As a rule, eating out is better avoided by food allergy sufferers though an increasing number of restaurants do have ingredient statements and allergen declarations. Despite that, cross contamination can make dining out hazardous. However, there are times when we want to give our children a small treat or need options when traveling. So, I have short-listed a couple of national chains where there are a few choices apart from juice and soda. Even before I enter a restaurant, I look up their website and minutely go through their ‘Nutritional Information’ pages. Burger King (www.bk.com) was the first place my son had the joyous experience of sitting down like other kids and enjoying a meal. Yayy for BK! Though the options are limited, even that is more than what they can get elsewhere:
1) French Fries: Burger King Fries don’t have wheat in them. Oh yes – fries are not just potatoes! Most often they have wheat and a million other chemicals added to them to enhance flavor and texture. So, check the ingredient listing very carefully. BK is also one of the few places where the fries are fried separately.
2) Tendergrill chicken: Even a piece of grilled chicken is never just chicken. Soy protein is a common lurker in many chicken dishes. Thankfully, soy flour is not used in BK’s grilled chicken which goes under the name ‘tendergrill’. It is really tender and delicious – just ask my son J
3) Apple Fries: Plain old slices of apple with a preservative. However the caramel dipping sauce that comes with it is an absolute no-no!
Couple of things to keep in mind before dining out are:
1) Keep in mind that restaurants change their recipes without notice so look up their website every time or you can even ask for it at the counter in many places. The latest BK ingredient statement can be accessed at: (http://www.bk.com/)
2) Always check the food before consuming it. I found an Onion Ring (contans wheat) once in the BK Fries!
3) A reader brought up a very good point – ingredient statements are different in different places (especially different countries) even within the same company. Thanks Karen 🙂
Happy and Safe Dining Out!