Food Allergy, kids

Allergy Friendly Halloween

The holiday season is about to begin, and that means many events and gatherings revolving around food.  For folks with food allergies, it can be extremely stressful to navigate through this all.  Halloween kicks it all off with the excess of candy, much of which is not allergy friendly.  Peanuts, tree nuts, milk, wheat, egg, and soy are common components of many candies and 6 of the top 8 allergens.  Kids really enjoy dressing up and trick or treating with friends, but some kids with allergies are not even able to participate if their allergies are severe.  For those that do, they often can’t keep much of what they come home with.  School parties are another place that the non-allergy friendly treats come out.  While many of us parents have figured out how to handle these situations well, it seems like there could be a better way.

In an effort to promote a safe Halloween for all, FARE (Food Allergy Research and Education) developed the Teal Pumpkin Project.  It is a way to draw awareness to food allergies and include all trick or treaters. Those who choose to participate put a teal pumpkin or teal pumpkin sign outside their door for Halloween.  This indicates that this house has non-food, allergy friendly treats.  Participants can even add their address to the map so that trick or treaters can plan out their routes.  This movement is getting bigger and bigger, and it is so encouraging!  Check out www.tealpumpkinproject.org for more information.

Here are some of my ideas for non-food Halloween treats:

Allergy Friendly Halloween

 

 

I know not every family has food allergies.  From those of us who do, I want to tell you how much we appreciate when you include our kids and learn about their allergies.  It gives these kids a feeling of community and belonging.  It gives us parents a feeling of safety and relief.  

So thank you, it means the world to us.

Rachael

 

kids, Lunch, Meal Plans

Back to School Lunch Tips

As I am sure you do, I am having mixed feelings about school starting up again here soon.  I am eager for a little more structure to our days but I am not looking forward to the constant running around.  Back to school means back to packing lunches…not my favorite task by any means.  My kids are not huge sandwich eaters, so I am always looking for new ideas that provide healthy but tasty meals that can be eaten in the short 20 minute lunch period.  Here is some inspiration for you!

  • Use “bento box” style lunch containers.  These worked great for us last year.  One box, all the food.  This is not so good if you want to send something hot, like soup or pasta though.
  • Use a thermos to send hot soup, pasta, rice, etc.  It is a nice change of pace and hey, maybe you can send leftovers from the night before!  I boil hot water and fill the thermos and cover.  I heat up the food.  I empty the thermos of hot water and add the hot food.  I think this helps keep the food warmer longer.
  • Try a homemade “lunchable”  Cut up your own cheese, veggies, meat and send with some whole wheat crackers, like triscuits.  Besides being a healthier cracker, they do not break as easily as other crackers!
  • Wraps are a hit and so easy.  Use a whole wheat tortilla and fill with veggies, meat, and cheese.  Roll up and slice into smaller pieces.
  • Raw veggies with dip or hummus are a great addition to lunches.
  • When sending fruit, think ahead.  Younger kids may have a hard time or spend a long time peeling fruit.  Send cut up and ready to eat.
  • I always recommend sending water to drink.  Kids can fill up on their food, not beverages.
  • Popcorn and rice cakes are crunchy and healthy side options.
  • Send non-lunch food.  Breakfast food is fun- send cereal!
  • I love granola bars in the lunchbox.  Try Homemade Granola Bar Recipe
  • Pasta salad or a grain salad can be a way to get in veggies and protein.
  • Don’t forget to send any utensils they may need.
  • Keep the food cool with ice packs!  Also if sending a water bottle, freeze it the night before and it can defrost in the lunchbox, keeping food cool.

 

These are just a few quick tips and ideas.  Watch for more as the school year goes on!

Cheers,

Rachael