Food Allergies and Selective Eaters - New Camper Blog Series

Welcome back new camper families! Today, we are diving into a topic that we get asked about a lot – how food works when you have a camper with food allergies or who is a selective eater. We are especially lucky to have some campers and camp moms who are weighing in on the subject today; you are getting a true inside scoop!

Before we hear from these campers and moms, let’s talk about our food plan overall…

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Food at Greystone:

We have detailed information about our Greystone food on our website and in our Parent Handbook. You can even watch a video with our Kitchen Director Gervais on Allergies. These sources will give you the basics on how we handle food allergies and what girls can expect if they are a selective eater.

Two things you should know:

  • We’ve been dealing with food allergies for a very long time, and each year, we work to make eating with allergies even more delicious and easy.
  • We have a lot of variety at every meal giving girls who may not like something several alternative options to make sure they are well fed.

But what is it like to have a camper with food allergies at camp? First, we’re going to hear from a camper who is gluten-free.

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Food at camp with a gluten-free camper

Today, we are lucky to welcome a 12-year old camper from Birmingham, AL who has celiac disease. She has been coming to Greystone for 5 years and is going to share about her experience eating gluten-free at camp. Here are her thoughts and food favorites:

Favorite foods:

  • Taco salad
  • BLTs (great gluten-free bread)
  • Bread pudding
  • Oreo cream pie
  • Gluten-free pancakes
  • Homemade gluten-free pizza
  • Gluten-free scones on Opening Day
  • Truck Drivers Special (aka biscuits and gravy)
  • Gluten-free snacks all around camp (Beanitos, string cheese, fruit, sometimes Kind bars)

What is the best thing about being gluten-free at camp?
You get the same food as everyone else. You always have a gluten-free version of the same thing. Gervais is an amazing gluten-free chef.

Do you always feel safe at camp with your allergy/celiac?
Yes. There’s a special window in the Dining Hall to get my food. They take extra good care of all of us with allergies!

What about special events like Carnival?
They have funnel cakes, grilled cheese, and ice cream sandwiches, to name a few. They have a gluten-free version of each of these! I had never had a funnel cake before camp - thanks to them!

Anything else?
Camp Greystone has the best gluten-free food in the world! Better than Disney or any restaurant!

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Food at camp for other allergies or selective eaters:

We asked a few camp moms for their thoughts on food at camp, and here are some of the things these moms had to say:

  • My daughter doesn’t eat meat, but she can always find protein on the salad bar. Her favorites are the cottage cheese and the edamame.
  • From the very first night, the table counselor helped my camper know which food is gluten-free and safe for her to eat. They serve spaghetti on that first night, but she had the option of gluten-free noodles with sauce and a slice of gluten-free bread that she can get from the Kitchen. They offer alternatives for what they are serving.
  • My campers is a picky eater, and I was worried about her eating enough food at camp. While she did say she ate a lot of bread, Susie talked about finding baby carrots, cucumbers, and boiled eggs on the Salad Bar.
  • My daughter developed a taste for Wow Butter. She fell in love with putting it (and honey) on her bread.
  • I was worried about my daughter’s dietary restrictions, but I had a great phone call with (our Assistant Kitchen Director) before the summer where she walked me through all the alternatives at meals and outside of the Dining Hall. When my camper got home, she told me she ate plenty of food.
  • My daughter was worried about all the fried food at Carnival and thought she was going to miss out since she can’t have gluten. They served gluten-free funnel cake, grilled cheese, cornbread, sugar cookies, waffle cones, and chicken nuggets…in addition to the other already gluten-free Carnival food. She was thrilled!
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How to prepare your daughter for eating this summer:

If you do have a camper that has a food allergy or is more selective in her food choices, the best thing you can do before the summer is remind her to speak up for herself. Check out our blog earlier this year about that exact topic, and reminder her that speaking up for herself applies to eating and her food needs as well. We keep an eye on all our campers with food allergies, but we won’t always know if they can’t find a specific food unless they speak up and let us know.

Your daughter’s table counselor is going to help her from her very first meal but remind your daughter to let us know if she needs more food or doesn’t know where to find something. We have so many options, and we want your camper to feel confident in what she can eat.

If your daughter does have food allergies or any food concerns, remember to reach out before the summer to our Kitchen Director or our Assistant Kitchen Director . They can help answer any of your questions.

We can’t wait for your daughter to try our delicious camp food this summer. There’s a reason that our campers talk about the food all the time – it really is that good!