Friday, April 17, 2015

Food Allergy Labeling: A Warning

I'm writing this post as warning and reminder to you and me. You may be a parent of a child with food allergies, have food allergies yourself, or KNOW someone with food allergies. If you're ever dealing with someone with food allergies, PLEASE remember to read all ingredients on packaging EVERY TIME.

I recently found a labeling error on a package of Dove Dark Chocolate Almonds. I bought them for a "mommy snack" at work since the almonds and milk chocolate are not safe for Little Guy.

Out of habit, I read the list of ingredients and may contain statement.

Here's the label. Do you see the error?

food allergy labeling - a warning

The label doesn't list milk on the may contain statement. But it obviously contains milk.
food allergy labeling - a warning

Now, you COULD say. Wouldn't everyone realize there's milk in here since it's made with chocolate? No, not necessarily.

Although they shouldn't, many people depend on the may contain statement. 

They TRUST it. I've done it too.  

What about:

  • The well meaning Grandma who has a grandchild with a dairy allergy, but just checks the "may contain" statement rather than checking the ingredients?
  • The busy Mom who grabs a snack for her child?
  • The classroom parent who tries their hardest to bring in a safe snack for all the kids in the class?
  • The hungry teenager who just glances at the packaging while hanging out with friends.

If you're going to include a MAY CONTAIN statement on your product, then please make sure it's correct.

I recently contact Mars (maker of Dove) about this error. The customer service representative read me their response to my question:

"As per the FDA, if any allergens are listed under the ingredients, it does not need to be listed in the contains or may contains".

I thanked her, then politely tried to emphasize that this could be a deadly mistake for someone. She spoke with her manager, and they asked me to mail in the packaging (which I will happily do), so they can assess the error further.

I hope Mars will make changes to this packaging and include the correct allergen information. I also hope this is a reminder for all of us in the food allergy community NOT to trust the allergen statements. 

Focus on the ingredients instead.

I will let you know what I hear from Mars on this issue. To be continued!!

Friday, April 3, 2015

Easy Easter Cupcake or Muffin Decorations

I don't know about you, but sometimes I find candy-focused holidays frustrating. I see the aisles of pink, purple and yellow colored bags full of Easter candy, knowing most of them aren't safe for Little Guy. On one hand, it's certainly better for our health (and teeth!) not to have access to all that candy. But sometimes it's a little discouraging too.

So, how do we move past those feelings and still have our own fun?

First, by remembering the true purpose of Easter. Second, having Easter fun that's not food focused. And finally, by focusing on what we CAN have of course. And there IS so much allergy-friendly candy and sweets Little Guy can have!

I just wanted to show you all the fun we've had with food allergy-friendly candy and sweet stuff.  It's so easy to find ideas. I mean, just type in "Easter cupcakes" on Pinterest, and you'll find SO many cute decorations. 

But as working mama with little free time to spare, I decided to keep it simple.  

We topped sweet muffins with melted marshmallows, sprinkles and jelly bean flowers...

allergy friendly Easter candy
Jelly bean flower decoration - made with Surf Sweets Jelly Beans
We made bunny rabbits with:

Just cut a marshmallow in half diagonally and you get two perfect bunny ears!
Easter food allergies cupcakes

And we topped this bunny with SunButter as a sort of "frosting" on a sweet muffin. Plus Let's Do Organic Shredded Coconut. I'd like to try this again with fruit for the bunny instead of the candy. It would make  perfect Easter breakfast treat!

Easter food allergies cupcakes

And look at all of our favorite sweet treats. Food allergy-friendly, colorful and fun.
Easter food allergies

allergy friendly Easter candy

We used all of these tasty treats as decorations. Have you tried any of these? What's your favorite?  How do you celebrate an allergy-friendly Easter?


You might also like these Easter posts and fun ideas!

This post contains affiliate links which is of no cost to you! 

Monday, March 23, 2015

Easy SunButter Breakfast Cookies

I wanted to share a healthy recipe with you that my kids just gobble up. These Easy SunButter Breakfast Cookies are great solutions for a fast breakfast or snack. I usually make a double batch and store them in the freezer. They defrost rather quickly so you can pop them in a lunch bag or eat them as a bedtime snack.

Oh, and you know they have to be egg free, dairy free and nut free!

My 2 year old toddler ate 4.5 of these yesterday. Honest!
nut free, dairy free, gluten free, egg free

You know what? I didn't mind that she chowed down on them. I truly love these breakfast cookies because they:
  • Are made of whole foods and real food
  • Are vegan (egg-free, dairy-free and can be made with maple syrup instead of honey to be truly vegan)
  • Are gluten-free if you use gluten-free oats
  • Taste just a little sweet, almost like a healthy granola bar, but not too sweet
  • Have no added refined sugar
  • Are easy and you probably have most of these ingredients
See? You probably already have all this in your kitchen!
Easy SunButter breakfast cookies

Easy SunButter Breakfast Cookies
Print this recipe
Adapted from a Breakfast Cookie Recipe in Dr. Oz's magazine
Makes 20 cookies


Mix together first:
3 ripe bananas
1 1/2 cups rolled oats
1/4 cup SunButter
1 Tbsp ground flaxseed
1 Tbsp honey (or maple syrup to make it truly vegan)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp cinnamon
pinch of salt

Fold in at the end:
1/2 cup unsweetened dried coconut (or coconut flakes)
1/3 cup unsalted pumpkin seeds + sunflower seeds (any combination you'd like)
1/3 cup dried fruit (in the past, I've combine raisins, Craisins and dried dates - use any combination you'd like)

  • Line two baking sheets with parchment paper
  • Mash bananas with fork
  • Stir in oats, SunButter, honey (or maple syrup), vanilla, salt and cinnamon
  • Fold in coconut, seeds and dried fruit
  • Let mixture sit for 10 minutes so oats absorb liquid
  • Drop by about 1/8 cup fulls (scooped about half of the mixture into a 1/4 cup and used a spoon to drop it onto the cookie sheet) onto baking sheets
  • Flatten cookies with a fork
  • Bake at 350 degrees for about 12 minutes or until slightly golden brown

This is a photo of the cookies before baking. It was hard not to eat the "batter".
Easy SunButter Breakfast Cookies

Easy SunButter Breakfast Cookies

If you like nut-free SunButter recipes, you might also like:

SunButter Baked Oatmeal

No Bake Oat Balls

Chocolate Coconut Oat Bars

SunButter Chocolate Cups

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