Please read, before reading

I am saddened by the comments on this blog that often take a judgmental turn. The information is intended to be just that -- information. You need to make your own decisions for your life and be accountable for your actions. I debated closing the blog, but feel there are many valuable items listed for families struggling with food allergies, especially early on.

If you need further information please contact a doctor. If you need to verify a product's ingredients, please look at current labels and contact the company yourself. Note many posts are several years old. Use your best judgment and do not make up comments to scare people.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Halloween and Food Allergies

Here are some of my tips to dealing with holidays and food allergies.

1.  No big deal.  Yep, that's right.  I take the approach of it's no big deal.  Yes food allergies are a big, big deal.  But how you approach the situation is what makes everything easier.  For example, we plan on going trick-or-treating with our 3-year-old.  However, I'm not going to stress that all the candy she gets she can't eat. I'm not going to feel bad that she can't eat all this candy because of food allergies.  I'm just going to switch out the candy out of her bucket to candy and fruit snacks that she can eat when we get home.  It's really no big deal.

2. Nobody really cares understands, so I'll take charge.  I know that really sounds kinda harsh.  But I've found that nobody really cares or understands that our daughter can't eat certain foods at holiday functions.  I always come equip with foods she can eat and treats that she normally doesn't get very often.  It's much easier to handle the situation myself than worry if someone else truly made something allergy-free.  I'll normally make enough to share with the rest of the guests.  And I can talk until I'm blue in the face about how our child can't have milk and someone will still offer her a chocolate chip cookie or cream cheese frosted cake.

3. It just is what it is.  I've dealt with food allergies since I was young.  I just eat what I can.  It just is what it is.  Nothing more or nothing less.

4. Just make if fun in your own way.   We've been making treats and candy at home for a couple weeks now. Her Halloween experience has been expanded to more than trick-or-treating alone.  We also read a ton of books about Halloween and fall.  Trick-or-treat is just a small part for us (although a very exciting part).

Be sure to check out my cheap Halloween treat suggestions!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Dairy-free, Egg-free Cut-out Cookies (plus frosting!)

I don't know where I found this recipe originally.  But it works out great for cut-out cookies.  I just couldn't wait to make them again until Christmas, so we made Halloween cookies.  I think I'm just craving cut-out cookies because they look so good in the grocery store bakeries.  I just don't trust those cookies for our little one.  The best part of these cookies is being able to let our daughter help.

Dairy-Free, Egg-Free Cut-out Cookies
1/2 cup dairy-free margarine (I use Earth's Balance)
1/2 cup shortening (I use Crisco)
2/3 cup sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup applesauce
2 1/2 cup flour

1. Mix all ingredients except flour together.
2.  Slowly add flour.
3. Once mixed well, then wrap in cling wrap.  Refrigerate for a couple hours.
4.  Roll out dough and use cookie cutters to cut out shapes.
5. Bake at 375 degrees for 10 minutes.

This frosting is amazing!

Dairy-Free Frosting
1 Tbsp melted dairy-free margarine (I use Earth's Balance)
1 tsp vanilla
2 Tbsp shortening (I use Crisco)
2 tsp vanilla soy milk
1 cup powdered sugar

1. Mix wet ingredients (all but powdered sugar) in mixer.  I like to use my Kitchenaid Mixer.
2. Slowly add powdered sugar.
3. Mix for 5 minutes on medium speed.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Halloween Treat -- Chocolate Pumpkins

I try to buy Wilton Candy molds (usually $2.50 at Michaels or Joann Fabric) for every season. You can't use the candy melts because they have dairy in them.   But I just use Enjoy Life Chocolate chips.  Then save the mold for next year.

I also buy those ice cube trays for each season and they work great for making chocolate candy.

Chocolate Pumpkins
1/2 cup Enjoy Life chocolate chips
1 Tbsp Dairy-Free margarine (I use Earth's Balance)
Pumpkin mold

1. Melt chocolate and margarine in microwave 30 seconds to 1 minute.
2. Stir and pour in mold.  You can use lollipop sticks, but you don't have to.
3. Place in freezer for one hour.
4. Store in refrigerator in air tight container.

**You can add mint extract, 1Tbsp Sunbutter or Soybutter or another type of extract to change the flavor.**

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Halloween Treat -- Peeps

Our daughter just loves these and we buy them for every holiday.  They cost around a dollar and they usually last us a month or more.  We'll probably still have these pumpkins around Thanksgiving.  Easy.  Cheap.  Allergy-Free.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Halloween Treat -- Halloween Oreos

Am I a bad mother because our daughter didn't eat her first Oreo until last month?  I held off on Oreos and chips for as long as I could.  She now really likes both, really likes them.  That's what I thought would happen. It's great though because Oreos are a really cheap treat (search for coupons) and we can offer one as a special treat.  So today's Halloween treat is Halloween Oreos.  Yes, Dairy-Free, Egg-Free and Nut-Free.  Believe or not.  Sugar-Free, uh no.  Fat-Free, uh no.  But fun!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Halloween treats -- Dairy-Free, Egg-Free, Nut-Free

I've read a lot of "Allergy-Free" blogs and see that many are posting online stores that sell allergy-free Halloween treats.  Well.  I look at the price and think it's just not worth when you tack on shipping (and the fact that a child might not like it or eat it all).  I get it's about providing fun treats for kids with food allergies and I greatly appreciate the effort and hope someday that we will just find these treats next to the bags of candy in the aisles full of dangerous candy. Maybe we'll get out own aisle someday.  But for now, I choose to find what is available and safe to eat and work with.

All this week I will be sharing Halloween treat ideas that don't take a lot of time, are cost effective and lots of fun to eat.  Hold on to your seats but many of the items I will share will be (big sigh) processed foods.  Guess what I think it's okay in moderation, especially during the holidays.

Today's Fun Halloween Treat is:

Halloween Trail Mix
(You can use any variation of cereal, dried fruit, pretzels, etc. -- make it your own)

1/4 cup Cheerios
1/4 cup Kashi Heart to Heart Cereal
1/4 cup Kashi Honey Sunshine
1/4 cup Cinnamon Toast Crunch (I sent my husband to the grocery store to get a General Mills deal and he brought this home for snacks)
1/2 cup Craisins
2 Tbsp Enjoy Life chocoalate chips
leftover Teddy Grahams (I think there were five left and a few arms and leg pieces)
2/3 cup Ghost Marshmallows
1. Simply mix all ingredients together.  I always let my daughter pour them in a large bowl and stir with wooden spoon.
2. Store in zip lock bag or air tight container.

**My daughter told me that the Craisins were spiders and the teddy grahams were puppies (dressed in costumes I presume).  It doesn't take much to turn something into something else.  Plus when you're 3 years old everything is a great idea. **

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Sneeze much?

This fall has just been terrible for our 3-year-old in terms of seasonal allergies.  While I wish I had a magical way to teach her to blow her nose, I don't.  She's been pretty sneezy and coughy the last couple months.  For a while I was using a saline spray with her, but it was a battle that upset her too much.  Although I truly believe that would be very helpful.

Today I was shopping and found a different type of saline spray that doesn't require laying down or tilting a head back.  It's call Kid's Mist SinuCleanse.  I showed it to our daughter and got her excited about it.  I told her she would be able to do it herself (within it time) and she was very interested in using it.  So far we've used it twice and have had no tears (or screaming).  I highly recommend you try it for allergy season or even for cold season.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Nut-Free (not dairy-free) Chocolate

Every since I have realized I have a peanut allergy, I have really struggled to find chocolate that isn't processed with nuts.  Guess what I just learned?  Hershey's kisses may just be my answer to nut-free chocolate.  They claim on their website that all chocolate is clearly labeled with allergens.  And I picked up some kisses last week at the store that didn't list peanuts or tree nuts anywhere.  Could it be?  I am still hopeful our daughter will outgrow this milk allergy, but outgrowing the peanut allergy is pretty unlikely.  I post this here because I try to help all of those out there with food allergies because it's the only way we can help each other.

Anyone have any experience with Hershey Kisses being peanut free and tree nut free?

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Dairy-Free Taco Salad

I had this awesome taco salad at a function recently.  I searched for a couple different recipes and adapted it to my own tastes (and what I had in my freezer).  Turned out really tasty.  While I haven't made the dairy-free version for our 3-year-old, here's what I plan to make.

Taco Salad
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1  package taco seasoning mix
  • 2 cups black beans
  • 1 (16 ounce) bottle French dressing (I used Kraft Catalina)
  • 1 head iceberg lettuce (I used spinach)
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) package tortilla chips
  • 2 cups shredded soy cheese
  • 1 cup chopped tomatoes
  • 4 tablespoons dairy-free sour cream (optional)
  • 1/2 cup prepared salsa (optional)


  1. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, brown the ground beef and drain.
  2. Stir in the taco seasoning, beans and French-style dressing. 
  3. Fill the dressing bottle 2/3 full of water and add to the skillet. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
  4. Crush the bag of chips, open the bag, and toss the broken chips into a large bowl with the lettuce, cheese and tomatoes. When the meat mixture is done, combine it with the lettuce, tomatoes, chips and mix well. Then, add salsa and sour cream.

**Note this needs to be mixed together right before eating otherwise the chips get soggy.  I actually made this as a lunch/snack for a couple days and just kept all ingredients separate until right before eating. Then I just added how much I wanted to eat for that meal.  This would be very helpful if you are just making a small portion dairy-free.  The recipe can easily be halved.**

Sunday, October 3, 2010

In search of...

A dairy-free whipped topping.  For the last two years our daughter has had no problem eating the "regular" Cool Whip.  I gave her a spoon to lick the day before her birthday and she was a big old rashy mess.  I looked at the container and sure enough it said it was "now creamier."  Now that pumpkin pie season is around the corner we need to find a whipped topping that is safe.  To be continued...

If you have any good alternative suggestions, I would love to hear them.

PS Sorry for being absent from posting lately.  I started a new job (a different one than a couple months ago) and I am focusing on family when at home.  I hope to get back to regular blogging soon.  I have so much to share with all of you.
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