Back to School Snacks for the Awesomely Gluten-Free + More

Bake Sales Are My Bitch, Breakfast, Dairy-Free, Fish-Free, food allergies, Gluten-Free, Kid Fun, Kosher, Soy-Free, Tree Nut-Free

IMG_2042Do you like how I started this off with a positive? I figure if you have kids with any kind of food issues you’re probably freaking out right about now. So I wanted to throw an “awesome” in there, ‘cuz maybe you’ll feel good and confident for a second. Do you? Well.

I hope you do just a little bit, as there are a ton of new, and old, snacks on the market to pack up with your allergic kiddos. I wrote about it before, but I have some new findings, and also, holy crap do you see all these g-fers on the shelves-

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I thought it might be time for some new info.

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First up, my daughter’s new favorite gluten-free oatmeal from Bakery on Main. See how happy she is? A little too happy, if you ask me. I’m also in love with the little gluten-free oatmeal cups from Bob’s Red Mill. I know not everyone who has a wheat problem can tolerate oats, but if you can these start your kiddos morning off right on.

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Next we have a horribly named but completely delicious snack from Wild Zora, the meat and veggie bar. Honestly, when I got the pitch for this gluten-free, grain-free, soy-free, nut-free, MSG-free, and milk-free snack, I laughed. And might have even emailed back, “LOL,” because I’m a 12-year-old. But the PR lady was adamant that if my family tried these meat and veggie bars, we’d like them. Guess what? LOVED THEM. Yes, even the little kids, and even the ones with kale. The BBQ beef bar was my favorite, and my kids loved the Mediterranean Lamb. They are basically beef (or lamb, or turkey) jerky with vegetables that add flavor but not vegetable texture. Super delicious, you guys. We’re hooked. 

 

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For the 8 main allergen crowd, Enjoy Life Eat Freely has just launched mini cookies, which are perfect for a lil’ snack in the lunch box or after school. My son digs the sugar crisps, and my girl is all in on the double chocolate brownie. I just love that they are free of all 8 allergens so most kids can enjoy a sweet treat.

Other than that, we have our go-to allergy friendly snacks with the help of Annie’s gluten-free bunny cookies, Krave beef jerky, popcorn and loads of fruit. It’s enough to make a parent relax for a minute. Hahahahaha. I said “parent” and “relax” in the same sentence.

For those of you who are also gearing up to implement a 504 plan guide, check out the CDF’s 2016 Back-to-School Challenge Campaign to help. And they have a brand new and free Back-to-School and 504 Plan Guide and webinar to help parents through the stress and confusion BTS can be for allergic kids. Check it!

Happy drop-off line!

XO,

GIMB

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Everything I Ate at LA’s Newest Allergy-Friendly Bakery

Dairy-Free, Egg-Free, Fish-Free, Gluten-Free, Holidays, Shellfish-Free, Vegan

IMG_1044.JPGLike so many of us in the world, when I get an invitation to a party, event, trial, whatever, my first impulse is to panic. Yes, even when food is involved because when you’ve got, ahem, issues, you never know if you’ll starve or get sick.

Naturally, a gluten-free and vegan bakery invite would put that particular worry to rest, yes? Yes. But. The next part of the worry that washes over me like the neurotic lady I am is the biggest fear of all—it’s going to taste like pooh. Or be filled with kale. Either/or.

Pomegranate, a gluten-free and vegan bakery and coffee shop on W. 3rd Street in Los Angeles is happily neither of those things (although they do have a pumpkin kale bread that I’m sure my husband will love), and filled with the most amazing desserts. I should know, I tried every one of them.

You see those lil’ beauties above? While the creme brulee is always a fave, the tiramisu KILLED it. Here’s another lil’ sampler—

Super Snacks for Everyone! Brought to You by Direct Eats

Bake Sales Are My Bitch, Dairy-Free, Egg-Free, Fish-Free, food allergies, Gluten-Free, Kid Fun, Peanut Free, Shellfish-Free, Soy-Free, Tree Nut-Free, Vegan

IMG_0965Happy May, everybody! In addition to the blooming flowers, ditching of winter coats and anticipation of summer vacations, May is also the month we talk about food allergies. Hooray for Food Allergy Awareness Month!

Okay, not “hooray” about food allergies, but hooray about spreading some awareness around and talking about how to keep everybody safe and happy this month, and the other 11 months as well. I’ve partnered with Direct Eats, a fab online store that sorts out your groceries as well as beauty items, by allergen. I know, it’s awesome. Their prices are pretty dang good too, which is a bonus when you’re stocking up those cabinets.

Given that it is about time to wrap up school days and kick off road trips and summer camps, it’s the perfect time to talk about snacks. You know, those things that get you through your afternoon slump and what your kids are begging for all the time. If by begging, I mean (car doors opens, seatbelts snap), “Moooommmm! I’m starving!!! I need something in my snack hole RIGHT NOW!!!”

Or maybe that’s just my kids.

Still, if you have a food allergy, or are preparing food for someone with a food allergy, you’re probably already stocked up with your go-tos when the children begin to yell or your stomach starts to rumble. These lists below are designed to expand your repertoire, while also offering 8 main allergen free options in case your peanut allergy is hanging out with a wheat allergy.

While it’s always great to serve naturally allergen-free snacks, life oftentimes requires pre-packaged snacks that do not require refrigeration and can spend an afternoon by the softball field without destroying your snack bag, or survive a care package mailing. (Hint: frozen fruit kebobs do not travel well. Learned that the hard way.) In fact, I would highly recommend providing 8 allergen-free snacks anytime you’re serving a group of kids, or sending it off to a summer camp where many allergic kids may mingle. Don’t panic! It’s really not as overwhelming as you may believe. After all, 2 of the 8 main allergens are fish and shellfish, and let’s just assume we all know neither of those are great ingredients for kid snacks.

So here are two different snacking options, the homemade and the made-for-you. Enjoy!

Super Safe Candies & Cupcakes for the Refined Sugar-Free, Gluten-Free, Soy-Free, Dairy-Free Chocolate Lover

Dairy-Free, Egg-Free, Gluten-Free, Peanut Free, Soy-Free, Tree Nut-Free, Vegan

gluten-free-dairy-free-soy-free-sugar-free-dessertHey guys! I just got back from the Celiac Disease Foundation Conference & Expo and met these super duper people who are full on committed to making delicious foods for those of us who can’t really be free and easy with our breakfast, lunch, dinner or dessert. I know, we’re sad.

Still! I had way too many cookies and good stuff while I was there, and I met this very enthusiastic group of people who were beyond excited to share their cupcakes, chocolate awesomeness and even granola with the likes of us. After tasting, testing and reading the labels I realized it was the perfect product for Bake Sales, cuz’ this stuff is SAFE. For a load of people. Maybe you?

Gluten-Free & Vegan Gefilte Fish for Passover

Dairy-Free, Egg-Free, Fish-Free, Gluten-Free, Holidays, Vegan

gluten-free-vegan-gefilte-fishI’ll be honest. I hate gefilte fish—vegan, gluten-filled, or not. It all began two Passovers ago when I made gluten-free gefilte fish and it spilled all over my brand new car. No, it hasn’t ever smelled right since. So when I saw a recipe for vegan gefilte fish, I thought, “What’s the worst that could happen?”

So I played around with this vegan recipe and made it gluten-free as well, and voila! Completely non-traditional seder food. As someone who does—under non-gefilte fish conditions—prefer to keep it as traditional as possible, I have to say that I would rather eat this vegan, gf version any Passover of the year. Plus, it’s super easy.

Yehuda has been killing it with the gluten-free matzo for awhile now –

gluten-free, vegan passoverSo the gluten-free types have been able to enjoy the season for several years already.

As far as the vegan portion, well, I don’t know what that weird jelly is when you buy gefilte fish, but I’m very happy to not have that at my table tonight. Removing the egg for stick-to-it-ness did not seem to effect the final shape of the GFV gefilte either. Which should look like this before you put them in the pot—

gluten-free-vegan-passoverBut you really do need to watch the clock when you’re cooking, one minute too long and they will fall apart. And since I actually prefer potatoes, parsnips and cauliflower to white fish, well, the vegan’izing of this dish was a-OK with me. Better than OK since I actually ate this version. Now, let’s get on with the hiding of the (gluten-free) matzo!

Happy Pesach!

Here’s how you do it up: