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

Snacking, Travel

Top 5 Summer Snacks

Can you believe it? Summer! YES! It’s right around the corner.

Well, if you live in Wisconsin, you really do not believe it yet – we literally had winter coats out last week when it dipped back down into the low 40s. Seriously. However, SUMMER MUST come eventually and school lets out in just under 3 weeks. The excitement is palpable.

I thought I’d share some of our favorite summer staples, along with links for the giant containers we use for sharing our snacks. Because I know one thing about summer + kids = WE EAT A LOT OF FOOD!

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  1.  Balled Watermelon Sprinkled with Sea Salt: check out my piece on this tasty treat.  We use this Rubbermaid container for sharing. It holds approximately one whole watermelon, depending on the size, you might have some extra watermelon to put in an additional bowl, or snack on immediately.
  2. Edamame: Fancy for “soy beans with sea salt.” We eat Birds Eye Steamfresh edamame frequently as a side with dinner, but it’s also a great snack and can be served warm or cold.  Zip top bags work great for this one – super fast. Just make sure you can compost the pods, or have a place to put them when you’re done.pexels-photo-39803.jpeg
  3. Apples + Smoked Gouda + Rold Gold Pretzel Twists: We like to buy apples in bulk at Target – honeycrisp are tasty and Target’s apples are sweet and small, like my kids. Smoked Gouda can be found anywhere. This treat is easy to take on the go if you slice your apples ahead, squeeze one lemon on to prevent browning too quickly. We like this container for small cheese, pretzels + apple slices to go.
  4. Sunbutter Suncup Sundaes: We have a small stockpile of sunbutter suncups for snacking. Just sprinkle a little Enjoy Life chocolate chips on top and it’s a great snack for in the car or at a friends house. Snack size zip top bags work great – I also like biodegradable spoons for easy travel.sun-flower-blossom-bloom-pollen-541484.jpeg
  5. Summer Snack Plates: Just head to Target (ok, twist my arm, right!?) and find a divided, but melamine or heavy duty plastic (you want to be able to take this outside, too) and load it up with your favorites. Fruits, vegetables, whatever floats your boat. This snack tray usually lasts us a day or two and is nice and easy.  If you’re heading to a BBQ, just wrap it up. Some of these containers come with lids.

As always, these are also nut-free. Just make sure your pretzels are Rold Gold, or confirm the manufacturing facility of the brand you buy. Processed items almost ALWAYS have an allergy statement under the nutritional facts.

We’ll have our favorite summer baked items on here too, like oatmeal banana cookies and blueberry flax muffins. First, we must finalize our summer bucket list!

I hope you have a great start to your week. Our menu board fell off the map this week, we’re working on some major Mother’s Day left overs…..

Have a great day 🙂

Snacking

Watermelon & Himalayan Pink Sea Salt

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A friend of mine, @healthy.madeinmadison, posted this picture on Instagram about watermelon sprinkled with pink himalayan sea salt. I’ve heard about adding salt to watermelon, but I never actually knew why. Until today. And it has a lot to do with modernization of farming. If you want to learn more, click here.

Basically, ADD SALT TO YOUR WATERMELON. Not nasty, bleached white salt, GOOD SALT. Like Himalayan pink sea salt, or just sea salt. Natural stuff. It really does wonders for the flavor (Thanks, Chemistry!) and aids with digestion.

We took 1/2 watermelon and balled it, then sliced a lime, zested some of it over the watermelon, and sprinkled with the special salt. It was AMAZING. The best watermelon I have ever had. Thanks to our new pink salt.

We found our salt at Metcalfes today, bottom shelf of the spice aisle.

 

 

How to be Nutfree, Mom Things, Snacking, Travel

Starbucks and Nut Allergies

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Starbucks is a common stop for us.  Grownups love it, kids love it and what is a better way to deal with YET MORE SNOW IN WISCONSIN than a nice warm cup of coffee or tea?! Literally, I have no words for April snow. I mean, COME ON!

When we were first diagnosed with nut allergies, we avoided Starbucks completely. However, that’s no way to live life {coffee deprived, are you KIDDING me?! Also known as Mean Mommy!}.

Once we figured out how to navigate the Starbucks menu a bit, we learned that our favorite treat was no longer completely off limits.

If you follow me in Instagram @nutfreemomblog, you’ve seen my posts about “how to Starbucks” – well today, I thought it deserved a blog post of its own since we just drove through.

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How to Starbucks {with a nut allergy}

  1. Choose a Starbucks that you can walk into
  2. Make sure you have your epi pen / benadryl JUST IN CASE {these should be with you already anyway}
  3. Have a conversation with the barista at non-peak hours regarding food allergies.
  4. Order a drink that is recommended safe by the barista.
  5. If you have almond allergies, this might be a little riskier for you, but soy milk is always an option. Cross contact can’t be 100% avoided, so just make sure you’re talking with the barista.
  6. For many peanut and tree nut allergy sufferers, almonds can be safe to eat. So anything made with or around almond milk, will not affect your nut allergies, which is the case for us. THANKFULLY!
  7. Many Starbucks locations have dedicated steam arms / handles for specific milks. This is the case for SOY MILK {most of the time} + again, talk with your barista.
  8. Our “go – to” safe drink for my daughter is the  kids size steamed vanilla soy milk.
  9. If you tell them it’s for a child, they will not steam the milk as hot as for an adult, the portion is also a lot smaller.
  10. Using the soy milk handle ensures that we probably wont come in contact with any nut based milk or coffee (hazelnut coffee does have trace amounts of actual hazelnuts, but the affect on allergies varies, obviously).
  11. Note that coconut is not a tree nut, but restaurants many times consider them to be.
  12. Our back up drink is always a milk box or juice box.
  13. Most of the food at Starbucks is NOT safe, especially the bakery items, and hot food items. However, if you are in a pinch and need a snack, they do offer some to-go items in the cafe, just check the labels as these snacks rotate frequently and we dont have  a go-to snack item there currently.
  14. If you have the SLIGHTEST doubt that your Starbucks just might not be fully understanding your food allergy or requests, DO NOT RISK IT and go with the 100% safe option, bottled water, milk box or juice. It’s not worth it.
  15. The bottled water and banana are also 100% safe and we’ve never {knock on wood} had an issue with the drinks or service at Starbucks after we tell them we need a nut-free drink 🙂

 

What’s your favorite drink at Starbucks? I have a few…

  1. Tall, non-fat chai tea latte
  2. Tall, skinny mocha latte
  3. Tall, cafe latte
  4. Tall, non-fat dirty chai tea latte (two shots of espresso)
  5. Cafe americano
  6. Passion fruit ice tea, light ice

 

Make sure you sign up for Starbucks rewards app on your phone to snag some free drinks! It’s worth it + kind of fun, too!

Is this the Mondayest Monday or what?! Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

Snacking

Chloe’s Top 5 Sun Butter Snacks

If you had a chance to check us out on IG live today @nutfreemomblog, Chloe gave a little demo on her “made-up” recipe for after school snacking with Sun Butter. It was pretty cute, and included her favorite……MARSHMALLOWS! Yum.

Chloe’s top 5 favorite after school Sun Butter snacks:

  1.  Sun Butter Apple Donuts
    1. Slice one honey crisp apple on it’s side, core facing the wall, into thin slices. With a small round cookie cutter, or paring knife, cut out the middle where the seeds would be. Do this to all of the slices. Spread Sun Butter on the apple slices + top with your favorite sprinkles / Enjoy Life chocolate chips.
  2.  Sun Butter to-go cup + Enjoy Life mini chocolate chips
    1. Chloe is a huge fan of the to-go cups of Sun Butter, we take them everywhere. her typical after school snack is Enjoy Life mini chocolate chips with a to-go cup! These are also great for lunches.
  3. Ants on a Log
    1. A few slices of celery smeared with Sun Butter and topped with raisins or chocolate chips! My little guy LOVES celery, so this is his favorite.
  4. Sun Butter & Honey Toast
    1. We use Country Hearth Split Top Wheat bread and top it with sun butter while the bread is still warm. It melts the sun butter and then we drizzle organic honey over the top. SO GOOD!
  5. Sun Butter & Pretzels
    1. We use Rold Gold pretzels and dunk them into our favorite sun butter. Easy snacking.

When we attended FaBlogCon in November, we learned about the Sun Butter partnership with free2b sun cups pictured below, and they are so delish. If you love Reeses Peanut butter cups, but can’t keep them in your home, THIS IS FOR YOU!

free 2b is free of the top 12 allergens! Better than top 8! free2b also has other flavors, you can’t go wrong. They are ALL good. The only place I have seen them for sale locally in Madison is at HyVee in Fitchburg in the Health Market. You can find these on Amazon as well.