Thursday, July 2, 2015

5 Allergy-Friendly Summer Snacks


I'm excited to share with you my guest post on the SunButter blog: 5 Allergy-Friendly Summer Snacks

I remember my family beach trips so vividly as child. They were full of sun, sand, swimming and SNACKS! Still, our snacks were most likely full of dairy, eggs, sesame or nuts – food that is unsafe for my 5 year old son with multiple food allergies.

Now, as a mom of a 5 year old and 2 year old (with no food allergies), I want to pack safe and healthy snacks for our whole family. We can’t just run up to the boardwalk when the kids get hungry, or pick-up snacks at a local store.  Our beach trips take so much planning, planning and more planning!

I thought this list of allergy-friendly snacks might be useful for other parents of children with food allergies. These snacks are perfect for the beach, pool or whatever fun activities you do in the summer! They’re portable and easy to grab right out of the fridge, freezer or cabinet. They’re also rather healthy. We try to focus on healthy and whole foods in our family, but we also try not to worry too much if a few “treats” sneak in here and there!

Since my son can’t eat other forms of protein like eggs and cheese – usually great portable kid snacks – we rely on SunButter to give him that boost of protein he needs. You can easily take a whole jar of SunButter to the beach in your cooler.  I also like to portion SunButter in bowls beforehand so everyone has their own. Bring some pretzels, crackers and precut veggies and fruit like carrots, celery and apples. Dip in SunButter for a healthy and satisfying snack!

My kids LOVE all kinds of vegan homemade muffins – banana bread muffins, pumpkin muffins, you name it! If you add a little SunButter on top of the muffins, then you have a well-rounded snack that will keep them satisfied. We love SunButter’s On The Go Pouches (affiliate). They make it so easy to squeeze the SunButter directly on the muffin - no utensils needed!

Fruit is such an easy and portable snack option. I’m sure you eat it all the time, just like we do. Choose a few favorite fruits that your kids love AND a fruit that you don’t usually buy. You never know, they may like to try a new food just because they’re having so much fun at the beach or pool! Wash and slice your fruit beforehand, throw it in a container, and go!  If you really need a quick and portable fruit snack, buy fruit like apples, peaches, grapes and plums that you don’t even have to cut. Just wash it and throw it in a bag!

These no bake oat balls are so easy to make and throw in a container.  I keep them in the fridge or freezer, and put the container in my bag when we’re ready to leave.  My husband and the kids all love them, and it’s a great snack option that’s a little different than the usual!

We can’t buy the traditional snack or trail mixes from the store as they usually contain nuts, dairy or sesame. So we make our own!  This snack mix is one of our favorite combinations. Pick your favorite safe snack foods like popcorn, pretzels, dried fruit, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds, and mix them all together! You don’t even miss the nuts or other unsafe foods. It’s a satisfying and safe snack for all.

I hope these snacks help you and your family have MANY fun summer memories of sun, sand, swimming and SAFE SNACKS!

Need more snack ideas?  Try these!

Nut Free Granola Bars (dairy free, egg free and sesame free too!)

Simple Oat Date Bars (so easy!)

White Bean, Basil and Lemon Hummus (tahini/sesame free)

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Vegan Pineapple Cake: Guest Post on KFA Blog

I'm excited to share my guest post with you on the Kids with Food Allergies blog. This Vegan Pineapple Cake recipe is an adaptation of an old family recipe. We grew up eating it with traditional cream cheese icing and eggs baked into it, but we've now adapted it to make it safe for Little Guy's food allergies.

This Vegan Pineapple Cake is: 
  • Dairy free and egg free.
  • Perfect to freeze ahead and then add icing before you serve!
  • Great with two different kinds of icing – whatever your taste buds and food allergies allow.
  • Different than the usual desserts you find at picnics and parties. People will ask you for the recipe!
  • Completely moist and delicious - a real crowd-pleasing dessert.

Dairy Free, Egg Free and Allergy-Friendly 

Here is the cake with the richer, thicker, dairy-free cream cheese icing:
Dairy Free, Egg Free and Allergy-Friendly

Here’s the cake with the lighter tasting coconut glaze. I prefer the lighter glaze, but either one is delicious.

Dairy Free, Egg Free and Allergy-Friendly


  • 2 cups unbleached white flour*
  • ¾ cup sugar (the original recipe called for 2 cups, but ¾ is all you need!)
  • 1 can (20 oz.) crushed pineapple in juice
  • ½ cup applesauce
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • Pinch of salt
*I have not tried it with gluten free flour, but I encourage you to try it out if your family eats gluten free

Dairy-free Cream Cheese Icing Option:
  • 1 stick safe butter (I used Earth Balance)
  • 8 oz. dairy-free cream cheese (I used Daiya Plain Cream Cheese)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2.5 cups powdered sugar
Coconut Glaze Option:
  • ½ cup coconut milk (I used Original SoDelicious Culinary Coconut Milk)
  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  1. Grease the bottom and sides of a 9 x 13 in pan
  2. Mix the dry cake ingredients (flour, sugar, baking soda and salt) together with a whisk
  3. In a separate bowl, mix the wet ingredients (pineapple, applesauce and vanilla) with a spoon
  4. Combine the dry and wet ingredients and mix thoroughly with a spoon or spatula
  5. Pour in greased pan and bake for about 25 minutes (or until toothpick comes out clean) at 350 degrees
  6. Use electric mixer to combine ingredients for either the icing or glaze option – whichever you choose. Mix well.
  7. When cake is cool, add icing or glaze. Sprinkle with ¼ - ½ cup unsweetened shredded coconut if desired.

I’d also suggesting adding a little dairy-free ice cream on the side for an extra-special treat! I hope you and your family enjoy this delicious cake. Let me know what you think!

Friday, May 29, 2015

Food Allergy Labels Giveaway:Name Bubbles

Food Allergy Awareness Month is almost over, but that doesn't mean we can't continue to spread awareness of food allergies and helpful food allergy related products. Name Bubbles is one of those products!

In honor of Food Allergy Awareness Month, Name Bubbles offered to let us try out some of their personalized, waterproof and allergy focused labels.  They're also offering a set of 40 allergy labels to one lucky giveaway winner!! Just enter at the end of this post.

If you have a child in school or daycare, like I do, you know that you have to label EVERYTHING. In the past, I've used waterproof "write-on" labels for all of Little Guy's lunch containers and lunch box. But I have to say, writing everything on the label got a little tedious.

You can easily personalize Name Bubbles labels with any information you'd like. Since little guy has so many allergies, I decided to keep it basic and write "Multiple Severe Food Allergies". Also, since he's in daycare right now, different people warm up his lunch every day. I want those people to know to be aware of cross contact when they're handling his food. So having his lunch clearly labeled makes me feel a little more at ease.

I would suggest getting labels with your child's full name on them. But for the purposes of the blog we listed last name only on this set of labels.
Name Bubbles food allergy labels giveaway

We're using the labels on everything from his safe snack box at school....
Name Bubbles food allergy labels giveaway his lunch box (early morning photo of his pizza day lunch - pizza day is every Thursday at his school!)....

Name Bubbles food allergy labels giveaway his lunch containers (Applegate sausage and veggies pictured here, plus banana bread on the side)....
Name Bubbles food allergy labels giveaway

...and his drinks - all ready for Tball!
Name Bubbles food allergy labels giveaway

Name Bubbles has partnered with FARE for a second year in a row, as it’s a cause near and dear to CEO & Founder, Michelle Brandriss’ heart. They donate 20% of their allergy product purchases back to FARE all year long, and they are doing a special #FoodAllergyMonth campaign on their social media channels.

Name Bubbles kindly offered us personalized labels to review for this post. 

Enter this giveaway now to get 40 of your own personalized allergy labels!

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