Special Diabetes Accommodations at Restaurants

Gretchen Becker Health Guide


    I recently returned from a vacation to Vancouver Island, which was wonderful because there were so many scenic places to walk. I also discovered, in a town called Parksville, an Indian restaurant called Amrikko's that had great food. (There seems to be another one in nearby Nanaimo.)


    But of course great food alone is not grist for the mill of a sharepost on a diabetes site. What especially impressed me at this place was the special diet menu that one of the proprietors had created. She said she had some friends and relatives with food allergies, so she was sensitive to their needs.

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    The menu wasn't different. What was different was that each item was tagged with a sticker that alerted the diner to ingredients that could cause problems for some people. Included were Contains wheat, Deep fried in same oil as wheat or dairy, Contains nuts, Contains dairy, and Can be made with no dairy if asked.


    What a great idea! It's so difficult to eat in a restaurant when you're on a special diet, and if all restaurants did this, they would improve the lives of millions of people.


    The menus would be even more useful if they went beyond allergies and had another menu labled for special dietary preferences such as Low carbohydrate, Low fat, low salt, and Vegan. Other labels could include Contains greens (for those on Coumadin), Contains shellfish, and any other types of special diets that are fairly common. One couldn't expect restaurants to make labels for far-out diets such as the cabbage soup diet. If you don't eat anything but cabbage soup, your best bet would probably be to stay home and make cabbage soup.


    The menu at this restaurant wasn't specially printed. They'd simply put some stickers on one of the regular menus, so the costs of the special menus wouldn't be high.


    Let's promote this idea whenever we eat out. Maybe it will become standard procedure, all because of a woman who understood the problems of people with special dietary needs.


Published On: September 20, 2010