Monday, April 27, 2015

3 Tips for a Food Allergy-Friendly Birthday Party

We've had a month of food-allergy friendly birthday celebrations for our Little Guy who just turned 5. It's amazing how one birthday can turn into three celebrations! A family party, treats for friends at school on his actual birthday, and a kid birthday party (mainly his school class!). 

Now that's a lot of cooking for this food allergy Mom. 

Even though I've only been in the world of food allergies for 5 years now (I know some Moms who have been at it much longer!), I feel like I could share some food allergy friendly birthday party suggestions.

1. Schedule the party at a non-meal time
We scheduled Little Guy's recent party at 3pm. One hour of play time and then time to sit down for for snacks and cake at 4pm. I even went so far to mention on the school party invitation that "cupcakes and snacks" will be served, just to let everyone know!


food allergies birthday party

The kids enjoyed the play/sports time so much, that the rest of the birthday party time was just "icing on the cake" (allergy-free cake of course).

2. Keep the food simple
If you deal with multiple food allergies (we deal with nuts, milk, egg and sesame), you're going to be doing all the cooking. There's nowhere I can order safe pre-made food for a big birthday party event like this. I would love to order a cake and pizza and call it a day, but that's not possible.

Since I do all the cooking, I need to keep it simple. For Little Guy's recent party with classmates we served:

Healthy and food allergy friendly snacks! I cut up a huge watermelon and some honeydew melon and cantaloupe for fruit, cowboy caviar (bean dip) with tortilla chips (thanks to MY mom for making it!), and sesame free hummus. We also had Wheat Things, Rold Gold pretzels and Twizzlers for other snacks.

food allergies and birthday tips

food allergies and birthday tips

Dairy free and egg free cupcakes. Although I've made cakes in the past, I try to make cupcakes more often as I find them less stressful and easier to decorate. Little guy and the kids loved these Spiderman Cupcake Rings also used as cupcake toppers that we found on Amazon.

food allergies and birthday tips



food allergies and birthday tips

I think everyone had their fill of good food, and loved the sweet cupcake treats at the end of the party. Thankfully, everything was a hit with the kiddos and parents!

3. Ask for help
For our Easter/birthday party with family, I said "YES" to my mother and mother-in-law bringing food because I trust they understand how to make it safe for Little Guy. 

If you don't have help you can trust, or just like to control all the food (hey - I get it! It's nerve wracking to have others cook for your child with food allergies), then ask for help with other things like drinks, plates, napkins, or even cleaning before or after the event!

How about get someone else to stuff the party goody bags? Kids love to do stuff like this (thanks to my Hubs for helping with these!).
birthday party gift bags - food allergy friendly
Gift bags included: superhero themed picture frame, sports ball and fruit snacks!
Whatever you do, don't try to be a Supermom. Accept help in any way you can.

What are your tips for hosting food allergy friendly birthdays? How have you handled them so far?

Other food allergy birthday posts which might interest you:

Gluten free birthday cake

Healthy first birthday cake

Music themed allergy-friendly second birthday party

Fireman third birthday party


  

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

Ingredients:

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)

Directions:
  • 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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