One of our main concerns when we travel is our youngest son’s severe food allergies. He is allergic to eggs, almost all meat products, fish, and tree nuts. He must follow a mostly vegan lifestyle with the exception of dairy (we call it “vegan with cheese.”) While we don’t want to limit his experiences in life due to his allergies, we must take precautions. We plan ahead to ensure we will be able to find food he can eat while on vacation.
Prior to our trip to St. Croix, we scoured the internet and learned there are several local farms to purchase fresh and organic fruits and vegetables. I contacted the ARTFarm with our allergy concerns and they sent us detailed information regarding the Island and food allergy considerations.
- Fresh local Produce is available at the ARTfarm on the South East end of the Island on Mondays & Wednesdays from 3-6 pm and Saturdays 10am – 12 noon. La Reine Farmers Market (North Shore) is open every Saturday morning at 6am and features 15-20 local vendors. Sejah Farm in the Center of the Island offers produce from local Island growers.
- Almost every grocery store offers allergy friendly, nut free, and gluten free products and mixes. We found some vegan and allergy free/gluten free items at Seaside Market near Christiansted. They also carried most of the popular brands of breads and packaged foods that we have here in the states.
- Many people on the Island follow a Rastafarian religious diet which is a Vegan diet. Thus there are several Vegan restaurants and almost every restaurant offers Vegan or meat free options.
- There is a health food store called Health Conscious that sells vegetarian ingredients, prepared vegetarian foods, and has a cooler full of vegan/gluten-free/vegetarian prepared/convenience food options.
*The religion follows the Seventh Day Adventist calendar so many of the stores and restaurants may not be open on Saturdays. Call ahead for specific hours.
Outside of Christiansted, we found a Vegan food truck called “Anna’s Living Food” that offers daily vegan specials. We had vegan Cuban black beans with organic brown rice and our son tried his first grilled peanut butter, raisin, banana, & honey sandwich. (They had several peanut free options for those allergic to peanuts). Anna’s Living Food truck also features locally grown organic vegetables in all of their recipes. Everything we tasted was excellent.
When enjoying Island vacations, we like to eat local fish and light fare. Since our son is unable to enjoy fish or chicken we bring 2-3 bags of Gardein Vegan products. Our son especially enjoys the seven grain crispy Strips, fishless filets, and beefless sliders. We pack our frozen items inside of a small soft-sided cooler bag with several ice packs and place it in our checked luggage. (When traveling internationally be sure to check local customs laws to see if they will allow you to bring in these frozen food items.)
Overall we were very impressed with the food allergy friendliness of St. Croix USVI. This is also an excellent destination for those following a strict vegan lifestyle. For more information on Visiting St. Croix see our St. Croix Vacation Blog Post. You can also check out our article on Traveling abroad with Food allergies.
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