Anyone with a food allergy will testify that eating out at restaurants can become incredibly difficult. Granted, it has certainly become easier over the years, with awareness around gluten and dairy-free dishes certainly being much higher than it ever was.
However, it can still be different in some restaurants to find an appropriate meal – with the problems intensifying around the festive period when menus are fine-tuned and restricted again. Bearing this in mind, today’s post is all about exploring some of the key considerations you should think about if you are looking to eat out around Christmas in a manner that will not impact your health.
Safe options do exist
First and foremost, even though Christmas menus are pretty standard, safe festive options do exist.
For example, you could venture out for a mulled wine at Covent Garden, or there are, of course, some of the more straightforward dishes that can be found on street markets.
If you’re desperate to sample a bit of Christmas without all the research, it is possible. Things just need a little extra thought when you try and go to some of the more ‘advanced’ meals, which we will move on to next.
So-called simple foods are not that simple
When we talk about ‘advanced’ meals, at least for the purposes of today, we’re talking about a traditional Christmas dinner with all the trimmings.
Again, the issues will vary depending on the allergy you suffer with, but let’s coin a couple of examples.
The first is sausages. As simple as they might sound, you have to stringently check if they are made with gluten-free ingredients.
Another example is stuffing, which can again wreak havoc for those who are intolerant to gluten.
Of course, there are more examples for other dietary requirements – but this perhaps paints a picture of what you need to look out for.
You might have to work harder to find exact dietary issues
Nowadays, restaurants are so much better than they used to be at detailing dietary requirements. In a nutshell, they simply have to be to conform with the law.
However, it can be somewhat more difficult to find the exact dietary issues that each dish arrives with when it comes to Christmas menus. After all, these are temporary menus, and some restaurants can lag a little behind, particularly when it comes to uploading the paperwork online.
As such, you sometimes have to look a little harder. Will these restaurants have allergy information? They have to. Will it be easy to find? Not always. Unfortunately, there’s little else you can do apart from contacting them, either by turning up or by phone and asking what each dish contains.
On that note, this sort of research can be worth its weight in gold prior to your meal. As we all know, Christmas is a hectic time, so finding out this information before you even step foot in the restaurant can make your visit a lot easier.