Dr Mark Rosenthal


Consultant in Paediatric Respiratory Medicine

also specialist in Food Allergies & Disorders of Sleep

A | A | A

T: 0207 351 8754

E: s.harvey@rbht.nhs.uk

A:The Royal Brompton Hospital, London, SW3 6NP

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Food allergies in children can make eating outside food a little trickier, but it is still possible to enjoy some wonderful family meals out. You just need to choose the right restaurants, where the staff understand how to cope with food allergies.


Eating Out With Allergies

Eating outside food with allergies is much easier now than it used to be, particularly in the UK. If allergens aren’t already listed on the menu, you should check the ingredients before you order your food. It is always best to double check with the staff, even if it makes you feel pushy. You should make it clear that you are concerned because of an allergy and make sure that the kitchen staff understand they need to be careful about cross-contamination.

You should also be able to check ahead if you are choosing somewhere to eat out, either by looking at the restaurant’s website or by calling the restaurant in advance. This is particularly useful when you are dealing with food allergies in children, because you are just looking for a meal that will not set off an allergic reaction, and one that your child will actually enjoy.

Eating Out On Holiday

If you are eating outside food overseas, things can be a little trickier, particularly when there is a language barrier. Planning ahead can still help, as can preparing some key phrases and learning which items to look out for on the menu. A phrase book or translation app can be invaluable. Staying in self-catering accommodation can also be a good option, as you will always be able to prepare something if you can’t find somewhere to eat out. However, most big cities should at the very least have a chain restaurant, a vegetarian cafe that you know will be free of fish and seafood, or some local dishes that you know are safe for your child. Don’t take any risks with food allergies in children, but try not to let it stand in the way of experiencing a new place.

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