You say Fruit Loop necklace… I say TropicO’s necklace!

It was a very happy day when I met the “freedom foods” rep at the gluten free expo in Dallas last year! That is when this little snack craft became a reality.

These are actually lower in sugar compared to fruit loops and non gmo, all natural – to boot! The kids LOVED their cereal necklaces! Mine was tasty too 🙂

From “freedom foods” website:
From “freedom foods” website:

TropicO’s

TropicO’s are delicious fruit flavoured cereal rings of rice, corn and wholegrain sorghum. We only use natural ingredients like sweet potato extract and gardenia flower extract to add colours naturally to our TropicO’s.

FRUCTOSE FREE!
Free from gluten, wheat, nuts, dairy, sesame, soy, and eggs
Made with all natural colours and flavours
Low in salt
Good source of fibre
Preservative free

This will not work for those with corn allergy.

P.s. This was not a free sample review thingy..I did this review independent of free products. We just love snack crafts 🙂

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Gluten and Allergen Free Expo attended! More fun snacks coming down the pipe!

A friend forwarded me an email from Market Street Grocery  Store this past week. It contained a gold mine for  people like us! This email contained news of an Expo just for gluten free and allergen free goodies!!! So, another friend caught wind also of this glorious event and off we went. She was actually a veteran and knew half the people there because she had worked the event for her company a couple of years ago. Lucky her!

Well… I wondered if it would be worth the ticket price. I was sooooo skeptical. However; I was quickly won over and the swag bag and samples to take home were very impressive. The joy of speaking to so many vendors who actually had heard of a sesame allergy (Miss Watermelon’s worst one)….wow. I still pumped them for info because it was feeling to good to be true! And they took it in stride of course. I landed some great new finds that will be making our lives easier and yummier and of course will be safe. I can’t wait to make some allergy friendly fun snacks and share them here! Stay tuned!!

The expo is traveling to several cities. Check it out if you have the opportunity! http://gfafexpo.com/

Sometimes its Food Fun Time/ Sometimes its Epi know how time.

I just had to share a post from another allergy blog that I follow. She shares the nuts and bolts and talked with an allergist about the recent tragic deaths that occurred in children with food allergies.

http://www.gratefulfoodie.com/allergic-reations-use-epi-first-ask-questions-later/

Exhibit A: Fruit Kabobs!

Here it is. The first snack craft of the fall.

Or,
this could be the first alternative you have found to offer for your child with food allergies when everyone else is having shortcake on a stick or something non allergy friendly.

That is after all how I found myself thinking up this yummy Snaaaaaack Craaaaaaft.

Some shout snack craft like one on the top of the Himalayas with pride and with a flourish!

Some whisper it like revealing an exciting secret.

And then we have what I recall as a lovely nasal whine reminiscent of those from Cranston, Rhode Island. My local Rhode Island friends would knowingly say – ” that is the CRaaaaaaaaNNston whiiiine” . Some may not think it lovely. But I love all you Rhode Island types and wicked awesome accents. Heh, heh.

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Okay, so not EVERY camp/school should hand their wee ones pointy stick objects….so – take it down a notch if we must and do this on a disposable straw.

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You might just save someone’s eye and your job. “Common sense” must rule over our “snack crafts” as much as one can put those two together in a sentence. ‘Cause usually they are there just for fun.

I could do that step by step picture blog here and then the voila one like you see on Pinterest all the time. We don’t really have time for that though, right?! because we have SNAAAAAAACK CRAAAAAAFTS to make !

Okay here is the skinny on cool developmental things to do with this craft. I’m a speech pathologist, and I can’t help but look at most crafts as an enriching opportunity for language or other developmental nuggets…(we are always keeping mind the ages of the kabob makers and connoisseurs)

Language: labeling, following directions, requesting
Fine Motor: I’m not an occupational therapist so I don’t recall all the cool lingo and grasp; ( chime in OT friends!!) however this uses the little muscles in fingers and hands and could be great for concentration! They could wash and help prepare the fruits

    this can be a long or short

snaaaaack craaaaft.
General: sequencing, patterns ( this is great for early cognitive and reading skills); amp it up with one to one correspondence to copy a picture of alternating fruit…and you’ve also hit on some early math sparks.
PLUS
This is healthy and it is real food!!!

Recipe:
Fruit ( shown are bananas and strawberries)
Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips ( microwaved and stirred and drizzled) you have to use this brand if you want it to be dairy,sesame,gluten and nut free etc
Kabob sticks ( older less sword fighting snackers)or straws ( for sword fighting snackers like my little dude)

Tips: fruit allergies can happen-so know your allergic diners well and ask “Mama” or “Papa”  a week  in advance and she will know you are an Amazing Wicked Awesome Snaaaaaaack Craaaaaaft Maven. You can do it!

And now here is the question…. What  recipe/snack craft is before you that you are scratching your head about? Chime in with a comment /question and I’ll help if I can!

Kids with food allergies can have fun with food too?!

YES! While my eldest child will not complain to receive some of her favorite treats in lieu of building with pretzels, gummies and frosting…there is something to be said for making a way for her to participate in these fun snack shenanigans!

The goal of this blog is to be a blessing and resource to other moms and caregivers looking to provide allergy friendly and fun snacks for children with food allergies and sensitivities.

Have your kids with allergies been to Mother’s Day Out, Preschool, Camp, VBS?

Have these places ever offered creative snack crafts that your child couldn’t eat?

Have you ever wanted to provide them the same fun and sensory experience the activity provided but in a safer way?

Or maybe you’re a teacher or someone planning these type activities ..is there a way to make if fun, safe and inclusive for everyone?

I have been in both of these situations. It wasn’t until I walked a mile in my “Momma shoes” that started to wonder if my time, research and ideas could be a help to others. My daughter, “Miss Watermelon” began preschool with her food allergies to egg and sesame when she was three. I learned to dread snack crafts!!! I had a learning curve of managing food and life with a non top 8 allergy ( sesame). In addition, I’m admittedly an earth muffin-y mom who wants my kids to know and appreciate real food without tons of sugar, processing, and artificial colors. While that is my lean, ultimately I will send my kiddo with allergy friendly marshmallows when duty calls! All in the name of FUN FOOD FOR ALL(ergies) !

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Meet Miss Watermelon -she is in charge of quality control for allergy friendly snacks and food fun around here.

Allergy friendly staples for Top 8 allergies plus sesame allergy

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I never buy processed snacks for my kids.

I wish that was the case. But when we are on the go or traveling, or going to places where kids are eating a corporate snack..they are a lifesaver.

GREAT TIP – We keep nonperishable allergy friendly snacks around –
Especially our car! Emergencies happen to us and others and it is great if the little people around us have something to keep them fueled and chill while emergencies are being sorted out. We have brought some of these listed below to preschool classrooms and church nurseries with my child’s name on them before; however to reduce risk of cross contamination I have also individually bagged servings for them from the large box items like cereal.

Top 8 free:

EnerG brand bread
Enjoy Life brand products
Rice Chex brand cereal
Freeze dried apple crisps sold at Costco
Clif fruit rope
Fruit Leather strips sold at Costco
Fritos
Cape Cod chips
Juice boxes
Water bottles
Applesauce pouches
Glutino fruit/ cereal type bars
Raisins
Cape Cod Craisins
Fruit cups
Check each box’s ingredients and call manufacturers to verify these are safe for your children- manufacturing practices can change quickly. I guess this is one of those “disclaimer be careful, don’t sue me” kind of statements.

My all time favorite snack for my kiddos is always going to be fruit and veggies, but you know, those don’t keep in the car very long! I confess we have tested that theory out once or twice. Bleh. Car food science lessons culminate quickly in Texas heat.

* We have learned the hard way that brand names matter for our family as every manufacturer treats sesame differently and it can be an undeclared cross contaminant that will mean a serious reaction for us.

Here are some direct links for internet purchase through amazon because some of these allergy friendly foods can be hard to find in many towns. I often purchase through online so I get a larger quantity at a lesser rate. If you click on the cookie link it takes you right to my Amazon!
Enjoy Life Sugar Cookies