Monday, September 28, 2009

Trick or Treat

Halloween is approaching all too quickly. I still feel like I have so much to do in preparation for the big event. But mostly it's just picking up a few more items. As mentioned previously, Halloween is the nightmare of all holidays for my boys and their allergies. But I think I've worked hard enough to make the holiday memorable AND enjoyable. I would like to say tantrum free too, but that's asking WAY too much of my 2 1/2 year old.

I've almost completely finished gathering contents for the boys' Halloween bags. While at my parents' home this past week, I counted up exactly how many visits I needed to make before Halloween night, to drop off treats and little gift bags for neighbors, to give my kids when we stop by in costume. There will be 15 allergy friendly stops. I have purchased two Halloween bags for each boy, one for them to put contents in from homes where we know the people, and one for the homes where we don't know the people. I'm hoping this will make taking away dangerous candy much easier. And you never know, perhaps they'll get some candy from strangers that they will be able to eat. We'll wait and see.

Now for the contents... As previously mentioned, the boys are dressing up as Marvel Superheroes, so I tried to keep to that theme with their gift bags and treats. Of course it won't work with everything. It definitely helped me narrow down choices at the Dollar Store, and I'm sure they'll enjoy everything.

Owen is really into stickers right now, so I was able to find these. They should be a hit! Owen should also like this little puzzle cube, especially since he is going to be Iron Man.
Both boys will be able to receive a Frisbee. Even if Adam only uses his as a teether, he'll like it. (The poor little guy is cutting 4 molars right now!)
I'm guessing this little toy will be a HUGE hit with Owen. A paddle AND ball!
Owen has not been introduced to water guns yet, so this will be a fun bath time activity.
Owen enjoys puzzles, and is really starting to try to figure them out. I was excited to find one!
Both boys will receive a sand/clay mold.
Let's not forget cars! One for each car obsessed little boy! (Adam is being the Hulk)
This is Jason's favorite find. The boys love superheroes but have no idea who they are or what they're about, except for knowing their names. Although, Owen does imitate the Hulk quite well. I have no idea where he learned that. Anyways, all the movies we've seen would definitely be too scary for them to watch. We don't have TV and comics are too advanced. But at the Dollar Store of all places I was able to find superhero board books! The boys will LOVE them, especially Owen.
Now for the treats:
I found bubble gum for Owen. He has tried our gum before and didn't like the flavor but always asks to chew gum like Mommy and Daddy. I'm guessing he'll like these flavors.I'm not a fan of these, but allergy AND age friendly candy is hard to find. So I caved and bought Sugar Candy Sticks. Depending on how hard these are, Adam may even be able to have some.Owen LOVES fruit snacks. I found these at Walmart. They are sure to be a hit. Unfortunately Adam can NOT have these though because of the fruit juices in them.Lastly, I ordered dairy free, gluten free, nut free, egg free chocolates! They were quite expensive (About $15 for 22 bite size pieces, once shipping was added to the order), but I'm sure they will be worth it. Both Adam and Owen can enjoy them too! You can find them at Amanda's Own Confections.

I still have yet to pick up a few other items including Skittles for Owen. Willy Wonka candy is safe for both kids too, but mostly hard or sour candy that I'm guessing Owen won't like. I might pick up some Smarties, because both boys can have them. Then I'll make some popcorn bags and possibly homemade candy corn too.

This may seem like a lot, but remember I have to have things ready to trade for the candy that the boys can't have. The cost of Halloween is definitely going to be higher than what it would be for a typical family of four, but I really don't care about that anymore. It's far more important that the boys are able to participate in the holiday traditions like everyone else, even if their Halloween is a little different. Speaking of different-the Great Pumpkin gifts are still being decided, but will be announced soon. I can't wait to have fun with the boys Halloween night!

When In Doubt... Add Chocolate Chips

I have been trying out lots of new allergy friendly recipes lately-pancakes, cookies, muffins, granola WITHOUT coconut yogurt, (Coconut yogurt costs $2 per individual container.) and much more. Some recipes have gone better than others, BUT I have found that if I add those wonderful chocolate chips that I displayed in the previous post, the product is sure to be a success! Owen is eating like he's never eaten before. I couldn't be happier! Sadly though, we did have one disappointment. As we introduced pumpkin to Adam, it was discovered that Owen is allergic to pumpkin. Adam's trial was successful, which we're excited about, but... I'm going to have to look for some other treats to make for Halloween and Thanksgiving for both Adam and Owen to enjoy.

Good news: I found allergy friendly Halloween sprinkles at Walmart today! I think it's cupcake decorating time!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Pumpkin Cookies

This recipe was taken from I only made a couple alterations. The cookies are very yummy! Just be sure that you store left overs in the freezer. They don't stay fresh long.

2 1/2 cups flour of choice (I used rice flour)
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. baking soda
2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup margarine
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup pumpkin
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
1 1/2 cup dried cranberries (optional)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Combine flour, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Cream together, sugar and margarine, then gradually add and beat in maple syrup, vanilla, and pumpkin puree. Add and beat in flour mix. Add walnuts and/or cranberries if desired.

Drop onto baking sheet and bake 8 minutes.

My alterations
I omitted walnuts and cranberries and added 1 cup non-dairy, non-gluten chocolate chips instead.

Enjoy! Regular flour can be used with this recipe too!

Friday, September 18, 2009


It almost feels like I'm living in Heaven when I find foods that my boys can eat and LOVE all at the same time. This week I stumbled on some GREAT finds!

Who doesn't love Oreo cookies? They are one of my favorites. Unfortunately the boys can not have them... until now! Both have enjoyed eating these treats all week long. Owen is now very proficient at eating all the creme filling out of the cookies, while Adam enjoys the chocolate cookies themselves. I've tasted them myself, and they're not that bad. Of course there's still that gritty rice flour taste, but I'm getting used to that and besides, the boys LOVE them! The same day I stumbled upon the Newman O's, I found these! Gluten free graham crackers. Owen used to eat graham crackers all the time before we realized he was allergic to them. Adam has never had the privilege. All summer long I wished that I could teach my kids to make s'mores, but could never find a cookie. That's not the case anymore! Yeah! Owen LOVES these. Just the boys finished off the package in four days. These graham crackers are much harder than regular graham crackers and do taste different, but they're good and don't crumble nearly half as bad!I've been using this next item for a while now, but wanted to share the excitement. Because of these dairy and gluten free chocolate chips, I have been able to make so many fun treats for the boys to enjoy. Tonight we made pumpkin chocolate chip cookies. They turned out delicious! I am so thankful for this product!
Lastly comes the most exciting purchase of the week-Sunbutter and Peach Preserves. Owen can have peanut butter and jelly, but Adam is allergic to peanuts as well as all berries we have tried. Sunbutter was introduced to me while searching for Halloween treat recipes. It's made of sunflower seeds. Sunflower seed oil is used in making potato chips and tortilla chips, which Adam has had, so I figured it was worth it to try it out. I decided to search the jams and jellies to see if I could find a flavor of jam Adam wouldn't be allergic to. Sure enough I found Peach Preserves. Adam is not allergic to wheat and I was able to find him a store bought loaf of bread without oats, dairy, nuts, etc... as well. While Owen ate his peanut butter and jelly on his special bread, Adam tried his first Sunbutter and Peach Preserve Sandwich. He LOVED it! The kid can down a half a sandwich faster than I can make one. I must admit I'm not a huge fan of Sunbutter, but I guess if you've never had peanut butter, it wouldn't be that bad. Having Sunbutter as a replacement option in recipes that call for peanut butter will open up so many possibilities!
We've definitely had fun with food allergies this week!

Allergy Friendly Thanksgiving Festivities

Here are the final plans for our month long Thanksgiving Celebration. Unfortunately there will be no trip to Virginia. It's so funny, just as we make plans, something or many things always seem to come up. Oh well. We'll still be doing lots of fun things!

Thanksgiving Treats
1. Food Allergy Friendly Pumpkin
2. Allergy Friendly Pumpkin Cookies (same as used in Halloween post)
3. Sweet Turkey Treats with some
4. Thanksgiving Cupcakes

Thanksgiving Activities
1. Charity Donations (Getting rid of ALL the stuff in the house that we don't need!)
2. Football Party & Game
3. Thanksgiving Dinner

Thanksgiving Crafts
1. Thanksgiving Tree
2. Pumpkin Candle
3. Boy Pilgrim Doorknob
4. Cornucopia Paper
5. Finger Print Turkey
6. Thanksgiving Cards
7. Leaf Place
8. Leaf Rubbing Place

My apologies. I could not get links to work again. Who knows why, hopefully the problem will be fixed soon. Meanwhile I'll just label where I get every idea. Hope this helps! We'll definitely be having fun with food allergies in November. Details about food for the football party and Thanksgiving dinner and dessert to come in a later post!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Allergy Friendly Halloween Festivities

Halloween is coming soon and I am FINALLY ready to celebrate the holiday with lots of fun allergy friendly festivities including crafts, treats, activities, and more. All crafts and activities are centered around my 2 1/2 year old Owen. Here are the final plans:

A Halloween Treat a Week

3. Chex Muddy Buddies/Sunbutter Puppy Chow

4. Pumpkin Decorated Chocolate Zucchini Cupcakes (I have to make some adjustments to the recipe.

Halloween Crafts

1. Decorate House

4. Paint Pumpkins (rather than carve)

7. Halloween Cards

9. Decorate Halloween Cupcakes

10. Decorate Halloween Bag

Special Activities

1. Visit to Pumpkin Patch

2. Halloween Movie Night

3. Library Toddler Time Halloween Party

4. Family Halloween Party

5. Halloween Night Trick or Treating

Other Snack Possibilities

Hope you enjoy! Specifics about our Allergy Friendly Halloween Night are coming soon!

For recipes and crafts, click on craft for link. All pictures come from websites where recipes were found.

Note about post: For some reason the links to the crafts don't work. You can find most of the crafts at I believe there may be one craft that I found at Just search under their Halloween or Autumn sections. Sorry about that!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Adam's Allergy Friendly Birthday

Adam's first birthday went amazingly well. Despite his allergies we all had lots of fun! The celebration started off with an allergy friendly breakfast for both of the boys-Adam's favorite cereal: Trix! After a small immediate family morning celebration, preparations for the next day's massive birthday party commenced. Thirty-five guests were expected. Thirty showed up.

My first task-the birthday cake! The recipe for the cake is in my last post. The decorator's icing recipe is Wilton's Buttercream Icing but with rice milk and Fleishman's Unsalted Margarine in place of butter. Everything was egg free, dairy free, gluten free, nut free, and so much more!
Knowing the cake wouldn't be enough for everyone I made cupcakes too, using plastic decorations I found on the Wilton website. If I were to do everything over again I think I would have put more effort into the cupcakes and less into the cake. I'm learning that rice flour cakes are very difficult to bake evenly. Cupcakes always turn out nice though.
Snacks for this party were quite the dilemma. Did we serve all allergy friendly foods, or only some? Would the party be outside if there was good weather or would we be stuck inside? In the end, with a 70% chance of rain forcasted, we decided to go ALL allergy friendly, which turned out to be a HUGE blessing.
For snacks we served plain potato chips, plain tortilla chips, watermelon, cantaloupe, and a bowl full of Kix and Trix. We served bottled water as a drink. There were no complaints about any of it!When the party was over and our guests had left, there was SO MUCH food on the floor. We couldn't get to it fast enough. Adam was picking up leftovers and putting them in his mouth. That's when we learned the importance of serving allergy friendly food at parties! Can't wait for Owen's birthday. I already picked up the pan that I want to use to make mini train shaped cakes! It will be a Thomas the Train birthday party.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Yellow Cake Recipe

Sorry it has taken me so long to post up Adam's birthday cake recipe. Here it is!

This recipe comes from The Kid Friendly Food Allergy Cookbook by Leslie Hammond and Lynne Marie Rominger.

I made a cake and cupcakes using this recipe, but the cupcakes turned out much better than the cake. Like the Banana bread recipe I ended up cooking the cupcakes twice as long. Also like the Banana Bread recipe there is the actual recipe and then alterations.

Cupcake recipe (or regular cake)

3 eggs (or 4.5 tsp egg replacer mixed with 6 TB water)
1 1/2 cups sugar (or 1 1/2 tsp stevia)
2 sticks of butter (or the equivalent of oil or margarine)
3 cups of rice flour
2 tsp baking powder (or 1/2 tsp baking soda mixed with 1 tsp lemon juice)
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup buttermilk (or 1 1/4 cups rice milk mixed with 1 1/2 TB lemon juice)

Bake at 350 degrees. 10-12 minutes for cupcakes or 25 – 35 minutes for cake.