We live in Toronto and travel often especially to visit family and friends in India. This annual trip has been challenging to say the least since being diagnosed with food allergies and intolerances. Over time I have figured out ways to navigate the culinary wonders of Indian cuisine and keep my daughter’s eczema at bay at the same time. Here are my tips for eating out with allergies in India.
30-40 % of the world suffers from allergies of varying degrees and types. In India, the awareness of allergies is still low but in recent years the number of diagnosed people has seen a steep rise.
In my daughter’s case, we started our food allergy journey a few years ago. Her symptoms were difficult to pinpoint because of the delay in reaction and the diagnosis was difficult. It was when we started keeping a food diary that we found some success in tracking her triggers.
During this time and since then, travelling with allergies has been a challenge. Dairy, soy and tomatoes are the big culprits for my daughter and guess what? Many Indian dishes have at least some form of dairy and many are cooked with tomatoes.
Eating at Home
One of the things I look forward to in India is meeting up with aunts and uncles and cousins. Most of the entertaining in India happens over a meal or two. With food allergies, it is a lot easier when the meal is at someone’s home. Home kitchens usually have a routine and I can always call beforehand to talk our food limitations through with the lady of the house. It’s dining out in restaurants that poses a challenge. Thankfully with a little bit of awareness and preparation, one can eat out with peace of mind.
Caveat: the advice in this article is based on my personal experience. I am not a doctor just a mom on a mission trying to help my family, my youngest, in this case, be more comfortable in her skin. She has food allergies that make her very uncomfortable and cause skin-flareups. My choices are based on my research and experience.