Halloween Fun! Easy food free ideas to keep the fun in Halloween!

Halloween Fun!

Are you dreading the Halloween season this year?  Are you concerned that your child will feel left out with all the candy and fun because of food allergies or intolerance?  It is entirely possible to have a great tie AND stay safe this Halloween.  Here is a list of things you can do!

Get a cool yard sign!

Decorating the house in Halloween themed signs, skeletons, etc. are a great way to bring the fun right to your front door!  And, who doesn’t love the look of cute smiling pumpkins and friendly ghosts while out Trick or Treating!

 

Try out a cool inflatable!

Why not enjoy the fun of the latest trend in everything?!  You just really can’t beat the Minions and a 3 ft minion on your front lawn would just be too cute…Hmm, I wonder if you could change the sign and use it for Christmas, too!

 

 

 

 

Bake some allergen-free cupcakes and use a cool liner.

Okay, so this idea is not exactly food free, but, it should still be safe if you remember to check the labels for your specific food allergens.  And these cupcake liners are just too cute to pass up!

 

Or, why not try out a Halloween themed Lego?


Legos will keep your kids busy and happy for hours…Just be sure to check for dropped pieces before you walk around barefoot!

 

 

 

And don’t forget the costume fun!


I just love this Olaf costume from the movie Frozen, but sadly, my girls are only interested in Anna and Elsa.  And, we did that last year, so I think we are going to be searching for some other princesses this year.

 

 

 

 

So, get out there and enjoy Halloween this year!  Don’t be afraid to have some fun with your family, just be sure to follow your safety precautions.

Have a Happy Halloween!

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P.S.

Don’t forget to checkout and participate in the Teal Pumpkin Project this year!

 

Milk-Free, Soy-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

Milk-Free, Soy-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

Does your child like to have a special treat when their friends are having one?  Do you need an option for chocolate chip cookies that are both milk and soy free?  Do you want a recipe to make with your kids so you can participate in your family’s holiday traditions?MKHW_141211_00132.jpg

 

I grew up eating the best cookies.  My Grandmother made them.  Every year we would visit her for Thanksgiving, and then, the day after, when most people were shopping, she and I would bake the Christmas cookies.  They were the best cookies.  We made several different kinds.  She always used butter, so I had to play with the recipe a bit to make them come out right so that my girls could enjoy them as well.  These days, I make the Christmas cookies.  And, it’s not always the day after Thanksgiving.  Today, I am going to share with you my adaptation of her Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe.

Ingredients:MKHW_141211_0013_thumb.jpg

 

  • 1 cup milk-free, soy-free margarine (I used Earth Balance)
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 cup milk-free, soy-free chocolate morsels (I used Enjoy Life) or chopped up chocolate bar (like Aloha superfood chocolate)

Directions:MKHW_141211_0016_thumb.jpg

1. Beat margarine, sugar, brown sugar and vanilla with electric mixer.

2. Add eggs and beat well.  Gradually beat in baking soda, salt and flour until well combined.MKHW_141211_001-7

3. Stir in chocolate chips by hand.

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4. Refrigerate 30 minutes or overnight.  (You can also go ahead and drop the cookie dough onto cookie sheets and freeze as dough balls to bake later.)

5. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. And drop dough by rounded teaspoons onto an ungreased cookie sheet.

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6. Bake 9-11 minutes, rotating halfway through.

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7. Let sit on cookie sheet 1 min.  Then use a spatula to move them to a towel to cool.  When cool to the touch, you can stack them.

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8. When completely cool, store in an airtight container with a piece of bread to keep them fresh.

I hope that you and your family are able to participate in this holiday baking tradition.  For more allergen-free holiday baking ideas, be sure to check out the Freedible cookie exchange.

Milk-Free, Soy-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

Milk-Free, Soy-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

Does your child like to have a special treat when their friends are having one?  Do you need an option for chocolate chip cookies that are both milk and soy free?  Do you want a recipe to make with your kids so you can participate in your family’s holiday traditions?MKHW_141211_00132.jpg

 

I grew up eating the best cookies.  My Grandmother made them.  Every year we would visit her for Thanksgiving, and then, the day after, when most people were shopping, she and I would bake the Christmas cookies.  They were the best cookies.  We made several different kinds.  She always used butter, so I had to play with the recipe a bit to make them come out right so that my girls could enjoy them as well.  These days, I make the Christmas cookies.  And, it’s not always the day after Thanksgiving.  Today, I am going to share with you my adaptation of her Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe.

Ingredients:MKHW_141211_0013_thumb.jpg

 

  • 1 cup milk-free, soy-free margarine (I used Earth Balance)
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 cup milk-free, soy-free chocolate morsels (I used Enjoy Life) or chopped up chocolate bar

Directions:MKHW_141211_0016_thumb.jpg

1. Beat margarine, sugar, brown sugar and vanilla with electric mixer.

2. Add eggs and beat well.  Gradually beat in baking soda, salt and flour until well combined.MKHW_141211_001-7

3. Stir in chocolate chips by hand.

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4. Refrigerate 30 minutes or overnight.  (You can also go ahead and drop the cookie dough onto cookie sheets and freeze as dough balls to bake later.)

5. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. And drop dough by rounded teaspoons onto an ungreased cookie sheet.

MKHW_141211_001-11

6. Bake 9-11 minutes, rotating halfway through.

MKHW_141211_001-13

7. Let sit on cookie sheet 1 min.  Then use a spatula to move them to a towel to cool.  When cool to the touch, you can stack them.

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8. When completely cool, store in an airtight container with a piece of bread to keep them fresh.

I hope that you and your family are able to participate in this holiday baking tradition.  For more allergen-free holiday baking ideas, be sure to check out the Freedible cookie exchange.

Milk-free, Soy-free Buttermilk Substitute

 

Read ThisIt’s time to get started thinking about all those Christmas cookies and other goodies we eat this time of year.  Do you know how to make milk-free, soy-free buttermilk?

I found this great substitute on the Kids with Food Allergies website.  It’s simple, and it works great!  In fact, I have used this same trick with regular milk before we were dairy free!

Vinegar + Non-dairy milk = buttermilk!  For the exact ratio, be sure to check out this post!

Allergen Free Halloween Treats: Enjoy Halloween Safely With These Tricks

Halloween 2013

Halloween is coming!

A child is brought to the emergency room for an allergic reaction to food every 3 minutes.  Every 6 minutes someone is treated for anaphylaxis because of exposure to a food allergen.  And that is just a normal night.

On Halloween, food allergens are EVERYWHERE.  It’s the one night of the year when we encourage our children to accept candy from strangers.  Like every other night, 80 children will be taken to the emergency room for a food allergy reaction, and 40 of them will have an anaphylactic reaction.  And that is just based on my calculation of approximately 4 hours of trick or treat time.  That does not include that we are pushing our kids into a dangerous situation where they are given treats that are not allergen free.  And, it doesn’t include milder reactions that are treated at home.

This year the Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network is launching the Teal Pumpkin Project.  It’s a great way to help all children have a Happy Halloween this year.  To participate simply print out on of these posters to display and/or display a teal pumpkin near your door.  Then, stock your treat stash with allergen free Halloween treats. (You can provide allergenic treats, as well, just be sure to keep it all separate!)

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Here are some great allergen-free Halloween treat ideas:

Non food treats

Here is some ideas that I found on Amazon:

  • bounce balls
  • friendship bracelets
  • Halloween party favors
  • stickers
  • bat rings
  • mini magic springs

For the whole list, click here to go to the Amazon website.

And here are some more fun ideas from Oriental Trading Company

  • glow necklace
  • glow bracelet
  • glow sticks
  • mini stuffed animals
  • pencils
  • Halloween themed figurines and bendables
  • and mixed sets…one even in a Halloween treasure box!

For the whole list, click here to go to the Oriental Trading Company website

Food treats

Food treats can be, well, tricky!  Every child is different and when you are trying to make sure everyone stays safe, you have to eliminate a lot of things.  But, if you want to provide an allergen-free edible treat, these are what I recommend.

Enjoy Life Grab and Go Packs

YumEarth candies

No one wants to see kids in the hospital, especially on Halloween.  So, let’s ALL do our part to keeps kids with food allergies safe this year!

Download your Teal Pumpkin Project Poster, post it and go shopping!

How are you helping to keep kids safe this Halloween?

5 Steps to A Healthy & Fun Easter Celebration for your Food Sensitive Child

1. Stuff small plastic eggs with small toys instead of candy.

Here are some “stuffing” ideas:

  • stickers
  • temporary tattoos
  • polished rocks or crystals
  • rings, necklaces, or bracelets
  • plastic bugs, frogs, or other small plastic animals
  • plastic army men
  • put clues on small strips of paper taking them on a scavenger hunt that ends at a larger gift
  • “bunny money” that can be exchanged for something else later

2. Add fun, non-food items

You can pick up some inexpensive toys for your basket at the dollar store, craft stores, or anywhere else that sells kids stuff.  Here are some fun ideas:

  • Crayons, pencils, or other art supplies
  • books
  • bath toys
  • dolls or action figures

3. Seek out Allergy-Friendly Candy

We have found several brands of candy that work well for our family.  There may be others out there but you can start with these:

4. Make Homemade Goodies

Nothing beats homemade – even when you don’t have food sensitivities.  So go ahead and spend a little extra time in the kitchen and make bunny or egg shaped cookies or other goodies.  My chocolate peanut butter apples in an egg shape would be delicious!

Valentine’s Day Ideas

Valentine’s Day is a day to tell those you care about how much you love them.  While it is always nice to receive a gift.  The prevalence of candy and cakes at this time of year makes it difficult for families with food sensitivities.

Here are some great ideas to help your little ones be able to enjoy the day:
  1. Make some yummy Valentine’s Day treats yourself.  (Like my Chocolate Peanut Butter Apple Hearts!)
  2. Give out non-food Valentine’s, and encourage teachers to spread the word to other parents as well. 
  3. Make a Valentine’s Day craft!  There are lots of ideas on Pinterest if you are not sure what to do.
  4. Watch a Valentine’s Day kids special.  We have a Winnie the Pooh movie on DVD that we watch every year, and I’m always partial to Charlie Brown, but watch what your family will enjoy.
  5. Make sure you have some “safe” candy to trade for all their treats!  (This is a standing policy at our house.  If they are given candy at any class or event, they can trade it for a “safe” candy.)

Chocolate Peanut (or Sun) Butter Apple Hearts

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This might just be the easiest recipe ever, but it will make your kids smile.  I went with the heart shape because of Valentine’s Day, but you can use any shape or even just regular wedges, too.

Ingredients

  • apples
  • peanut butter, or sunflower seed butter if you need to avoid peanuts
  • allergen-free semi-sweet chocolate chips (I like to use these.)

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      1. Cut apples into 1/4 inch slices cross-wise, then core.

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        2. Lay slices flat and cut out a shape with a cookie cutter.

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          3. Spread one side of each apple slice with peanut butter (or sunflower seed butter), and place on a wax or parchment paper lined baking sheet.

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            4. Melt chocolate chips by placing them in a microwave safe dish on high for 30 seconds.  Stir.  Repeat this microwave, then stir process until chocolate is full melted.  (I used 1 cup chocolate chips and it took about 90 seconds total to melt the chocolate.)

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              5. Spoon melted chocolate over apple slices.  Refrigerate 1 hour or until chocolate is firm.  Serve for an extra special snack, or a yummy dessert!

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              As you can see, I had to take pictures quickly…they did not last at our house!

                Halloween and Food Sensitivites: 5 Ways to Have Fun And Stay Safe!

                Halloween and Food Sensitivites: 5 Ways to Have Fun And Stay Safe!

                1. Get Costumes.  You can get some inexpensive costumes at your local big box store, or if you are creative, make your own.  Costumes are the BEST part of Halloween for my girls.  And, they get added to the dress up bin after all the decorations are packed up and the candy is out of the house.

                Halloween Costumes

                2. Visit a Pumpkin Patch.  This is a fun day and a great way to support your local farmers.  Many times they also have a hay maze, hayrides, and many other fun activities all included for the price of admission.

                Pumpkin Patch

                3. Decorate a pumpkin.  When my girls were younger we painted them.  We have decorated them with markers (Sharpies work best!), too.  Last year was our first attempt at carving them.  None of them survived long enough for pictures so this picture is from an earlier year when we painted.

                Paint a Pumpkin4. Make some pumpkin seeds and homemade pumpkin pie!  (Recipes coming!)  If you prefer not to decorate your pumpkins, or if you just like to eat them, your Halloween pumpkins can turn into some yummy treats!

                Pumpkin Seeds & Pumpkin Pie

                5. Trick-or-Treat!  I know this sounds scary, but you can do this!  I always remind the girls that they cannot eat anything until Mommy checks it.  When we get home, we pull out all the candy they cannot eat. (Which is most of it, since they have sensitivities to high fructose corn syrup!)  All of that gets donated to the troops.  Then, I give them each a bag of candy that I prepared ahead of time.  It is filled with many different kinds of candy that I know won’t make them sick.  Some is purchased, others I make myself.

                Keep things simple and plan ahead and you can enjoy any holiday!