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Food Allergy and Conventions

I’ve had difficult food allergies problems since late 2013. I’ve always been allergic to melons, but it has been fairly easy to avoid. Then at some point in high school had a mild peanut allergy that is now serious enough to make my throat swell up. Now I am allergic to peanuts, tree nuts, soy, and melons. Soy is the most difficult because it is in so many foods. Soybean oil is cheap (yes I have reactions even if soy protein is absent) and soy can be disguised as artificial flavor, vitamin e, and many more.

Okay so what does this have to do with going to anime and gaming conventions? Everything. I have to plan out how and where I will eat for the convention days. I’m writing this article to inform people and also for those whom are going through this or have children with allergies. Often I take my own lunch and dinner for the day carrying it in a backpack while I use my purse for everything else. I don’t want to recommend foods and such I feel like that’s a touchy thing and everyone has different sensitivities. My soy allergy mostly gives me ugly itchy hives (sometimes swelling) and the others make my throat swell

Some of these might be common sense, but I hope it helps!

Here are some tips for planing out convention time (whole weekend)

-If you plan to get a hotel room check to see if it has a fridge and microwave. I’ve made a bunch of meals at home and arranged them in disposable containers to stack in a tote. I warmed them up on a microwave safe plate and washed it afterward. When the food was gone the tote can hold the goodies from the con!

-Or you can bring a small appliance and a cooler.

-Take plenty of snacks and water. Bottle water at the convention site are overpriced and you are going to be burning lot of calories walking, dancing, and being excited. I would take a case of small water bottles for my boyfriend and I.

-Do keep track of time. Its easy to get caught up in exploring the dealer’s room and going panel to panel. Keep hydrated and don’t forget to eat.

-Know what places are nearby you CAN eat (if any) and also where the nearest grocery stores are located. This is important in case you find an issue with one of the foods you have taken with you or you just need more.

-Make sure you have a checklist of all the things you plan to take including food . It is so easy to forget something when you have a lot to pack.

-This is not the time to try out new restaurants, recipes or prepackaged foods. Getting sick may mean missing out or going out with hives. Its best to stick to what you know works for you.

-Try to have one meal that is okay even if cold or room temperature that you can take with you. For some panels or concerts there is limited seating and you may have to line up way before it starts. It would suck to miss out cause you have to heat up leftovers at the hotel or else where.

-Look up what panels/concerts you want to go to and plan around them.

-Don’t forget to pack lotions, hand soap, and shampoo if you have sensitivities to ingredients in them. I usually put mine in small containers .

-Also the same with medications and Epipens.

One day convention tips (in addition to three days)

-If you are carrying food for the day I recommend bento boxes. They can be cute and space sufficient in a backpack. Mine even has a place for a napkin and utensil. Other people also do this to save money.

-Have a backpack with comfy straps and a tote/purse/messenger bag. It is annoying to be digging around for your wallet in all your bentos, snacks, and etc. I use a purse for things I need often such as my phone, wallet, and camera while the backpack is for stuff I don’t need to take out every 10-15 minutes.

-Even though it is a one day con still have a checklist! Being short on snacks/food might mean returning home to get stuff.

Please leave comments about your experiences and any tips that I’ve missed! Let’s help each other out and have the best experience possible! Thank you for reading!

 

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