Wednesday, August 29, 2012

S'mores bars, fudgesicles, and a new take on rice crispy treats

Hello friends.  I have to apologize for not being around so much lately.  I am finally unpacked and have my kitchen in order as well as most of the rest of my life, but you see I'm guilty of ignoring this blog, not because of unpacking, but because I was reading again.  Nothing in my life gets done when I pick up a book.

Anyhow, here I am with a few internet finds.  All three of these will have to be modified a bit to fit our lifestyle, but it can be accomplished quite easily.  First up are a new twist on rice crispy treats.  For these I use sunbutter and mixed in a bit of not nuts trail mix just because.

From kumquat I found a recipe for fudgesicles!  On a side note, what is a kumquat?  This is another one that calls for peanut butter.  I used wowbutter this time.  Obviously, make sure you are using dairy free chocolate chips as well.  Oh, and if you don't have/use coconut oil, canola works just the same.

And last, but certainly not least, S'mores bars!  I haven't made these yet, but they have to be great.  I'm  actually looking forward to my stroll through the cereal isle this week.  There are a few substitutions for this recipe as well, but it is super easy.  Dairy free chocolate instead of the regular chips, margarine for butter, and make sure to read your marshmallow bags!  They are not always safe.  

Hope you saw something delicious tonight.  See you in a few days with a homemade treat!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

A few thoughts from me

So quite a while ago, valentines day to be exact, I had a revelation.  We were at gymnastics, and a little boy came in, running enthusiastically toward my daughter with a card and candy.  He was so excited to be able to give a gift to his friends, and my daughter was incredibly happy to receive her first valentine.  I, on the other hand, was sitting on the bench thinking not so nice things like  "Who is this lady letting her kid bring candy into a class that has never involved food?" and  "Why isn't my daughters teacher taking it away?"   I didn't step in, instead I listened to see what my little girl would do.  She turned her big doe eyed gaze upon the teacher and asked if it was safe for her to eat.  The teacher told her to bring the candy to me and let me decide.  That sent my snarky  mind right back into action.  I was thinking, "Great, this teacher let another child give my daughter candy that she won't be able to eat, and now she is sending her over to me so she doesn't have to be the bad guy."  One of my friends was sitting nearby, also listening, and asked me if she was going to be able to have the candy.  I laughed out loud and exclaimed, probably not, clearly still annoyed.  My daughter gets to me, shows me the candy, and it was safe.  Perfectly fine for her to have.  

She ran back, hugged the boy, thanked him profusely and went on enjoying class.  I however, spent the rest of the class thinking I'm a crazy, rude allergy mom jerk.  A quote by Peggy O'Mara came to mind.  

I spent the next few days, wondering how much my attitude had already affected her.  I spent so much time keeping my daughter out of situations like this because I thought I was protecting her.  Now I realize I was just isolating her.  Sure, she was never feeling left out, but I wasn't allowing her to completely live her life.  The reality is, life has just as many disappointments as it does victories.  What really matters is how you decide to view them.  I don't want my daughter to grow up feeling like a victim of her allergies.  I'm sure as she ages there will be some resentment issues, but I'm hoping that by having a positive attitude about everything I can, maybe  she will pick it up too.  

We all know that there are some situations where our kids do get left out or feel different.  You can't really put a positive spin on a four year old not getting a surprise ice cream treat that all the other kids get, and it causes my heart to both ache and burst with pride when she turns down the treats that are so often offered to her at the bank and store.   Not to mention the parties and family get togethers that almost always end in her saying, " I just wish I could eat the same food as everyone else."   Of course I am compassionate, and let her know that I'm sorry that she can't eat all the same things as our family members or friends, but I have also set time aside to make sure she understands that every person on this earth faces challenges.    She knows about diabetes and has even spoken to a child with an insulin pump.  Before I decided to stay home, I worked with disabled adults so she has seen feeding tubes and seems to understand that we are all the same in that everyone has to face their own challenges. 

We tell her that if she can dream something, then she can do it.  We say that there is no reason to let her food allergies hold her back.  I taught her at a very early age how to politely refuse food and advocate for her needs.  Now I get to watch her flourish.  Sometimes she dreams up things that make me nervous, but I try my best to quiet that voice in my head and let her live her dreams.  I can't wait to see where the journey of life takes her.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Lunch Box Ideas

I finally got my internet hooked up last night!  I missed you so much computer.  I noticed this morning that a lot of moms are looking for school lunch ideas for their kids.  My daughter is still to young for school, but we have been eating out of a cooler quite a bit lately, so here are some of the meals I have been packing.

  1. Make a hot dog octopus, place fresh fruit on a swizzle stick for kebabs, pretzels, and an enjoy life chocolate cookie.
  2. My daughter really loves pancake sandwiches.  Take two pancakes, and put some sunbutter and/or jam in between.  With that she has grapes and carrot sticks.
  3.  Another option is packing sunbutter in a silicone cupcake liner, along with crackers, fresh veggies, and your choice of soy or coconut yogurt.  Pack a bit of homemade granola to sprinkle on top for a sundae.
  4. How about an avacado, chickpea wrap.  I put a drained can of chickpeas in the food processor along with an avacado, a bit of lemon juice, and a couple shakes of cumin.  It is seriously my favorite.  Anyways, spread it onto a tortilla, wrap, and enjoy.  I packed strawberries, cucumbers, and pretzels with that.
  5. Bagel with tofutti better than cream cheese, raisins, enjoy life not nuts, fruit leather, and celery
  6. Sunbutter banana and honey sandwich,  mandarin oranges, and chips
  7. baked chicken breast cut into cubes, jello, baby carrots, and fresh strawberries
  8. Finally, make your own lunchable.  Pack safe crackers, whatever meat you choose (john morell has safe bologna that you can cut to size) and daiya cheese to sprinkle on top.  Send a soy or coconut yogurt along with a few sprinkles to make it special
Do you have to pack snacks as well?  Here are the ones I packed.

  1. Banana bread made in muffin tins
  2. Any dry cereal you choose.  My daughter LOVES cookie crisp and I won't let her have it for breakfast, so this was our compromise.
  3. Enjoy life, sunbutter or coco loco bar, and a banana
  4. strawberry, grape, and pear fruit kebabs
  5. crackers topped with tofutti better than cream cheese with a bit of sugar and cinnamon mixed in, and a handful of raisins.
  6. Teddy grahams
  7. and finally, brothers all natural freeze dried fruit is not too expensive and is already individually packaged, so all you have to do is throw them in.  

One other product that I have talked about on here before, is the Go Picnic lunch box.  It comes with crackers, sunbutter, enjoy life cookie, enjoy life not nuts, and fruit chews.  It's great if you are in a jam, or heading out for a field trip, but at $5 plus a box, I wouldn't recommend it as an everyday kind of meal.  Hope this helps you out a bit.  Oh! one more thing.  When my daughter was in day care, they let me send in boxes of Ian's chicken nuggets, corn dogs, and fish sticks.  They were kept in the freezer there, and then the teacher would microwave them for her right before lunch.  That is another easy option if the school is willing. Hope  you all have a great week!