Tag Archives: Food Allergies at School

Mrs. W and Udi’s to the Gluten-Free Rescue

Gluten-Free Cinnamon Rolls from Udi's

On Friday my gluten-free kid (GFK) came home to report that he was being rewarded for good school behavior with a lunch dessert  with his teacher and a few other class mates.  I was thrilled and not surprised because he is super sweet and a really great kid.  So, I was filled with pride and joy until I thought about all of the details that were going to go into this treat.  I immediately emailed his teacher to suggest some things that might work for the GFK and that his friends would enjoy too.  My fear was that she might show up with a gluten filled chocolate cake or a yummy treat from Dairy Queen and that my GFK would feel left out and sad that he couldn’t enjoy it.  Well, I didn’t hear back from her until Monday morning and I obviously didn’t give her enough credit.

Since I hadn’t heard from her, I ended up sending supplies for a gluten-free, dairy free root beer float only to read an email from Mrs. W that informed me she had actually bought SAFE gluten-free cinnamon rolls from Udi’s!  Now, why didn’t I think of that?  Can you feel my gratitude in this post?  My gratitude for her “really getting it?”  I love her!  And, I love Udi’s for having tasty treats that are well labeled for those who don’t live with dietary restrictions.  And, I love Udi’s for being available in our local grocery stores so they are easy to find.  So, thank you again Mrs. W for being so caring and for taking such good care of my GFK!

The GFK and his friends really scored yesterday because his super cool teacher allowed them to enjoy gluten-free cinnamon rolls AND safe root beer floats.  And, I learned to let go just a little bit.  I can’t always be there for every food related thing for the GFK but I am surrounded by some great people who do listen to all of my educating on the gluten-free and food allergy lifestyle.  Many of these very special people are appreciated more than they can understand and I wanted to take a moment again to say THANK YOU!

Tell me about the special people in your life who really get it when it comes to living gluten-free or with food allergies.

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Green Eggs and Ham Day for Food Allergic Kids

Jello Green Eggs

Today is Green Eggs and Ham day at my son’s pre-school.  The kids have been studying rhyming and reading Dr. Suess’ beloved book with the same title.  To finish off the unit, they will be eating brunch for lunch today and actual green scrambled eggs and ham will be served.

To most parents, this sounds like a fun adventure but to those of you who have a food allergic child, this sounds like a disaster!  Six years ago, when my oldest was in this same pre-school class I came up with a fun alternative to green eggs and ham that turned out to be quite a hit!  Green Jello eggs was my answer.  So, this morning I whipped up another batch of safe green Jello eggs and sent my youngest off to enjoy the celebration.

If you have a food allergic child or just want a fun way to talk about Green Eggs and Ham, I suggest you give these a try!

Gluten-Free Dairy Free Pumpkin Donuts

 

Gluten-Free, Dairy Free Pumpkin Doughnuts

With Thanksgiving only a week away, I have pumpkin pie spices and baked goods on my mind so when I learned that there was a birthday party in my 4 year-old’s pre-school class that I would need to supply a safe treat for I got excited.  An excuse to come up with another “safe” treat.  Even though my 4 year-old does eat gluten, I have made it a rule to only bake “safe” treats in our home that the Gluten-Free Kid (GFK) can enjoy as well.

Being a busy mom to three kiddos didn’t leave me a lot of time so I looked to my good friend Betty Crocker for some quick inspiration.  I whipped up a box of Betty Crocker’s Gluten-Free Yellow Cake Mix with a cup of pumpkin and a dash of pumpkin pie spice.  Then, instead of my usual cupcakes I baked these tasty morsels in my donut pan and we got sweet success!  Gluten-Free, dairy free pumpkin cake donuts, yummy!  The kids ate them plain for dessert last night and today I frosted one and decorated it with sprinkles so it looks like a typical bakery cake doughnut the other kids will be having at pre-school.

 

Spooky Gluten-Free Halloween Popcorn Hands

 

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Spooky Gluten-Free Popcorn Hands

Each Halloween I make the same gluten-free, dairy free spooky treat for my kids to take to pre-school as a snack.  It’s super easy, pretty healthy, really fun and filled with gluten-free, dairy free and nut free yummy treats.  These are always a big hit with the pre-school crowd and I look forward to making them each year.  Sadly, this is my last year with a pre-schooler so we will see if any of my older kids request them next year.  If not, I may have to come up with an adult version for our annual Halloween party!

 

Ingredients:

Food prep gloves – found mine at Wal-Mart

Bag of Candy Corn (Brachs is dairy free and gluten-free)

Popcorn (no butter for dairy free version)

Ribbon to tie ends together

BLING!

Directions:  Stuff each glove with 5 candy corn (one in each finger).  Then stuff popcorn into each finger and fill the gloves out until they look like a spooky hand.  Tie ends together with a festive ribbon.  Add some bling or a spider ring if you desire.  Watch the faces on your kiddos when they see these treats complete, it’s priceless.

 

 

Gluten-Free Halloween Ghosts

Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Ghosts

Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Ghosts

For any of you who follow my blog, you know that I am always trying to find a way to make “safe” foods fun for my three kids.  So, last night I came up with a gluten-free, dairy-free ghost for them to take to school today.  I used our new favorite Betty Crocker Gluten-Free Yellow Cake Mix and baked these ghouls up in Reynolds Baked For You Cups Ghost version.  I added some dairy-free Pillsbury cream cheese frosting, some vegan chocolate chips for eyes and used fruit roll ups or sprinkles for the rest of the features.  They turned out super cute!

Our Favorites: Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Vegan Cheese

 

Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Cheese

Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Cheese

I have always been a huge cheese lover!  I remember as a kid, one of my aunts always had string cheese and I would eat it up like it was my last meal and it always made me happy.  Then I married a cheese lover.  Prior to food allergies in our family, we would sit around in the evening with cheese, crackers, bread, fruit and wine and it was heavenly.  That all changed in the year 2000 when our first child, the GFK was born and diagnosed with several food allergies and the main one being DAIRY!  

 

We gave up cheese for a while because all of the cheeses I found had casein and soy and the GFK couldn’t eat any of it with his food allergies.  He eventually outgrew his soy allergy and I found a pretty good cheese.  He loves the Vegan Gourmet Mozzarella from Follow Your Heart.  The GFK eats it sliced with GF crackers in his school lunch, he shreds it and melts it on tortilla chips for nachos and he loves it most of all on GF pizza crusts.  It melts pretty well under the broiler and looks like a normal pizza.

Vegan Gourmet also makes a cheddar and a jack cheese version that the GFK doesn’t care for.  It’s mozzarella all the way for my kid!  But, I would suggest you give those a try as well.

So, tell me.  What is your favorite gluten-free, dairy-free cheese and how do you like it?

A&W Root Beer Floats Made Gluten-Free and Dairy-Free

 

Root Beer Floats can be made gluten-free and dairy-free

Root Beer Floats can be made gluten-free and dairy-free

I have always assumed that all Root Beer had gluten in it. It just looked like it would with the coloring and the frothy foam.  When my GFK needed it once for Root Beer Floats at school, I ran to the nearest Whole Foods and bought Virgil’s gluten-free Root Beer.  It tasted a lot like licorice and my son didn’t care for it.  So, Root Beer was out of our life and we were both o.k. with it.  

 

Until last week.  Root Beer Floats are on the menu for an end of the year party for his 3rd grade class.  Making a trip out to Whole Foods was on my to-do list but with our hectic schedule I was having a hard time making it out there.  Then, it hit me.  I have never checked with A&W to see if A&W Root Beer had gluten in it.  So, I shot off a quick email and heard back within hours.  I am happy to report that A&W Root Beer is gluten-free!  Seems like a simple thing to those who don’t need to worry about every single ingredient they ingest.  But, for me, this makes life so much easier.  So, I grabbed a 12 pack at the closest grocery store and the GFK and I did a test to be sure he didn’t react to it before sending him to school today with his A&W Root Beer and his Rice Dream Vanilla Ice Cream.  

One can of A&W Root Beer has 45 grams of sugar and contains high fructose corn syrup.  I feed my family very healthy so this new find won’t be a regular thing around here but for today, my 9 year-old GFK can fit in with his classmates and have a great time with his gluten-free, dairy-free Root Beer Float.  I can’t wait to pick him up this afternoon to hear all about it.

Below is the response I got from A&W.  I am happy to support companies that know about dietary issues and can get me the answer I need quickly.  I wish A&W would print “gluten-free” on the cans so others can easily identify this as a safe beverage.

May 11, 2009

Dear Patty:

Thank you for contacting us about the presence of gluten in our products. Consumer inquiries such as this are appreciated because they provide valuable feedback about our brands.

Gluten is a mixture of complex proteins found in the grain of wheat, barley, oats, rye, rice, corn, and other grains.   Many soft drinks, including those produced by our Company contain high fructose corn syrup which is derived from corn and which may contain very small amounts of corn gluten.  According to the Celiac Sprue Association, corn gluten is not of concern to people who have Celiac Sprue disease.

We encourage consumers with more specific questions about Celiac Sprue to contact the Celiac Sprue Association at 402-558-0600 or your health care provider.

 We appreciate your inquiry and hope you will continue to enjoy our soft drink brands.  

Sincerely,

 

Consumer Relations