Allergy friendly snack list

As a serial room mom and having kids with allergies, I am constantly trying to figure out the parameters of the approved snack list at school. After chatting with the school nurse I found that each school does their own thing. So, in an effort to assist all parents with ideas for providing snacks for school parties, I put together this list (which I will update as I find new options).

Some are more affordable than others and some can even be found at Costco or on amazon in bulk. I will note these options where I can to make it easier and more affordable when buying snacks for 20-30 kids.

The options I am listing are gluten, dairy, egg yolk and peanut free. They also happen to be dye free and missing high fructose corn syrup (since those are personal no-no’s for us). Please always double check packaging as manufacturers change ingredients, factories and processes on a regular basis.

Aldi’s has a liveGfree line that includes:
Snickerdoodle soft baked cookies
Double chocolate brownie soft baked cookies
Gluten free pretzel sticks
Chewy bars in: berry, cocoa and caramel apple
Vanilla and chocolate stuffed cookies (look like oreos)

Boxed Raisins
Boxed Craisins
Mini marshmallows
Enjoy life chocolate chips
(Dr.) Lucy’s cookies (all flavors except peanut butter)
Fruit by the Foot (Costco)
Ruby Rockets (non) yogurt blend
Boom chika pop (Costco)
Deep river chips
Cave Man bars (Costco)
Home free cookies (all varieties except peanut butter)
Kirkland organic applesauce (Costco)
Jack Links beef sticks (Costco)
Veggie Sticks
Lovey Candy Co Licorice (Costco)
Trader Joe’s Fruit Bars
Joe Joe’s gluten free chocolate/vanilla cremes (Trader Joe’s)
Joe Joe’s gluten free peppermint cremes (Trader Joe’s) ~ Seasonal
Yum earth organics flavored lollipops
Trader Joe’s Organic Pops Suckers

Fresh fruit
Fresh Vegetables
Tostitos tortilla chips & salsa
Corn chex
Cheerios (original, cinnamon, apple)

This is a list that is sure to grow. These are great lunch box items also.
Enjoy! And allergy on.

Cruising with food allergies

To travel or not to travel?
This is a common question.

Newly diagnosed people may be fearful of trying it out. I would encourage you to be prepared, take snacks and go. Celiacs and those with varying food allergies should experience life, see the world and travel too. My motto is always “celiacs need sunshine” and that doesn’t often happen in the midwest in January.

There are plenty of travel friendly foods that you can pack your suitcase with, just in case. Of course, the fall back is always salad. No, it may not be ideal but it will be sustenance. I can reference plenty of travels I have had that have pleasantly surprised me with not just good but great eats and I have had those that were emotionally and tastefully upsetting. But traveling is worth the chance and in the end you will not starve.

From the overly abundant oceanside of Seattle with fresh and tasteful options for those with allergies to the hills of Tennessee where everything is breaded and fried, I still managed to eat.

You do have to be cautious, be prepared and use cool apps like “Find me GF” as a source of reference (please note, all restaurants listed are not necessarily gluten free). But with proper planning and a whole lot of communication, you will get to experience something new and feel even more accomplished because of the allergies.

Recently, I took my twelfth cruise. I have had varying experiences on ships as this travel seems to be among the most challenging, due to the confinement and lack of resources outside the norm. I must say Norwegian was not my favorite. They were equipped with gluten free options but frankly, unwilling to get creative. On my first day I located a Sous chef that was willing to make fresh and tasty waffles for the whole family. Sadly, thereafter he was told not to make special arrangements for us and sent us to the dining room. There they were unwilling to make anything from scratch.

Alas, I saw more of the world but I ate eggs and bacon every day. Dinners were better as we took the specialty dining option and paid up to try specialty restaurants where they took good care of me but general dining, as well as room service was a disappointment. For the record, my trips on NCL, Regent, and Holland America fared better in the dining department. Six food allergies is a lot to plan and prepare for. But with the creative culinary expertise they have on ships, it seems they would have been far more accommodating.

Regardless of the degree of culinary satisfaction, I encourage everyone to travel. Occasionally you will be overwhelmed with the warm, understanding expertise of a chef that considers it an honor to prepare something with a challenge and you will be delighted you stepped out of that comfort zone and tried something new.