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PostPosted: Tue Apr 01, 2008 1:49 pm 
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Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2007 9:01 pm
Posts: 69
Location: Ontario, Canada
We will be attending the wedding of my son's godfather later this month. Since my son is only 2 1/2 we have not eaten out much and the one time we were at a restaurant it was easy to ask for plain pasta and plain vegetables.

How does one go about contacting a reception hall prior to an event to inquire about special meals for a wedding reception? Who at the hall should I be speaking to? How do you feel comfortable letting them eat the food when you do arrive at the reception?

Btw my son is dairy and egg allergic and we are avoiding all nuts as a precaution. The bride has told me the usual kids meal is chicken fingers which will likely contain one or both of his allergens.

This is a new experience and I'm a bit nervous. I'd appreciate any tidbits of wisdom you can share.

_________________
Jan, mom to 3 boys
DS#3 - eggs, cats, dust, eczema, avoiding nuts as a precaution
DS#2 - seasonal allergies
DS#1 - no allergies
Me & DH - seasonal allergies


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 01, 2008 2:06 pm 
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Joined: Tue Dec 11, 2007 5:52 pm
Posts: 52
Location: Rockland, Ontario
Hi :)
To be honest, I have no idea who you would have to call to inquire about special meals...do you know if its a catered event? or in a hotel with hotel staff doing the food?

If it were me, I would probably bring a safe meal for my son..that way I would know for absolute certain that it is okay for him to eat. But thats just me :)

I'm sure others out there have some ideas for you too :)

Jen

_________________
11 yr old son: ana to peanuts/tree nuts, well controlled asthma, well controlled eczema


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 01, 2008 4:15 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jul 03, 2006 8:23 pm
Posts: 190
My experiences with wedding and other special event dinners has not been great, especially with more than one allergy to consider. I wish I could be more encouraging, but I tend to err on the side of caution.

Sometimes they surprise me pleasantly, but usually, the wait staff is rushed, the music is loud, and the kitchen staff has either forgotten about the special order, or aren't trained in cross-contamination. If you do decide to order a special meal, I'd definitely ask a lot of questions about their procedure to avoid cross-contamination, allergy training on the part of the wait staff and kitchen staff, and get the head chef's name for follow-up and speak with him/her on the day of the event.

I agree that bringing a meal might be a good idea. That way, if there are mix-ups, your son has something to eat.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 01, 2008 6:15 pm 
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Joined: Mon Nov 20, 2006 3:32 pm
Posts: 45
Location: Stittsville
Hi, my son has peanut, nut, shellfish, kiwi and to some degree sesame. In some cases, we have contacted the facility and have made arrangements for a special meal (sometimes the bride has done it for us but I tend to prefer to explain things myself). In other cases, we simply brought food along (in a small cooler). With the dairy allergy your child has, I think I would bring food from home (more peace of mind).

Anyways, my two cents

_________________
Jacqueline Labossière-Jager
Stittsville, ON

son - born 1998, allergy to peanut, nuts, sesame, shellfish and kiwi; a bunch of allergies to plants, animals, etc. and asthma
daughter - born 2003, no known allergies


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 01, 2008 7:44 pm 
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Site Admin

Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 11:17 pm
Posts: 6465
Location: Ottawa
We dealt with this issue last summer when we attended a wedding in Banff, Alberta.

I contacted the manager at the reception site by e-mail and followed up the day before the wedding. We spoke about our concerns and our desire for this to be a pleasant and safe experience.

In the end we requested a dedicated server who was mature and receptive. We advised the we would want to meet with this server in advance of the meal to allow us to inform him/her of our concerns.

We asked that this server handle all of our daughters meal time needs. We supplied a meal for her, requested that the server place the container in the microwave to heat and then wash her hands, wash a plate (we were taking no chances), plate the food and serve it.

We explained about cross contamination and food allergies.

We tipped very well.

I think that it was helpful to discuss issues early when they were not trying to host the reception and when they could give us their undivided attention.

I know others hope to be able to eat the food served but I don't trust others that well. I prefer to just be safe and stress free. For me that means preparing a meal in advance.

Hint-I always try to make the 'safe' meal just a little bit better than the regular meal. I might give the same type of chicken fingers, but maybe I'll make Smilies instead of regular french fries. :)

_________________
Moderator
Daughter: asthma, allergies to egg, milk, peanuts, tree nuts, most legumes (not soy) & penicillin. Developing hayfever type allergies.
Husband: no allergies
Me: allergies to some tree that flowers in May
Cat: allergic to beef, pork and lamb


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 03, 2008 1:31 pm 
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Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2007 9:01 pm
Posts: 69
Location: Ontario, Canada
Thanks so much! I was afraid it would be rude to take a meal into a very fancy hotel but it sounds like maybe that is my best option. I'll be dining "alone" with the 3 boys since my husband is the best man. Having food from home will probably make me feel safer.

I'll check again with the bride and groom on the kids meals and take something. Hopefully there will be a way to warm the food since I'll be transporting it around for many, many hours before dinner.

_________________
Jan, mom to 3 boys
DS#3 - eggs, cats, dust, eczema, avoiding nuts as a precaution
DS#2 - seasonal allergies
DS#1 - no allergies
Me & DH - seasonal allergies


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 03, 2008 9:10 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2005 4:04 pm
Posts: 2044
Location: Gatineau, Quebec
I second the idea to take your own food. When my brother got married last year we tried to work with the catering manager to see if any of the food would be safe, and he was just not able to deal with it...

So we brought all our own food (and supplies - including utensils, cloths, etc - which was a good idea, as it turned out), and we ensured that we could have a corner of the kitchen to work in. That really worked out for the best, because the reception was at a hall and the catering staff had to bring all of their own equipment as well. If we'd assumed that we could use their stuff, we would have been in trouble. Pretty much we were our kids' own caterers.

Anyway, what I saw from that experience is that things are really crazy at large receptions - there are so many people to be served in a very short period of time - that I would not trust anyone to keep things safe or to avoid cross-contamination.

K.

_________________
Karen, proud Mom of
- DS1 (12 yrs): allergic to cashews, pistachios, Brazil nuts, potatoes, some legumes, some fish, pumpkin seeds; OAS
- DS2 (1o yrs): ana. to dairy, eggs, peanuts; asthma


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 04, 2008 1:23 pm 
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Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2007 9:01 pm
Posts: 69
Location: Ontario, Canada
Thanks to you too Karen for your advice.

Now that I've had time to think about it...any suggestions on how to heat up some food that's been stored in the cooler for hours?

I will have all 3 of my boys with me since DH is the best man and won't be around to help. I can't imagine taking all 3 of them in the kitchen so I think that means no trip to the kitchen for me. It's a pretty fancy place and they have a restaurant as well, so I'm not sure that my going in the kitchen would even be an option.

I haven't decided what food to take for my son yet but I'm certain he'll want a hot meal like everyone else.

Aaaack...I thought taking the boys with me would be easier than trying to find someone to watch them who would understand his allergies.

_________________
Jan, mom to 3 boys
DS#3 - eggs, cats, dust, eczema, avoiding nuts as a precaution
DS#2 - seasonal allergies
DS#1 - no allergies
Me & DH - seasonal allergies


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 04, 2008 7:54 pm 
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Site Admin

Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 11:17 pm
Posts: 6465
Location: Ottawa
Can you bring an insulated bag and put a couple of hot packs and maybe even a couple of those hand warmers (chemical reaction causes heat) it to keep it warm?

http://www.amazon.com/Heatmax-Hot-Hands ... B0007ZF4OA

We feel comfortable if they place the microwavable container on a paper towel and microwave it, but I can understand that this might not be for everyone.

_________________
Moderator
Daughter: asthma, allergies to egg, milk, peanuts, tree nuts, most legumes (not soy) & penicillin. Developing hayfever type allergies.
Husband: no allergies
Me: allergies to some tree that flowers in May
Cat: allergic to beef, pork and lamb


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 08, 2008 11:30 pm 
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Joined: Sat Apr 01, 2006 1:02 am
Posts: 164
Location: Winnipeg
When I take meals for ds (who is about the same age as yours), I use his laptop lunch kit. That way, it just looks more interesting for him, even if it isn't really fancy.

http://www.laptoplunches.com/products.html

_________________
*Son, 5 years old: Asperger's, allergic to eggs, peanuts, and mustard seed (outgrew dairy and soy)
*Son, 23 months old
*Hubby: allergic to cats and trees (non-specified types)
*Self: allergic to penicillin


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 16, 2008 1:26 pm 
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Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2007 9:01 pm
Posts: 69
Location: Ontario, Canada
Thanks again everyone. The wedding is coming up on Saturday. I've decided to take some food in a cooler and take a clean plate. I'll ask the staff at the reception to heat up a covered container of food for me. I have a piece of chocolate cake ready to take for his dessert. I feel pretty good about the plan and I know the groom has advised the reception hall that there is a child attending who has food allergies.

I'll let you know how it turns out.

_________________
Jan, mom to 3 boys
DS#3 - eggs, cats, dust, eczema, avoiding nuts as a precaution
DS#2 - seasonal allergies
DS#1 - no allergies
Me & DH - seasonal allergies


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 28, 2008 1:21 pm 
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Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2007 9:01 pm
Posts: 69
Location: Ontario, Canada
All went well at the wedding. I took (precooked) chicken nuggets, stuffing and mixed vegetables, a salad and a piece of chocolate cake. I packed all the food that needed to be heated in a container with a pop top so all the wait staff had to do was pop it in the microwave for a few minutes. I also took a clean plate. My little son was very happy with his dinner and even happier that it arrived before everyone else's.

_________________
Jan, mom to 3 boys
DS#3 - eggs, cats, dust, eczema, avoiding nuts as a precaution
DS#2 - seasonal allergies
DS#1 - no allergies
Me & DH - seasonal allergies


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 11, 2008 2:05 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 23, 2005 7:43 pm
Posts: 58
Location: nova scotia
Hi there, I've been in the same situation with the same three allergies with my son. We gave our son's meal to the chef and when he brought out the meals to our table he just gave our son his on a plate like everyone else. His meal was a little different but that was the only way we could do it, I felt. Having a milk, egg and nut allergy is hard enough at home but it's near impossible to eat out with all three allergies. Dairy seems to be in everything so that is certainly a hard one. Good luck.

11 year old son peanut and milk allergic
outgrew egg allergy at age 8


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 17, 2008 1:15 am 
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Joined: Wed Mar 28, 2007 9:22 pm
Posts: 173
I will be attending my mother's wedding in July and I will be bringing "safe" food for my husband and son. I won't take any chances.

_________________
Married mom of 4 living children and a baby girl in Heaven.
Between myself, my husband, and our children we have way too many allergies to list.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 14, 2008 9:08 pm 
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Site Admin

Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 11:17 pm
Posts: 6465
Location: Ottawa
kmommy, have you attended your wedding yet? How'd it go?

We'll be attending a wedding next weekend on a Tall Ship in Toronto Harbour. When I e-mailed them, they must have gotten nervous because they forwarded the e-mail to my cousin who's getting married. :roll:

I'm bringing her meal and I think I will bring a plate too. They're going to let me into the kitchen but it sounds like the microwave could use a good cleaning so...I'll bring grab some paper towels to set the dish on.

I'm going to be really casual and just do chicken nuggets, smiley face potatos, ketchup and veggie sticks. I'll do some hors d'oeuvres such as smoked salmon rolled up and skewered with a chunk of soy cheese and some rice crackers. For dessert, I'm going to buy a cake and freeze individual slices and I'll bring one of the slices.

_________________
Moderator
Daughter: asthma, allergies to egg, milk, peanuts, tree nuts, most legumes (not soy) & penicillin. Developing hayfever type allergies.
Husband: no allergies
Me: allergies to some tree that flowers in May
Cat: allergic to beef, pork and lamb


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