Are you worried about how to keep the little ones entertained for six weeks this summer?
Worse still, does the added pressure of having to plan everything around dietary requirements leave you feeling queasy? Dairy and gluten free food is becoming increasingly popular, but that doesn’t mean it’s always easy to find among the outpouring of bread, ice cream and burgers. And why spend your money on a day out only to find there are no potential food options after you’ve paid your entry fee?
There is a solution.
We have put together a list of our favourite options to ensure the holidays are filled with fun and food and very little else!
There are plenty of restaurant chains that now cater to dietary requirements. Many even have specific gluten-free, vegetarian or vegan menus. The fact they are chains means that no matter where you live, you won’t be too far from one of these affordable and delicious eateries. They are a perfect place to enjoy lunch before a cinema trip, or fuel up after a few rounds of bowling, and are usually found somewhere in the vicinity of the entertainments venues.
Pizza Express offer gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan options. Their pizzas and pastas are fresh, tasty and filling. You don’t even have to eat in because they offer a simple takeaway service where you can place orders online.
Zizzi now supply an entirely vegan menu with starters, mains, desserts and sides that can be enjoyed by those who don’t eat meat or dairy. Their pizzas come topped with vegan cheese so everyone can enjoy a delicious main without feeling left out! They also have a non-gluten menu available which does include pizza and pasta.
Wetherspoons are a child-friendly chain that can be found almost anywhere. They offer vegan, veggie and gluten-free menus that are wonderfully diverse. From curries to sandwiches, there is something to please even the fussiest palette. Better still, Wetherspoons are affordable, which means you can spend more on the memory-making activities before and after lunch (and ensure the little cherubs are worn out and ready for bed by the time you get home!).
Stuck for ideas?
While the gluten-free events calendar doesn’t really kick in until September, the summer months are packed with vegan and veggie festivals in towns and cities up and down the UK. Just a quick Google search will bring up your local fest, which is a great way to spend a day enjoying food and drink in a place where everything is on the menu. Our local is the Chester vegan festival on 20th August. Most of these events have things to keep younger children occupied, and enable older children to roam independently, sampling everything from ‘hot dogs’ to ‘ice cream’ without so much as a grumble.
If you have teenage children, why not look into TeenVgn’s summer camp? It’s based at Port Talbot in Wales and runs from 21st-26th August. This is a great way for your child to meet other dairy-free teens and make friendships that will last a lifetime. The camp boasts a weekend of networking, education and activities such as crafts and stargazing. You can guarantee that food intolerances will be catered for to an exceptional level, and the food provided will be healthy and delicious.
Heading to a theme park? Put away the picnic basket! Alton Towers are happy to cater to specific dietary requirements including gluten, dairy, egg, fish and nuts. The cafes and restaurants all have allergen information readily available, and food can be cooked to order to ensure there is no cross-contamination. And don’t worry about asking – these guys are more than happy to assist. Plus, the more people ask for these options, the quicker they will realise that free-from is hugely popular and should be a standard option.
We hope this has highlighted some of the wonderful things that you can do keep the little ones occupied this summer. It’s not always easy to follow a free-from lifestyle, so we are keen to provide you with relevant information to ensure you have a safe and enjoyable time.
We love to hear from you! Let us know what you are up to this summer, and how you plan on keeping things free-from.