Shredded chicken wraps
Hot dogs & brats

Dinner: (as I mentioned in Part 1, we agreed to each cook two dinners to share, so this includes the dinners my sister-in-law made also)
Turkey burgers, black bean & corn salsa, chips & fruit
Lemon Herb Grilled Chicken, grilled veggies & fruit
Grilled marinated salmon, corn, potatoes & fruit
Steak & chicken kabobs with veggies, bacon wrapped shrimp & fruit

Snacks: (I packed quite a bit more than was necessary, but planned for the 6+ hour drive both directions in addition to the 4 days we were gone)
Go-Go Squeeze applesauce
ClifKids fruit ropes
Kashi soft baked cereal bars
Oreo Handi-snacks
Fruit & nut trail mix
S'mores trail mix

Easy snack mixes: Mom's Best Honey Squares cereal, mini marshmallows & Enjoy Life mini chips; dried bananas, cashews, honey roasted peanuts & blueberry flavored Craisins.

Almond or Soy Milk singles
Gatorade G2 (with no artificial colors or flavors)
CapriSun Roarin' Waters pouches

Breakfast was pretty simple. I made both muffins in advance and just packed one box of cereal for the boys to share. We did bring skim milk for the non-allergic kiddo, but kept it contained in case it spilled so we wouldn't contaminate everything else. I also brought along pre-cooked turkey sausage crumbles, a carton of eggs and a bag of shredded cheese. We cooked up quick breakfast burritos on our last morning.

For lunches, I brought along a loaf of wheat bread, gluten-free bread, wheat hot dog and hamburger buns, GF buns, and flour and GF tortillas (all of which were free of any milk products). For the chicken wraps, I bought a pre-cooked rotisserie chicken that was free of any milk products, shredded the chicken and placed it in a zipper bag. This made it easy to prep the morning of.

For the two days on the canoe, I just made the sandwiches and wraps the evening before after we finished eating dinner. This made it super simple for getting around early in the mornings. I packed each of our lunches in separate baggies and placed them inside insulated bags. We had one bag (our AllerMates lunch bag) for Mason and one for the rest of us. Then we just placed the bags at the top of the small cooler of drinks we took on the canoe. The one day we stayed at the campsite for lunch, we just grilled the hot dogs and brats there.

For dinner, I made the turkey burgers in advance at home, formed patties and froze them with a small piece of waxed paper between each one, stored in a gallon-size bag. I also cleaned and prepped the chicken breasts for the grilled chicken and placed them in a bag as well. For the chicken marinade, I just mixed all the ingredients in a plastic container and placed it in the cooler along with everything else. About an hour before dinner, I added the marinade to the bag of chicken while waiting for the fire to get started.

I made my black bean and corn salsa before we left since there is a little more prep work required for that. We had "safe" (milk & gluten-free) chips for everyone. For the veggies and fruits, I debated prepping those ahead of time, but was worried about how well they would keep being in a cooler of ice/water for a few days. So I put the veggies for each meal into separate bags and stored them in one cooler that we only put ice in the very bottom of so that it wouldn't freeze the fruits and veggies too much.

For the grilled veggies, I took potatoes, zucchini, red and yellow bell peppers, and purple onions. For the burgers, I brought along tomatoes, sliced onions and romaine lettuce leaves. We also had watermelon, strawberries and blueberries with our meals. All I needed was one knife and cutting board to prep all of this, along with a couple of plastic containers to put them in. Easy as pie!

When grilling, we were using a community grill and I had no idea what had been cooked there previously. For each grilled meal, we placed Mason's portion on a sheet of aluminum foil on top of the grate. This allowed his food to be cooked without touching a possible source of contamination!

Snacks were simple since everything was prepackaged and easily stored no matter the weather. 

Our kitchen looked as though a grocery store exploded for a few days beforehand...

I also knew I would have to find a way to store our EpiPens at just the right temperature. They need to be kept between 59 and 86 degrees Fahrenheit. This can be tricky when you are basically living outdoors with only coolers full of ice to keep things cold and no real way to ensure just the temperature is just right. I also wanted to take two sets with us, just in case we lost one in the river or something. Knowing how far away we would be from help during a medical emergency, it was a big deal to make sure we had constant access to this life saving medication.

I brought multiple insulated lunch bags along with us and used a combination of them to keep both sets of EpiPens just right.

This is one set of EpiPens in their case, inside a small insulated bag which I then placed inside another insulated bag.  This was stored inside my veggie cooler (with ice only at the very bottom) while we were away from the campsite in case it became very hot during mid-afternoon.
The EpiPens we kept with us were stored inside multiple insulated bags as well, and kept out of the sun. We did have a large dry bag to keep everything dry in case we flipped our canoe (which we did not!). It really helped that the water was cold, so I kept the Epi's in the dry bag and placed it all in a corner of the canoe, out of direct sunlight. They were room temperature the whole trip!

Thankfully, we did not have any allergy issues while on our trip and it was a very fun and relaxing time. Check out Part 3 for pictures from our trip! :)

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