Food for Thought
Inclusive Food for All Appetites
Living with food allergies can be a burden, but it doesn’t always have to be. Eating out, birthday parties, and school lunches are just a little more tricky and only require some extra knowledge and preparedness.
If you're not directly affected by allergies at home, your kids might be at school. While sharing may be caring, it's not in this instance. Teach your kids how to support their friends with food allergies by holding back from sharing. Make sure they're aware that food allergies are much more intense than a food intolerance and can send their friend to the hospital. The top allergies to be aware of are cow's milk, peanuts, soy, egg, wheat, tree nuts, shellfish, and fish.
With many allergy-friendly foods and snacks on the market, make sure you - and your kids- know how to read labels. Sometimes it’s hard to catch the finer print of what the item “contains” or “may contain.” One sneaky ingredient is casein. If an allergen is milk, be sure this isn’t in the ingredient list. Allergens can be hidden in keywords like: "natural flavors," "coloring," "spices," or “other additives" too. Even if you’re familiar with a product you’ve bought for a long time, always check the label! Formulas and ingredients can change over time.
Making meals and snacks at home lets you control exactly what’s going into the food you’re eating. We cooked up a few ideas to help you pack a lunchbox full of allergy-free goodness, all in one place! Complete with coconut yogurt & cacao nibs for those rare chocolate allergies!
Not Peanut Butter & Jelly Squares
1 cup sunbutter
2 eggs (or sub eggs, directions below)
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup gluten free oats
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup jelly
1/4 cup sunbutter
1/4 cup gluten free oats
2 tablespoons brown sugar
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Mix the sunbutter, eggs, sugar, and vanilla. Stir in baking powder, salt, and oats.
- Grease an 8 x 8 baking dish. Pour in mixture and press down evenly. Bake for 15 minutes.
- While this bakes, mix together the topping ingredients.
- Spread jelly evenly over the base and sprinkle with topping. Bake for 10 minutes.
- Let cool at least 10 minutes before cutting.
*Store in an airtight container for up to 4 daysFor an egg free version, mix 2 tablespoons ground flaxseed meal with 4 tablespoons of water. Mix together, and let sit for 15 minutes to thicken.
15 ounces can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
4 cups cauliflower florets
1 - 1 ¼ cups unsweetened nut, coconut, or oat milk
1 tablespoon olive oil
½ onion, diced
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
Salt, to taste
- Bring a pot of water to a boil.
- Boil cauliflower for 15-20 minutes until soft.
- Heat olive oil in a sauté pan over medium. Add onions and cook 3-4 minutes until soft.
- In a food processor, combine cooked cauliflower, beans, milk, onions, lemon juice, and nutritional yeast. Blend until creamy. Add more milk as needed for desired consistency. Add salt to taste.
- Serve with your favorite gluten free pasta!
- Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
* Makes about 4 cups sauce.
Gluten Free Crispy Crackers
1 egg (or sub eggs, directions below)
¼ teaspoon salt
1 ¾ cup almond flour
*optional 1 cup grated cheese
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Whisk together the egg, salt, & pepper. Add cheese if using.
- Add the almond flour and mix.
- Place the dough between two pieces of parchment paper and roll the dough out to about 1/8" thickness.
- Use cookie cutters to cut into shapes.
- Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray and bake for 14 - 16 minutes.
- Store in an airtight container.
For an egg free version, mix 1 tablespoons ground flaxseed meal with 2 tablespoons of water. Mix together, and let sit for 15 minutes to thicken.