Yesterday, I was fortunate enough to attend the Patriots vs. Colts AFC Divisional game at Gillette Stadium. And, just in case you missed the 43-22 win, LeGarrette Blount had 4 rushing touchdowns – a postseason record for the Patriots! Now, the last time I went to a Patriots game (January 2013), I had just been diagnosed with Celiac Disease two days before. I brought my own food, and when I arrived at security they stopped me. Apparently, bringing in your own food is a big no-no. Fortunately, the guard was nice enough and after a bit of explaining he let me bring in my own food. But this trip, a year later, I took a little different approach.
Why Bring Your Own Food?
Honestly, Gillette Stadium has some fabulous options for gluten free food. There are some great blog posts on eating safely at the stadium from Celiac and Allergy Adventures and Urban Tastebuds. However, I find it to be not worth the bother. When I go to the Patriots game, I’m not focusing on food. I certainly don’t want to spend my precious moments in the stadium debating whether there was cross-contamination or waiting to receive food that I know is safe.
How to Bring Your Own Food
Bringing your own food to the Pats is game is quite simple. About a week before the game you email the Director of Operations with your food allergies/medical reason to bring your own food. She’ll email you a letter to bring to the game with you authorizing you to bring your own food. Then all that’s left is to pack your meal (in accordance with the NFL bag policy) and remember the letter! The official policy reads as follows:
“Please submit an email at least 48 hours before an event requesting permission to bring in medical supplies or for special dietary needs to Kelly Way at firstname.lastname@example.org. You will hear back within 48 hours of sending your email.” – Gillette’s Security Protocol Page
What I Packed
- Little Earth New England Patriots Clear Zip Tote Bag from Dick’s Sporting Goods: In accordance with the NFL Stadium Bag Policy, all bags must be clear plastic, vinyl or PVC and no larger than 12″x 6″x 12″. I really appreciated having a zipped bag during the downpours and rain pellets of last night; however, you can also bring in a gallon size Ziplock.
- Rain pants: I love my rain pants! They have a bag in the pocket, so halfway through the game when I wanted to take them off, I just folded them into the bag and put them away.
- Quinoa Salad: Great compact filling dish for traveling! My recipe is in my previous blog post, Fall/Winter Quinoa Salad.
- Skinny Pop: I love Skinny Pop! While popcorn is easy to find gluten free, I’m also allergic to safflower oil. I tend to eat Skinny Pop, Popcorn Indiana, and BoomChickaPop. Here, I chose Skinny Pop because you can buy the 100 calorie bags, which are convenient for traveling!
- Odwalla: Much better than squishing fruit, and it was cold enough out to stay refrigerated!
- Letter from Kelly Way: Like I said, makes your life much simpler when trying to bring food to the game