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How to Eat Out (or Take Out) Safely With a Child Who Has Allergies

Having a child with food allergies can be challenging because little ones can be picky eaters and may be “neophobic” (fearful of new foods).

Young children don’t always know what is safe for them to eat. This doesn’t mean that eating out or taking out is impossible.

Try these tips to make eating out easier: 

  • Make sure that you explain to the server what allergies your child has. 
  • Let the staff know how severe the allergy is. 
  • Ask if they have an “allergy menu.”
  • Be aware of contamination. When ordering fried food, be sure to ask about what else was cooked in the same oil.
  • Bring your own food for your child. Just make sure that you explain this to the staff. 
  • Find a restaurant that works well for you and stick with it

Asking a lot of questions can be really intimidating at first, but once you have done it a few times, you realize that people are really understanding and are more than happy to pull out the recipe for you to look at. When you go out to a restaurant or go to dinner at a friend’s house, don’t be afraid to ask.

Visit the links below for more information about food allergies:


By Anne Rovinsky, NDSU Extension Intern
Reviewed by Julie Garden-Robinson

Sponsored in part by the Sanford Health Foundation.

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