Mom Things, School Safe List, Snacking

Safe Snacking Box

Can you believe it?! In just 24 hours the kids will begin their FIRST DAY of the 2018-19 school year. This year we will have a 2nd grader and Kindergartener. They are both so excited. Backpacks are packed, lunch boxes are out – and with all of the excitement comes the hyper organization mode that I go into! It’s meal prep, list making, planner highlighting time!

But first, yesterday we took to our nutfreemomblog insta for some quick pics that that I will share here of us building out the annual nut-free box for Chloe’s classroom. This box ensures that she ALWAYS has a safe snack at school. Our #1 rule is NO EATING SHARED TREATS, unless they have been pre-approved by Mom or Dad. We have been doing this since the end of 4K when a treat was shared (chocolate based) and Chloe had an anaphylactic reaction at school and had to be rushed to the ER in an ambulance.

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Chloe chose an array of safe snacking for her box this year. Treats include:

  • Made Good Mini granola packs – Costco
  • Hostess Ding Dongs – HyVee
  • YumEarth Organic Fruit Snacks – Amazon
  • FreeToBe SunCups – HyVee
  • Annie’s Rice Krispie Treats – HyVee
  • Enjoy Life Chocolate Bar – HyVee

We label the box clearly, talk with the teacher about where to store it, and use it as often as needed. There are pleny of treats, so Chloe enjoys sharing with classmates as needed.

Have a great start to the school year – we are all currently battling head colds, fingers crossed a day of rest and lots of fluids helps us kick this bug!

Target find of the week – $5 for those first + last day pics! It’s chalk so I can use it for both kids tomorrow 🙂

 

Mom Things, Snacking

Nut Free Ice Cream

Today I contacted Breyers, my go-to safe ice cream, regarding the only flavor we allow at our house, Natural Vanilla & Gluten Free flavor.  I called 1-800-931-2826 and spoke with Peter to confirm there was no cross contact risk.

Breyers  Ice Cream Natural Vanilla 48 oz

To summarize, Breyers has strict processes in place to keep common allergens away from non-allergen flavors. There are dedicated, separate lines. If the manufacturing lines are shared at any time, a stringent cleaning process (with sampling) will happen before any new products are created. It will be noted on the carton with “may contain” if the lines are ever shared in the flavor you choose.

If there is no “may contain” statement, then no cross contact is happening on that line of ice cream.

It is true that multiple flavors of ice cream are all made in the same facility. They are on different lines, however.

Gluten Free flavors under-go a specialty cleaning process to certify gluten free status. There is segregation in the facility so these flavors are made on different days (which I LOVE because technically the gluten free flavors, which are all nut free, have the entire building to themselves), with an even deeper cleaning procedure. No information is available about whether or not this is a separate building or shared, or if they can 100% confirm that absolutely no other flavors are being made on another side of the facility. If I could tour this facility, I WOULD! Actually, I’d love that. Since my Dad works in food production, I can sort of picture how this would look, and I’m OK with it.

I hope this helps. Breyers has been the most cooperative and open about sharing this type of information. I’m obsessed with the cleaning process and that is why we only buy the gluten free vanilla. There are other nut-free ice creams for sale, and they are available on the SPOKIN website for you to find where they are.

Mom Things, Snacking, Travel

Those Costco Blueberries…

I’m sure this has happened to you. You get to the grocery store and the produce looks amazing, so you over buy?

Yep. {Raises Hand} Guilty.

Maybe it’s my crazy, creative left brain that just goes nuts with how beautifully displayed everything is {ahem, HyVee + Metcalfes Sentry for sure}. So perfect + colorful.

Generally, we do a good job eating up our produce. Its summer, so eating fresh is absolutely more enticing. This week we purchased jumbo boxes of blueberries, grapes and strawberries for the 4th of July festivities and recipes.

WELL…it was a little overboard.

Strawberries and grapes are gone; however, the blueberries! They were just chilling here in the fridge and the guilt set in {uh-oh, sad panda face}.

We can’t possibly eat all of these + it’s a waste if we don’t do something with them.

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Today we baked with blueberries. First, an old favorite. Blueberry muffins that I have talked about before. Don’t forget Quaker Rolled Oats and Quick Oats are safe for PN/TN allergies.

Dig in there and make em.

Most of the ingredients are pantry items, with the exception of the blueberries and oats, maybe? Feel free to change out the flour to whole wheat flour by King Arthur, made in a nut free facility. Also, Add in an extra 1/4 to 1/2 more blueberries. It wont change the consistency that much!

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Lastly, we did make a new recipe, Blueberry Bread. It was easy to whip up since the ingredients were THE SAME AS THE MUFFINS, sans the oats. I also added a topping before I popped it into the oven….just sprinkle some brown sugar evenly over the entire loaf before baking. It gives it a nice crunchy crust. A twist to this would be to add 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice and zest. Poppy seeds would be amazing too! Here is the recipe. Enjoy the pics.

It’s a gorgeous day, so we’re heading back OUTSIDE!  WOOT! WOOT! Pop over to my IG to see more pics of what we’re up to!  nutfreemomblog

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Mom Things, Travel

Olbrich Botanical Gardens – Madison, WI

June, the beginning of summer in the mid-west and it is always a busy month in our household. It’s usually the last week of school, followed by the beginning of pool season, backyard play times, neighborly hangouts and the one big event I still help plan, Olbrich Garden’s Rhapsody in Bloom! This fundraiser is important since it helps keep the gardens fee for the public to enjoy. Yes, Olbrich is amazing + gorgeous + free!

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What is Olbrich Gardens?! It is a botanical garden that sprawls 16 acres with an array of paths and stone trails to stroll. It is host to the only Thai Pavilion in North America, which was a gift to the University of Wisconsin-Madison from the Thai Government and the Thai Chapter of the Wisconsin Alumni Association. UW-Madison has one of the largest Thai student populations of any U.S. college or university. Olbrich is continuously voted #1 on Trip Advisor for being the #1 attraction in Madison, WI. It overlooks beautiful Lake Monona + is directly across from the new Olbrich Bier Garten.

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Olbrich has brought me peace and happiness on some of my hardest days. It is home to some of my favorite memories of my family; from picnics on the great lawn to the train show + blooming butterflies, Olbrich has been my place to go from reflection to celebration. Over the past 10 years, I have really gotten to know this place and the people that make it so beautiful. It really does take a village to maintain this luscious space, and they work extra hard in June to make sure the gardens are in tip-top shape for this grand reveal of the Rhapsody in Bloom. This event is held anually and is the PEAK of the garden blooming. Breathtaking is probably the most accurate word used to describe its beauty.

This year’s event was held on June 16 (the hottest day of the year so far in WI) and the theme was Ebb & Flow.  It was a water / nautical twist that incorporated mermaids through out the gardens, motorboat races, steel drums, games, themed cocktails & amazing catering from the delicious and well-known Underground Food Collective. The presentation of the food was gorgeous; from the taste to display, Underground nailed it.

While I did not confirm nut-free options for food allergies since my daughter was not attending (its adults only), we did not have nuts in any of the main dishes. There were many gluten free options as well, making this event + catering “allergy friendly” and easy for many to enjoy.

I’m so grateful for Olbrich and this hidden gem we have here in Madison. If you haven’t visited Olbrich yet, put it on your list. Even in winter, the Conservatory is open and helps with those winter blues! What a wonderful event – I’m excited to see what next year’s theme will be!

 

Mom Things, School Safe List, Snacking, Travel

Nut Free Mom Box

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The wait is OVER! Nut Free Mom Box is available now. This is personal. From me to you.

Let me help you reduce the stress for your next family vacation, trip to Disney, Grandma + Grandpa’s house. Wherever you are going, let me help take that “extra snack packing” element off your shoulders. There is already so much to do before traveling, the allergy kit doesn’t have to be something you worry about.

The Nut Free Mom Box is 100% customizable. The pre-packaged box includes the items shown on my etsy shop, but we can make it fit you and your family perfectly.

My daughter has severe nut allergies, and I know first hand the extra steps and anxiety that comes along with traveling to even short distances. You always have to be prepared for the “what if they don’t have a safe snack or meal” – Nut Free Mom Box has you covered.

Order a Nut Free Mom Box