Van’s Waffles only $.50 at Target

I love to have these on hand in the freezer to use in a pinch. My boy who is allergic to milk and eggs can usually never have freezer waffles unless I make them myself.

Pot Luck Dinners and Food Allergies

I was hanging out on Twitter a while back and came across this article about how Pot Lucks make this blogger panic. The title of the article caught my attention because, well, they make me panic too. Although it’s for a different reason than the other blogger.

Pot luck dinners are always so stressful for us as a family dealing with food allergies. There are several issues we have to confront when facing a pot luck.  To the non-food allergic parents I look like a crazy overprotective parent who doesn’t think everyone else’s food is good enough for MY child.  To the parents of children who have food allergies – well, you understand don’t you?  I’d rather look like a nut than have my child accidentally eat one and possibly…Die!

Here are my top reasons to avoid Pot Luck Dinners when dealing with a food allergy.

  • Pot Luck Convenience is non-existent –  I can’t just make one dish and bring it like everyone else.  Why?  Well, that’s the only thing my allergic kids will be able to eat, and who can only eat one thing at a Pot Luck??!!??  I have to make atleast an entree, side, and dessert.
  • I have to be the spoon monitor – Even if I exercise due diligence and make food that my kiddos can eat that is all null and void once a spoon from one dish is used in my allergy-safe dish.  I have to watch my dishes like a mama hawk to make sure that doesn’t happen before their plates are fixed.
  • No Yummy, New, Exciting Dishes for My Kiddos – This is more difficult for my 10 yr old than his younger brother because he’s into more foods, but it’s really a bummer for him when he loves to try new things.
  • I risk hurting people’s feelings – If I went to a larger church this might not be such an ordeal since no one pays attention to what you’re putting on  your (or your kid’s) plate in a larger environment.  However, I often have very dear, well meaning people coming up to let me know that their dish is safe for my kids.  They’ll say things like “It’s ok, it doesn’t have milk, only cheese” 0r some variation like that.  Call me paranoid, but if I haven’t read it for myself then they aren’t eating it.  I explain this as nicely as possible.

So what can you do as a food allergy parent to make pot luck easier?

  • Definitely go!  Don’t just stay home due to food allergies.  We have to teach our little ones to experience life safely with their food allergies – not avoid it!
  • Bring “Safe” dishes for your child to eat so they can still eat from the pot luck, but avoid allergens.
  • Have your “speech” ready so you can easily give an answer to others who are only trying to help by offering their dishes to your allergic child.
  • Enjoy & try to relax!

Photo Credit

Dairy Free Egg Free Chocolate Chip Muffins

We are back to the normal daily grind today after weeks off for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s.  We are starting homeschooling back today, and so I thought I would make the kiddos a special treat.  They loved waking up to this yummy breakfast!  Plus a huge bonus of getting up early to make these babies – Mama gets to lick the spoon.  If you like chocolate chip cookie dough you will LOVE this batter.

I found the recipe a while back on Food Allergy Mama, and it’s my go-to Chocolate Chip Muffin Recipe.  I am so thankful for Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips! They have definitely made our lives yummier since learning about our boy’s food allergies.  I always buy them in bulk on Amazon, because in addition to baking with them my boys (and Bryan) love to eat them by the handful as a quick snack.

Here’s the full recipe for Dairy Free Egg Free Chocolate Chip Muffins from Food Allergy Mama.

 

Gluten Free Coupons and Deals

If you’ve read my Food Allergy Story then you know that my kid’s allergies are milk, eggs, nuts and peas.  While we don’t have a gluten or wheat allergy in our family I know that many food allergy families do.  It can be so expensive to cook for folks with food allergies, and that’s why I want to start providing you guys with some food allergy friendly deals and coupons.

Merissa from Gluten Free on a Budget has provided us with a fabulous Gluten Free Deals and Coupons roundup!

Gluten Free Online Deals

Right now on Amazon you can grab a great deal on Larabars! Amazon currently has these on Subscribe and Save so you can save 5% off the purchase plus get FREE shipping! Then clip the instant coupon and save an additional 35% off several different flavors. Each pack of 16 ranges in price from $19.89 – $24.86 so you can get bars as low as $0.77 each after the coupon and discount depending on what flavor you choose!

Clif Kid Organic Fruit Rope, Variety Pack, 8 Strawberry, 8 Mixed Berry, 8 Grape, Net Wt. 16.9 Oz. Pack of 24 – $14.79 for 24 or $0.62 each

Yummy, these look so good! Right now on Amazon you can grab Annie’s Homegrown Summer Strawberry Organic Bunny Fruit Snacks, 4-Ounce Boxes (Pack of 4) for only $15.35 when you select the Subscribe and Save discount.

Right now on Amazon you can get a 4 pack of Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Mighty Tasty Cereal 24 oz bags for only $11.81! That makes them only $2.95 per bag.

Here’s a great deal on a ready-to-go meal idea on Amazon! Right now as part of the Amazon Warehouse Deals you can grab 12 boxes of Annie’s Gluten Free Mac and Cheese for only $22.26. That makes them just $1.86 per box which is a great deal!

And here’s a great deal on something for baby! Right now on Amazon you can get a 12 pack of Earth’s Best Organic Prunes for only $7.98 when you select Subscribe and Save. That’s only $0.67 per jar!

Currently on Amazon you can grab 16 Just the Cheese snack bags for only $13.79 when you select Subscribe and Save! That makes them out to be only $0.86 per bag.

Gluten Free (and Dairy Free) Coupons

Free Ebooks

Raw Vegan Desserts: A Recipe Collection

Smoothie Power! Recipes for Weight Loss, Vitality, & the Occasional Super Power

Healthy PIZZA! Moan Inducing, Raw Vegan, Low-Fat, Gluten-Free PIZZA Recipes (Moan Inducing Raw Vegan Recipes)

Cavelady Cooking: 50 Fun Recipes for Paleo, Low-Carb and Gluten-Free Diets

25 Healthy Gluten-Free Breakfast Recipes

Looking for a fun, easy, and healthy snack to make your little one? Try these Sweet Potato Toddler Crackers! They are gluten free, corn free, dairy free, soy free, nut free, and sugar free!

Dairy Free Egg Free Cornbread Dressing

I can honestly say I have tried for years to make Cornbread Dressing like my grandmother makes it.  She always cooks the dressing for our Thanksgiving meal and it is SO GOOD!  However, it has eggs in it and the cornbread is made with eggs and buttermilk so my son with the dairy and egg allergy is stuck eating my alternative which up to this point has not been very good.

That all changes this year.  I have finally found a great recipe that is delicious!  Really!  I made it this weekend for our church’s Thanksgiving dinner and it actually received compliments.  No-one could tell the difference, and my food allergy kiddo was able to experience Thanksgiving Cornbread dressing as it is supposed to taste.  It was moist and flavorful, and I will be making it again later this week because the first batch is long gone – yep we gobbled it up because it was so good!

I used Southern Plate’s Crockpot Cornbread Dressing Recipe and adapted to make it dairy and egg free.  Here’s how you can do it:

First – Make the Cornbread

Use your own dairy free/egg free recipe OR Follow a traditional cornbread recipe with the following modifications:

  • Use a dairy free margarine
  • Replace the buttermilk with a milk alternative like soy milk or coconut milk PLUS add a tbsp of Vinegar to sour it (makes “buttermilk).  Let it sit for a minute before adding to mixture.
  • Skip the egg. (trust me it’ll be ok).  Alternatively you can use egg replacer, but I just skip the egg & it’s fine.

Second – Dairy Free Cream of Chicken Soup

Dairy Free Cream of Chicken Soup Recipe

Third – You’ll also need some turkey or chicken meat.

This is optional, but it’s really great if you add it.  I just used Boneless Skinless Chicken breast in mine.

Dairy Free Egg Free Cornbread Dressing

Ingredients

  • Cream of Chicken Soup (Equivalent to 2 cans)
  • 2 Cups Shredded Chicken or Turkey(Optional)
  • 9x13 pan of Cornbread Crumbled (I used the Vitamix & it worked perfectly.)
  • Celery Stalk (Chopped Small)
  • Onion (Chopped Small)
  • 3 1/2 Cups Chicken Broth
  • 1/2 Cup Dairy Free Margarine
  • 2 Tbsp Sage

Instructions

  1. For Oven:
  2. Mix all ingredient Together in large baking Dish. Note: If it's way too runny add a few crumbled slices of bread.
  3. Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes or until baked through.
  4. For Crockpot:
  5. Cover Bottom of Pot with 1 cup Cream of Chicken Soup
  6. Set aside turkey or chicken and another cup of soup
  7. Mix all other ingredients together in a large bowl.
  8. Layer 1/3 of the dressing mixture on top of soup.
  9. Add half of the chicken/turkey
  10. Add another layer of Dressing Mixture
  11. Add Remaining chicken/turkey
  12. Add Remaining Dressing Mixture
  13. Spread last cup of soup over the top
  14. Cook on low for 2 hours, then turn up to high for the 3rd hour.
  15. Enjoy!
http://www.foodallergycooking.net/dairy-free-egg-free-cornbread-dressing/

Dairy Free Cream of Chicken Soup Recipe

There are so many casserole recipes and other dishes that I would love to make for my kiddos, but unfortunately they call for canned cream of chicken soup.  Not only are the canned condensed cream of soups high in sodium but they also contain dairy.  In fact I have yet to find a canned one that does not contain dairy.  But..there is good news.  You can make it at home yourself without dairy PLUS it’s much healthier.

Dairy Free Cream of Chicken Soup Recipe

Ingredients

  • 2 Cups Chicken Broth
  • 2 Cups Alternative Milk (I used Coconut Milk)
  • 1/2 Tsp. Salt
  • 1/2 Tsp. Pepper
  • 1 Cup Flour

Instructions

  1. Bring to a boil first 4 ingredients
  2. Turn heat down to medium
  3. Very Slowly Whisk in flour(Be sure to not let it clump up)
  4. Turn heat back up to med-high and bring back up to a boil. (continue whisking frequently).
  5. Continue to boil and whisk until it thickens.
  6. Let Cool and split into Freezer Bags.(2 Cups Per Bag)
http://www.foodallergycooking.net/dairy-free-cream-of-chicken-soup-recipe/

Free Kindle eBook: The Food Allergy Mama’s Guide to Baking

I just had to grab this free Kindle e-Book this morning!  I have followed Food Allergy Mama’s site for a while and she has some GREAT recipes.

The Food Allergy Mama’s Baking Book: Great Dairy-, Egg-, and Nut-Free Treats for the Whole Family is usually $19.95 but you can get it for FREE today on Kindle.

If you don’t have a Kindle you can still read this on your computer, iPad, iPod, iPhone, or Android.

Remember that Amazon changes prices often so this may not be free for long.

The Scariest Thing About Halloween

Halloween and Food Allergies

Once upon a time, oh maybe about 9 years or more ago, I would have looked at the above scene with delight.  The first thing I’d go for is a Reese’s Cup.

Oh how I miss those!

I remember the thrill of going out trick-or-treating with my siblings and coming back home with the loot.  We used to take for granted something so small as being able to enjoy it without reading labels.

Having children with deadly food allergies has put things into a different perspective.  What once gave me warm fuzzy feelings now gives me a feeling of dread and apprehension.During this time of year store owners everywhere are offering my kiddos candy.   It’s EVERYWHERE!!

Having strangers dig their hands through a bowl of peanut containing candy to find a “safe” candy for my child is just not practical.  Packages can tear open and residue can trickle out onto otherwise “safe” candy.

A common scene while checking out at the grocery store – “would you like a piece of candy?”.  This very well meaning question causes anxiety for me, the mom of children with deadly food allergies.  I have to ask the question(and sound like overprotective food allergy mom) – Do you have the package?  Can I read it?

In most cases I have to politely decline explaining that my sons have food allergies, and that it could kill them..yada yada yada.  I then get the looks – they look at my son with pity.  They look at me with suspicion –   Poor kid, his mom won’t let him have candy.

It’s not only Trick or Treating and Grocery Shopping that’s unsafe either.  Many churches have Fall festivals this time of year and there is candy everywhere – Snickers, M&M’s, Reese’s Cups, and so on and so on.  All of which are dangerous for my kiddo.

To those who provide candy to children during this time of year I have a suggestion.  It’s ok to have the grab bowl of candy for the kiddos with whatever yummy treats you desire!

BUT…What about this?

  • Buy a bag of Dum Dums, Smarties, or Skittles just for the Food Allergy Kiddos
  • Keep it in the original packaging so the overprotective food allergy mom can read it and approve it!
  • Allow the kiddo to reach into the bag & grab it for him/herself.

This small gesture would help me and my kiddos enjoy this fun time of year so much more!

How do you handle food allergies during this time of year?  I’d love to hear your suggestions!