Inflight and on-the-go dining can prove to be a challenge if you have a child that has a food intolerance or allergy — I know this from experience with my daughter’s allergies. If you don’t travel fully prepared, bringing your own snacks and food options, it can be very hard to find healthy, allergen-free meals and snacks in airports and during flights. It seems as though the tide is turning though; since March 1st, United Airlines has expanded their inflight dining menu, offering gluten-free options for premium cabin and United Economy customers!
The company will be switching their regular salad dressing for a gluten-free option on its premium cabin menu on flights departing the United States to areas throughout North and Central America — routes that already have flights offering gluten-free soup. With the addition of the salad dressing, customers who fly in premium cabins will be able to enjoy a fully gluten-free meal.
During summer 2014, United will add the gluten-free options for premium cabin customers on long-haul international flights departing the United States. United already offers Two Degrees Fruit & Nut Bars as a gluten-free snack inflight. They are available on flights departing after 5:45 a.m. and before 9:45 a.m. Another new healthy food option for United is the replacement of regular yogurt with Chobani Flip Greek yogurt in premium cabins on flights departing the United States to areas throughout North and Central America.
I’m really excited to see that a large domestic airline is catering to the needs of those who are gluten-free. Granted, it’s a small offering on their menu, but at least it’s something! As a mom to a daughter with food allergies, I know how hard it is to find healthy and appropriate options that cater to her food sensitivities while inflight. If I don’t bring enough snacks, or forget to bring something to munch on, chances are my daughter goes hungry — especially if our seats are closer to the back of the plane, as all of the healthier options go first and fast. By the time they reach the passengers in the back, most of the good stuff is already gone.
I hope that United paves the way for other airlines. It would be nice to see gluten-free options offered on all North American flights!
Photo credit and source: United Airlines