Posts Tagged ‘allergies’

Food Allergies and Halloween

Monday, October 31st, 2016

Navigating food allergies on halloweenAs many as 1 in 13 children in the United States are affected by allergies so the Halloween night of fun for most can turn into something quite serious for others. Even if you do not have people with allergies in your home there are things you can do to make the Halloween experience more accommodating for everyone who might come to your door. It takes little effort on your part but helps all kids enjoy the holiday to its fullest.

Consider joining the Teal Pumpkin Project. You can print a sticker from their website or paint a pumpkin teal to let families with allergies know your home has a treat for them too that won’t lead to any tricky allergies. Think bubbles, stickers, glow sticks, crafts, pencils, kazoos, coins, and more! If you’re unsure what non-food items include wheat, check out these ideas for teal-friendly ideas for treats.

Add your address to the crowd-sourced map of allergy-friendly places so local families know you are available. Of course you can still have your bucket of candy to give out if you’d like. Make sure you keep them separate. You can take a step further by using a scoop, gloved hand, and wash your hands frequently.

If you’re really motivated, carefully choose candy that is less likely to have common irritants like nuts. Candy that contains fewer common irritants include basic Tootsie Rolls, Smarties, Skittles, Starbursts, Dum-Dums and others. Stick with the name-brand products and even keep the bags in case someone needs to verify their safety. Some children may still be allergic to these, but by providing them instead of products that may contain nuts, more kids may be able to participate in the candy part of the holiday.

Here’s to a festive Happy Halloween to us all!

Lynette is a mom of three children from 6 months to age four. She has cloth diapered all three since birth and enjoys all things eco-friendly and mindful living

Tasty Tuesday: Roasting Seeds and Nuts

Tuesday, May 7th, 2013

A Mom’s Milk Boutique Top Fan recently asked me what method I use for roasting seeds. This Top Fan has a little girl with various allergies which requires her to carefully read ALL food labels as well as make many foods at home from scratch. She thought her daughter might enjoy snacking on sunflower seeds and was wondering how to roast them herself. It’s actually quite simple and I am happy to share the method I prefer.

There are a few methods, although as usual I opt for the quickest and easiest route. I am in my kitchen A LOT and like to expedite the food prep process when/where I can. Plus any time I can get away with doing something on the stove top versus in the oven makes this Arizona home cooler and therefore happier! 🙂

First a few quick notes on seeds and nuts:

I buy all my seeds and nuts raw. Raw works best for many of the ways I use seeds and nuts. However for snacking, roasted seeds or nuts definitely have more flavor as well as an extra crunch to them. Rather than purchase both raw and roasted, it’s easier (and generally cheaper) if I just buy all raw and roast them as desired. Additionally I buy all seeds and nuts pre-shelled, because it’s a ton of work (and a bit of a mess) to shell them yourself in large quantities. The only exception is pistachios. The pre-shelled ones are outrageously expensive. Plus they are easy enough to shell and are consumed primarily in small snack-sized quantities.

If I am roasting seeds or nuts to add to a salad or other type of dish, I just do a quick dry roasting on the stove top. I simply heat a pan on medium heat, pour the desired amount of nuts/seeds in, and shake them around the pan for a few minutes. I don’t use any oil, salt, or other spices. You have to watch them super carefully because they seemingly go from being perfectly roasted to burnt in a matter of seconds.

If we are going to snack on the seeds/nuts, I like to roast them in oil and salt on the stove. I cover the bottom of the pan with a very small amount of oil. Really any oil will work, so just use what ever your family prefers. We prefer olive oil or coconut oil. Heat the oil on medium. When oil is heated, add the desired amount of seeds/nuts. You want them to be about single layer in the pan. Shake them around from time to time while roasting. They will only take about 5 minutes so be sure to watch them carefully and shake often. They burn very quickly so avoid walking away from the stove or getting distracted (yeah, easier said than done when you have kids, right?). Remove seeds/nuts from pan and allow to cool completely before enjoying.

That’s it! I love it when a healthy snack is that easy and quick to prepare. You can even mix roasted nuts and seeds with some dried fruit for a healthy homemade trail mix. Or you can get super creative with flavors by experimenting with spices. For example these spicy pecans are sweet with a nice little kick to them!