Planning for the unexpected: Food edition

I have some nasty indigestion right now.

Anya has had a sore throat off and on for a couple of days. Today, she told me her throat and her stomach hurt. No fever, and she didn’t seem to feel that bad, but I wanted to be sure. Because Poopapalooza 2016. Which was preceded by Pukeapalooza 2015. The holidays just aren’t a good time around here. And with my mom’s RA, I can’t be too careful with the kid crud.

So I called the doctor, and we got in at 11. Were out at 12 (no strep, just a virus), and hungry. On Germantown Parkway, which is basically Bar-n-grill Land. Not really the best eats for vegetarians.

We passed Panera, and I almost stopped. But we ate at Panera two days ago, and there’s really only so much soup I can do. (I know…they have salads. I was hungry. Too hungry for leaves.)

Anya was calling out suggestions: Sonic! McDonalds! I’m still suffering holiday hangover, though, and the thought of all that grease turned me off. Then I saw Red Robin. We could do Red Robin.

And we did. It was okay — not wonderful, but fast and filling and pretty tasty. I ate one too many of the brownie stick things for dessert, but you know. However, as I began the drive home, my stomach started tying itself in knots.

I am 42. My digestive system just doesn’t care that much for burgers anymore — veggie or no. Not the way they make them in restaurants, anyway. And fries? Don’t talk to me about fries.

This wouldn’t be so much of an issue if Anya were 15, or 25. But she is 5. The restaurants that cater to people her age serve food better suited for mothers half my age. I’d have been better off at Panera.

I have known for a while now that restaurant food is no longer my friend. (Not that it ever really was, but I’m suffering far more now that I’ve passed the 40 mark.) But my first naive solution — stop eating out so much — isn’t working for me. Anya, who normally can go half a day on two crackers and a glass of chocolate milk, had declared she was “STARVING!”, so of course I could not make her wait the hour until we got home. (And did she eat the mac and cheese she demanded? She did not. Ingrate.) And it’s not just her doctor that is so far away; we also do most of our shopping in that area. Usually I can plan our trips around mealtime, but on days like today I had no choice in the timing.

I need a contingency plan. A list of restaurants near the places where we spend a lot of time that are both kid friendly and easier on my digestive system.

And an emergency supply of Tums in the car.

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