The Teal Pumpkin Project and Allergy Friendly Halloween Treats

The Teal Pumpkin Project and Allergy Friendly Halloween Treats

Help make Halloween not so scary for kids with allergies!

I love Halloween time and have been finding so many fun activities to take my kids to. (Especially ones to get a good wear out of their costumes.) A downside to attending events and parties is having a child with severe food allergies. I worry about what will be served or given out and if he’s going to notice that he is missing out on things. So I have been pleasantly surprised with the treats they have received at these events. There has been such a move in recent years to helping kids make healthier choices and you can see this so much in the treats that are being given out at events. So that is why I was so excited last year when I heard about the Teal Pumpkin Project.

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Images courtesy of Food Allergy Research and Education (FARE)

F.A.R.E. (Food Allergy Research & Education) has a great request going on for Halloween, it’s called the Teal Pumpkin Project. The project is fairly easy just paint a pumpkin teal and leave it out to let trick-or-treaters know that you are handing out non-food items. That’s it, a great simple request so that children with food allergies can have a not-so-scary Halloween.

Fun little family craft of painting our pumpkins teal and then adding some designs

Fun little family craft of painting our pumpkins teal and then adding some designs

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Our finished pumpkins

Our finished pumpkins

Non Food Treat Ideas

  • Glow Sticks, Bracelets, Necklaces
  • Bracelets
  • Necklaces
  • Pencils
  • Vampire teeth
  • Stickers
  • Bubbles
  • Bouncy Balls
  • Spider Rings

Allergy Friendly Halloween Treat Ideas

Allergy Friendly Treat Ideas

*Parents should still check all food items their child receives to make sure they are ok with their child’s allergies. I am a constant label reader and if I am not sure about an item I will give him something else, we never chance it. The food items I listed are just some items I have found safe for my son or look to be free of the 8 common allergens.*

Hope this helps everyone to have a safe and great Halloween!

Cruzin Mama

Eat your veggies and enjoy them at the Veggie Grill (plus how to enjoy their savings deals!)

The Veggie Grill | Cruzin Mama

My family doesn’t eat out very often and when we want to it is such a challenge due to dietary restrictions and allergies. I had to researched fast food and well nothing was really safe or very healthy anyways. So we basically don’t eat fast food, but there are times where it’s nice to grab a quick bite to eat. My fiancé was trying to find us a place to try that would work for us and he found The Veggie Grill. We decided to give it a try and have been loyal Veggie Grillers ever since! Veggie Grill is a plant based eatery so their products are all Dairy-Free (yay!) and items can be made Gluten and Soy-Free. All the “meat” options aren’t actually meat, crazy huh but they are made from plant based items and are very delicious. One of my menu favorites is the VG-Cheeseburger (pictured at the top of this post).

My family can't get enough of the nachos here.

My family can’t get enough of the nachos here.

The Chargrilled Veggies and Penne pasta salad

The Chargrilled Veggies and Penne pasta salad

The great thing about VG is the menu changes with the seasons. So the menu can vary between visits but it’s fun to have new options to try. One item that has stayed pretty consistent is their Carrot Cake which is absolutely delicious!

It's hard to get a picture of our favorite dessert since everyone is ready to take a bite out of it right away!

It’s hard to get a picture of our favorite dessert since everyone is ready to take a bite out of it right away!

Veggie Grill Deals

The best part if VG is the fact that they do deals! Sign up for Veggie Grills emails by joining the GrillClub and be in the know of rainy day specials and meal for two deals. And watch out for an email around your birthday for a birthday FREEBIE! Click here to sign up as a GrillClub member to receive theses offers. Also be sure to download the VG app. The VG app allows you to earn rewards points which can be used towards FREE menu items! It’s simple to use and easy to earn points, all you have to do is scan in your receipt and your points are added in very quickly after.
*Quick tip – rewards can only be redeemed in a store and when you select a reward to use be sure to only select it at check out. When you click to redeem a reward a code is given that is only valid for a few minutes for the cashier to use for your discount.*
Download the app now by click on your devices link.

The Veggie Grill App

Veggie Grill for iPhone
Veggie Grill for Android

Go and enjoy some yummy veggies at the Veggie Grill! Click here to find a location nearest you.

Cruzin Mama

Allergy Friendly Halloween Treats

Putting up my online teal pumpkin (image from foodallergy.org)

Putting up my online teal pumpkin (image from foodallergy.org)

Help make Halloween not so scary for kids with allergies!

I love Halloween time and have been finding so much fun activities to take my kids to. Especially ones to get a good wear out of their costumes. A downside to attending events and parties is having a child with severe food allergies, I worry about what will be served or given out and if he’s going to notice that he is missing out on things. So I have been so pleasantly surprised with the treats they have received at these events. There has been such a move in recent years to helping kids make healthier choices and you can see this so much in the treats that are being given out at events. I was so excited on our recent trip to Brick-or-Treat at Legoland to see healthy snacks and non-food items that were given out at the treat stations. My son was able to have his very first juice box there! We also attended a little Halloween Party at our local Disney Store and the treat bags they gave out contained “Apple Chippies!”(dried Apple slices), as my son likes to call them. Finally seeing items in his treat bags that he can enjoy is so awesome.

My little guy enjoying his first juice at Brick-or-Treat

My little guy enjoying his first juice at Brick-or-Treat

F.A.R.E. (Food Allergy Research & Education) has a great request going on for Halloween, it’s called the Teal Pumpkin Project. The project is fairly easy just paint a pumpkin teal and leave it out to let trick-or-treaters know that you are handing out non-food items. That’s it, a great simple request so that children with food allergies can have a not-so-scary Halloween.

image

Non Food Treat Ideas

  • Glow Sticks, Bracelets, Necklaces
  • Bracelets
  • Necklaces
  • Pencils
  • Vampire teeth
  • Stickers
  • Bubbles
  • Bouncy Balls
  • Spider Rings

Allergy Friendly Treat Ideas

*Parents should still check all food items their child receives to make sure they are ok with their child’s allergies. I am a constant label reader and if I am not sure about an item I will give him something else, we never chance it. The food items I listed are just some items I have found safe for my son or look to be free of the 8 common allergens.*

Hope this helps everyone to have a safe and great Halloween!

Cruzin Mama

Easy (Semi-from Scratch) Dairy Free Pumpkin Pie

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So for some reason I wanted a pumpkin pie instead of a birthday cake this year for my birthday. I love to bake with my daughter and what better birthday gift is there than making these wonderful memories with my kiddos. So I searched for an easy recipe online and this is the one I used and it turned out great! Also a bonus with this recipe is that it is simple to make it Gluten Free as well :)

Recipe is from dairy-free.food.com

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Information from dairy-free.food.com

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Information from dairy-free.food.com

The ingredients can easily be used to make the pie Gluten Free also. To make your pie gluten free use a pre-made gluten free pie crust, that’s it pretty simple with making this a great allergy friendly treat! I do have to say to make sure you let the pie cook until the center is less gooey. And I found that letting it refrigerate over night made it firm perfectly.

Baking Fun!

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The ingredients we used (not pictured is the two eggs). I found a dairy-free pre-made pie crust at my local grocery store. I opted for Almond Milk since it is what we always have on hand.

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Mixing it all together. I found that by pre-measuring and placing all the ingredients in small bowls made it easy for my daughter to be completely involved. She was so proud of the pie she baked with little help from me.

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Our yummy dairy-free pumpkin pies! And they are absolutely delicious.

Try out this fun easy allergy friendly recipe!

Cruzin Mama

My FPIES Story

Image from theFPIESfoundation.org

Image from theFPIESfoundation.org

This week is Food Allergy Awareness Week, so I decided to share my family’s story of having a child with severe food allergies. My youngest has FPIES, the full name being Food Protein Induced Enterocolitis Syndrome. Which basically means he can’t eat food like the rest of us. I knew since he was born that something was amiss. In the hospital hours after his birth after each time I nursed him he would spit up. I told my nurse that he was spitting up quite a bit, they assured me that since I had had such a short labor and delivery that he must of swallowed too much amniotic fluid. They said they needed to do a deep suction to help him out. I can still remember how much my poor newborn screamed from having that done. Things seemed better after, so we were discharged. Not long after being home he would still spit up all the time which is very uncommon for an exclusively breastfeed baby. I always had burp clothes and even baby blankets ready for his spit up. At about a month old I was told that the spit up was because of GERD, a reflux disorder that he would out grow by four months of age. I informed his doctor that it seemed my baby was constantly having diarrhea and that it had the oddest smell of buttered popcorn and that it also seemed mucusy. His doctor then told me that that is normal for EBF babies and that when he is three months old to start giving him rice in his milk to resolve it. I had a feeling something else was going on but his doctor must know better than me right. Well at about three months old we tried rice cereal and that’s when everything changed for us. A few days after introducing rice he had a reaction. It was exactly 2-3 hours after eating the food he would begin to vomit violently, he would go ghost white and become extremely limp and he would continue to vomit until he passed out. The doctors call this going into shock, which is very dangerous and can lead to a coma or death. Well the hospital and his doctor both dismissed us and said it was a stomach virus. Ya a stomach virus that would only occur when he drank the milk with rice, I knew they were wrong. We kept having issues with introducing new foods to him and just couldn’t take it anymore. He constantly suffered from diarrhea and had an odd color to him. It took almost a year for him to be diagnosed, his first year of his life was very painful and a struggle. His weight began to drop and he was looking very ill and unnourished. I knew something was wrong and wouldn’t take it anymore and we started to take him to Rady’s Children’s Hospital which is about an hour away from our home. We started to go there for any reaction he was having. There in the ER at Rady’s is where a doctor finally took notice and pushed us through to see a GI specialist. Right when we met with the GI specialist she looked over my sons ER history and listened to everything I had documented and she told us that it was very clear that he has FPIES. I cried I couldn’t believe we finally had an answer, for his whole first year I felt like a failure as a mother that I was doing something wrong and my poor baby was suffering. I felt so overwhelmed with relief that now we could finally start to treat his condition and learn how to manage it. The first step was to get his weight back up and let his insides start to heal a little. He was put on EleCare Medical Formula, this formula saved his life even though I continued to nurse him I began to follow a strict diet but the formula is what helped him heal, grow, and thrive. The next step was to start finding him safe foods. It takes about two weeks for us to know if a food is safe. At this time he still has a very large list of unsafe foods but I try not to focus on that, right now he has hit over 10 safe foods! Every time we pass a new food it is like seeing my Little Man hit a big milestone. His first birthday he had no treats and only three safe foods. Now with his third birthday coming up this summer we are so excited to plan out little treats for him with his growing safe foods list. Our FPIES journey is not over but we are pushing through and my son is now thriving and will continue to. I’m am still so grateful to the wonderful doctors at Rady’s who continue to help us.

I know this post was very long but thank you for taking the time to hear our FPIES story.

Cruzin Mama

My little handsome man who doesn't let his FPIES get him down.

My little handsome man who doesn’t let his FPIES get him down.

My kiddos showing their support for Food Allergy Awareness Week May 11-17, 2014

My kiddos showing their support for Food Allergy Awareness Week May 11-17, 2014