Eating out abroad with a child with an allergy

We were in Croatia recently, eating out every day.  I was absolutely dreading it because in Greece 2 years ago Nath had so many reactions in restaurants we ended up letting him have McDonald's for dinner as it was safer, nuts I know. We'd go into the Greek restaurant, speak to the staff and show them the words written by a Greek friend saying that our son was allergic to dairy including milk, cheese, butter and cream. They would assure us they would make him a burger or some plain chicken and without fail he would have a reaction. It's horrendous to watch this happen as a one off let alone repeatedly, we felt helpless and that we'd let him down. Worse was Nath's confidence in eating out was eroded, hence the McDonald's.

Croatia was amazing, well up until we moved to a new town for our last 3 nights and we hit rock bottom again.  Every restaurant in Lapad, understood and went the extra mile to make sure he was fed well, we even ate in a pizza restaurant, something we'd never consider doing in the UK let alone abroad!!! He didn't eat pizza of course! He had a variety of burgers and chicken with lots of chips and loved it all.  I was so pleased he was enjoying eating out again.  I was so pleased that other food providers had the same values as me and wanted to make sure all their guests ate well and not behave like they're an inconvenience.  I loved Croatia.

And then on our second to last day we went for lunch.  If you have a child with an allergy, this is what you dread.  It starts with an itch, sneezing, voice going hoarse, rash appearing, uncontrollable itching, wheeziness, lack of chattiness (and this one is so chatty) and panic.  If you're lucky this is where it stops and by stop I mean hours of itching (wanting to tear your skin off), bright red welts all over and feeling so uncomfortable in your own skin. We were lucky this time.  Gutted beyond belief. A reminder to never ever, ever ever get complacent. This is why I do what I do and what makes me paranoid every day.

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