Thursday, December 11, 2008

Traveling for the Holidays and McDonalds French Fries

It has been a month since I blogged. I don't think I've even logged in since then. Partly I needed a break and partly I have just been darn busy.

We traveled for Thanksgiving and we will travel for Christmas. Eating while traveling can be tricky. I have in general given up eating out with the kids. It is too complicated and too risky but sometimes, well, everyone is hungry. What do you do?

We eat at McDonalds generally. And honestly it makes my stomach turn. I used to love McDonalds now I can barely choke down my bland salad there. BUT we have never had an issue there. The kids eat hamburgers and french fires. I know, I know, there are those out there now protesting "But McDonalds fries contain dairy!" So here's my story and take on McDonald's fries. I think it was 3 or 4 years ago that McDonalds changed the labeling on the fries, not the recipe, the labeling. They discovered after FALCPA went through that the flavoring they were using was dairy "derived". So they changed the labeling to reflect this. People protested, wrote letters. There are long threads on POFAK (Parents of Food Allergy Kids) regarding this. McDonalds did testing and found that the dairy derived flavoring did not contain milk proteins. I think Max was 2 or 3 and we had been safely eating McDonalds fries for a couple years. I decided that since it was one of the few "treats" he gets I would continue to let him have them. I know other parents of milk allergic kids who came to the same conclusion.

We have had nary a hive at McDonalds.

If I was a newly diagnosed family or diagnosed since the whole fries brouhaha, I would probably see the labeling and conclude McDonalds fries are not safe. For this reason I don't go around touting our McDonalds consumption to other food allergic families because sometimes when you tell someone you do something that they consider risky behavior they get that tight lipped look like you just told them you let your children smoke crack.

Anyway, this post took a whole side track that I didn't mean it too. I will have to write what I REALLY wanted to say about travel in the next post.

(I used the word McDonalds 9 times in this post. Anyone googling it may get this instead. Hee hee)


ChupieandJ'smama said...

My son used to eat McDonalds fries even though they are labeled for dairy and wheat. He ate them before the label was put on and never had any issues and the allergist told me that if he's not reacting, then let him have them. But then they changed to the trans fat free oil and corporate couldn't tell me if the wheat and dairy concentration was exactly the same, and because he's anaphylactic to wheat, we had to pull them. He was SOOOO sad. And frankly so was I. I'm not a fast food proponent, but it was the ONE thing he could eat when we were out. It was my go to place when he needed something fast while out and about. I miss having those fries for him.

Amanda H said...

I'm glad you posted this about McD's fries. I have come to the same conclusion. I am considering starting my milk, egg, and peanut allergic child on Cool Whip or other dairy products that contain "less than 2%" Any thoughts? Amanda

purplemommy said...


I personally wouldn't chance whipped toppings with my kids. But ask your allergist what they think about it.

By the way, I tried to post on your blog but I'm not invited!

3 for Me! said...

We are big McDs and Wendy's eaters... hamburgers and french fries.... I know they may have some lingering ingredients at the ends of their barely English ingredient lists.... but like you mentioned

We've NEVER had any issues with the food and reactions and it seems like the ONE place that we CAN EAT when we're out!!!

We tried Taco Bell the other day.... I know INSANE for kids with a milk allergy....

I really wanted to BLOG about it though b/c manager really started to get smart with me about my concerns... I think initially she just thought i was a picky customer....

I really wanted to take my epi-pen and give her a dose.... LOL

Anyway, they complied about being careful and changing gloves and we have NO reactions... YAY!! A new place:)

I wonder why restaurants aren't more sensitive and knowledgeable to food allgeries??? Wondder if there is anything we can do!!

BTW.... Glad to have you back :)

Joanna said...

I'm still terrified for anyone to prepare food for my son besides me. I don't know if I am being too paranoid/overprotective, or if my feeling is appropriate since my son's list of allergies is so long- garlic, milk, wheat, egg, peanut, tree nut, sesame, peas, beans, and soy. I'm just not ready to let him try anything yet.

Chef Mom said...

Have you tried Chili's restaurant? They are not as fast or inexpensive as McD, but they do have menus for the top 8 US allergens. Their servers and managers (at least the 2 we've gone to here in NC) also took us seriously and didn't openly roll eyes. We have eaten there a few times, and my son was able to eat grilled chicken, steamed broccoli and a slushy kinda sugar-and-ice kids' drink at a time when he was not able to have dairy, egg, peanut, treenut.