With second term starting, school camps are in full swing.
Going on camp with food allergy has its challenges, but when we asked you whether you thought the hassle was worth it, the answer was clearly YES! Going on camp allows you to experience things that most people don’t get a chance to do. Read more
You get to join in with fun activities. You also get to share these experiences with your friends and sometimes make new friends.
Many young people get to go on hikes and experience having to carry all your own equipment. Often you share this responsibility with a hiking buddy and get to see some really beautiful parts of Australia along the way.
But what about the food?
When you have food allergy, there’s no doubt that this means more communication and preparation. For school camps, parents often communicate with the camp caterers to make sure safe food options are available. Some parents will even provide the meals for their child with food allergy. As much as you may not want to talk about your food allergy, when it comes to school camps, you need to ask about the food being provided to you and not just rely on teachers or mum/dad to do all the preparation. You may want to take your own snack foods with you so that you know there are times you can just eat something that you have eaten many times before. This can help make it a little less stressful.
What about the hikes?
In some cases, these are easier as you take all your food with you. On the other hand, all the others on the camp take their own food too so there’s less control over what people are eating around you. You can manage this by taking hand wipes with you and clean your hands each time before you eat. Often on hikes you are sharing equipment (tents, cooking equipment etc). When you are hiking with food allergy, you should carry your own food and your own cooking utensils (including a cooking bowl) so that you avoid any cross contamination with the food you are allergic too. You may even want to talk to your tent buddy to see if they are happy to avoid the food you are allergic to while on the camp.
For more tips about managing your food allergy on camp, go to: Camping & travelling with a food allergy