My Allergy Kingdom Allergy-Friendly Movie Night

Have you heard about My Allergy Kingdom?  The website is a result of an alliance between Mylan and Disney and is chocked full of great information for those with food allergies, including the newly diagnosed.  In addition the new collaboration yields a variety of recipes, tips for daily life with food allergies, great food allergy hacks for special celebrations, and much more.

I especially love the Celebrations tab as I feel like that can be one of the hardest things to navigate with food allergies.  This section of the website offers some festive but down to earth ideas that can make your celebration more of a happy occasion and hopefully a little less stressful.  I’m in love with these adorable little heart cookies for Valentine’s Day.

Before I continue, I have to say, I’m not being paid to write about Disney or Mylan in this post.  I’m a genuine fan of both companies and believe in what they do.  I’m inspired at all that Mylan does to give back to the food allergy community on a regular basis in addition to their marketing and distribution of the EpiPen.  Disney will always be near and dear to my heart and one of my family’s biggest blessings, because Disney showed us that vacationing with food allergies could be not only possible…but the most magical adventure of a lifetime!

A few weeks ago, Mylan sent me a “How to Host an Allergy-Friendly Movie Night” kit with a Winnie the Pooh theme.

The kit came with everything I needed to get started.

As you can see from above, the care package included:

  • Winnie the Pooh party invitations
  • Winnie the Pooh-themed crafts (a 3-D character scene and coloring page)
  • A “Make-Your-Own Popcorn Bag” activity complete with bags and Winnie the Pooh stickers
  • Three recipe ideas
  • My Allergy Kingdom chip clip party favors
  • Additional information about the Mylan-Disney Alliance

As luck would have it, my daughter was under the weather the weekend we planned our impromptu Winnie the Pooh party, so we improvised.  Rather than cancelling the party all together, we sent invitations to a few good friends.

Minnie Mouse

Minnie Mouse

 

Elsa

Elsa

 

Snowgie

Snowgie

 

Ariel, The Little Mermaid

Ariel, The Little Mermaid

 

Donald Duck

My daughter helped label some of the invitations and pass them out, so yes…you did see Minnie Mouse holding a movie night invitation with Donald Duck’s name on it. 😉

Next came time for crafting.  Coloring always does good things for my daughter’s soul when she’s not feeling well, so it was perfect timing for this craft.

Next we started work on this 3-D Winnie the Pooh craft.  My daughter thought it would make a perfect centerpiece for our table.

So cute, aren’t they?  And really easy to make.  I did some of the cutting out, but my daughter helped fold and place the characters in the scene.

It was finally time for the party to start!  Once all our friends arrived…

…we had fun decorating our personal popcorn bags for movie time!

After all that work everybody worked up quite the appetite.  It was time to eat our Winnie the Pooh muffins.

We made these muffins from a recipe provided in the movie night kit.  The muffins themselves were a cinch to make and my family loved them.  The decorations on the top that “make” Winnie the Pooh’s face were more difficult to construct, but we were pleased with how they turned out.

No party is complete without a group picture!

Craft and muffin time were fun, but movie time was the main attraction!

We had a great time hosting our Allergy-Friendly Movie Night and hope to do it again soon when my daughter is feeling better.

Want to find more ideas like this one?  Be sure to check out My Allergy Kingdom!

Thanks to Mylan and Disney for giving us one more reason to live the food allergy life to the fullest!

*DISCLOSURE:  In the past, I received a free How to Host an Allergy-Friendly Movie Night kit for providing a complimentary blog post for Mylan. This post contains my honest opinion of the product and I was not monetarily compensated for my blog post.  All comments made by me about medical treatments or Mylan are at my own discretion and based on my own opinion.  Ingredient labels are subject to change at any time.  Be sure to personally review and verify the safety of ingredients in recipes and/or products before consuming.*

Wizdy Pets Offers Fabulous Asthma Awareness App For Children

I was lucky enough to cross paths with the folks at Wizdy Games (formerly known as Wellapets) a few years ago.  This group is fantastically creative with a heart to educate children about health in a fun way.

WizdyPetsBanner

So what is Wizdy Games?  Wizdy’s mission is to create virtual-pet games that can be leveraged to empower kids to manage their health and stay well.

Currently they offer an asthma game, Wizdy Pets.  The game creators collaborated with asthma specialists from Harvard Medical School and Boston Children’s Hospital to develop Wizdy Pets.  The game teaches proper inhaler technique and timing, trigger and symptom recognition and the appropriate actions to prevent asthma attacks.

WizdyPets (2)

I’m beyond thrilled to tell you Wizdy Games is currently in testing mode for a food allergy awareness game that should be available to consumers in the near future.

To read my previous post about how the game works and the benefits it offers, be sure to click here before reading the rest of this post.

The most noticeable change since my previous post on this game is the name change of the parent company to Wizdy Games and the game name from Wellapets to Wizdy Pets.  And the changes don’t stop there.

The look and sound of the game is greatly improved.  The team has been hard at work with artists and musicians to create a more enjoyable player experience through lively background music and sound effects as well as the ability for players to accessorize and customize their pets with a variety of color combinations and accessories.

WizdyPets (1)

One of my favorite thing about Wizdy Games is that they value the advice and opinions of their consumers.  Wizdy Pets listened to early consumers of the game and have incorporated their feedback to improve the experience.  For example, now the Flame Crystal can be charged up as often as a player wants by playing mini-games and completing missions so their pet can blow fire.  In addition, the newly added Smog Chasers game reinforces better inhaler timing.

WizdyPets (3)

Wizdy Pets is live in the United States, Canada, and United Kingdom as well as all other English-speaking countries and is featured in Apple’s Best New Apps & Games For Kids.  The game is available on Apple and Google app stores.

If you or someone you know has asthma or you simply want to educate your family about asthma, be sure to download the adorable Wizdy Pets app for children.

I love, love, love this company and all they do for the asthma community and can’t wait to see what they have in store for the food allergy community with their new game.  Thank you, Nikita and Wizdy Games, for all you do!

Living Well and Letting Go

It’s been a big month for The Food Allergy Mom- a month for facing fears.  And I don’t pretend to do so perfectly.  Far from it.  I’ll be the first to admit that I often “face” my fears with a decided lack of grace and composure.  I’m a work in progress shall we say.

For the last 11 years, I’ve been there for every step of my son’s food allergy journey.  I overhauled what my family eats and how we cook.  I learned and then showed my family how to read labels.  I learned and then taught my family about the signs of anaphylaxis and how to administer epinephrine.  I advocated for my son and then showed him how to advocate for himself.  I encouraged him not to let his food allergies define him.  I coached him to live life fully and safely.

Turns out he was both watching and listening…closely.  So much so that now that he is older, his role in his own food allergy safety becomes greater.  And mine becomes lesser.

After all, I have hoped and prayed every single day since his diagnosis that he would eventually become more confident, self-sufficient, and empowered to successfully begin maneuvering his own journey.

It’s something to be celebrated, right?

Right.  Definitely.  Absolutely!

Except that honestly, that’s not how it felt when my boy struck out on his own for church camp last week.  It felt like worry and sleeplessness…the kind that can eat you up from the inside out if you let it.

Weird.  I thought I would feel celebration at his growing independence, but that was most definitely not what I was feeling.

The little man I used to have total control over because he was almost always in my care is now growing up and becoming a responsible young man that is striking out on his own…to places I can’t always be or situations I can’t control.

Don’t get me wrong.  He goes to school, dinner with friends, school dances, football games, boy scouts, and much more without me.  We hardly live in a bubble…something I’ve worked hard to avoid since the beginning for his own sake.  But I’ve always had some element of control.  I felt confident in the parents he was with.  I knew his very capable school nurse was at the ready.  Boy scouts has been great about working with kids with food allergies.  See…I’ve always kind of had my foot in the door while still letting him lay the ground work to be more independent.

Then came a three day middle school and high school church camp.  A camp that combines with at least two other churches in our city and all the youth mesh together for meals and activities and they spend the night at a host home that the kids bring snacks to.  Volunteers would be transporting the youth from activity to activity and one day would include a lunch out at a yet to be determined location.

Uh, yeah.  That is waaaaaaaaaayyyyyy outside of The Food Allergy Mom’s comfort zone.

Seriously.  I had so many questions my head ached with the sheer number of them.  And then there was that little matter of my blood pressure when I thought about all the different people and places he would be with and how many allergy minefields he could potentially pass through each day.

It all came down to two choices.

  1.  I could keep him home.  But was it realistic?  I can’t keep him under my control forever.  There will come a time when he will be at college and living on his own.  What then?  If I don’t let him safely try out his wings a little at a time, I’m setting him up for failure (and major health risks) when he flies the coop.
  2.  I could put on my big girl pants and give him some room to own and be responsible for his food allergies and let him decide the kind of role they will play in his life (after a whole lot of pre-planning and emergency protocol of course).

I didn’t just love my choices.  But I knew what I had to do…and that I had to do it for my son and not for me.

I burned up the phone lines calling to verify what meals were going to be served and when for the duration of the weekend.  I made fast friends with the host home mom and arranged to bring some safe snacks (she was an angel by the way).  I volunteered for two driving shifts so I might catch a glimpse of him at least some point during the weekend.  I made sure he knew at least three places with safe meal options for him for his “meal out.”  We talked about the importance of having a few buddies who knew about his allergies and epipen as well as how to use it if an emergency arose.  We drilled, we drilled, and we drilled.

And then we drilled some more.  No joke.

Then on Friday, I dropped my son off at a three day church camp with a sleeping bag, clothes, and a bag full of safe snacks.  I walked him in, reminded the personnel of his life-threatening food allergies, and then I went home.

I. went. home.  Alone.

It was the longest weekend ever.  For the next couple of days I didn’t sleep that well, wasn’t focused, and jumped every time the phone rang.  I won’t sugar coat it.  It was awful.

I’ve never been so happy to see Sunday.  My heart actually sighed with relief when I ruffled his hair and saw that smile that lights up a room.

But you know what?  He made good, safe choices in the face of peer pressure and strangers and HE did it.  He did something for himself…something I would never be able to give him- experience.

The sheer thought of going through an event like this again (and I’m sure as he gets older there will be many more), is enough to make me crazy.

But you know what?  I’d do it again in a heartbeat…because it’s what moms do.  We love our kids, show them the way, and then, if we do our jobs right they LEAD the way.

Mylan Announces 2016 My EpiPen Savings Card

This is just one of the reasons I love Mylan!  So excited they have extended their My EpiPen Savings Card to 2016!  To read more about it and/or sign up for your savings card click here.

Thank you, Mylan, for all that you do to support and give back to the food allergy community!

What a GREAT way to kick off the new year…hopefully with a little extra money in my pocket thanks to My EpiPen Savings Card.

Happy New Year to you and yours!  May it be filled with much health, love, and happiness!

Blessings,

Kimberly

Houston’s Awesome Bites Co. Offers Health-Conscious Treats

It’s that time of year again, when we’ve packed our bellies full of turkey, dressing, cookies, pies, cakes and more and have now finally decided we’ve had enough.  For many of us, the word that generally follows that sentence is the D-word:  D-I-E-T.  Ugh.  But not this gal, not this year.  I have two words:  healthy lifestyle.

I’m not banishing super yummy baked goodies and decadent treats…but they are on an invitation only basis for sure.  Still, I want to enjoy my food and my new healthy lifestyle.  So what’s a girl to do?

Enter Awesome Bites Co. located in Houston, Texas and its Chief Officer of Awesome, Jennifer Thai.

Awesome Bites Co Jennifer

After her child’s diagnosis of egg and peanut allergies, Jennifer had to reinvent the way she thought about food and what she fed her family.  She embarked on a journey to make and serve food that was safe, delicious, and healthy.  Jennifer spent more than a year perfecting her trade and became ServSafe Food Allergy Certified and a Certified Texas Food Handler so she could bake from her home under the Texas Cottage Law.  From that…Awesome Bites Co. was born and is reinventing treats one muffin at a time.

Here’s how. Awesome Bites Co.’s boasts products that are non-GMO and vegan and contain no added sugar, no preservatives, no cholesterol, no dairy, no egg, no peanuts and no soy.  Jennifer said the only tree nut contained in their products is coconut, which she vets from her suppliers is not cross-contaminated with any other tree nuts.

Some of the company’s products can be made gluten-free although they are produced in the same facility as gluten-filled treats.  In terms of cross contamination, Jennifer vouches that most of her suppliers are exclusive for their products and have no shared manufacturing lines for allergens.  For more on Awesome Bites Co.’s policies on ingredients, ingredient sourcing, food allergies, and cross contamination, click here.

“In a little over a month we’ve sold more than 2,000 muffins through the Memorial Villages Farmers Market,” said Jennifer.  “More than 80% of my customers have no food allergies and just want healthy and delicious food.”

Awesome Bites Co Jennifer and Husband

Currently, the Memorial Village Farmers Market in Houston is the only place you will find Awesome Bites Co. and that is on Saturdays only.  However, there are limited delivery options available to Greater Houston for an additional fee.

What’s the top seller for the company?  Their number one product is what Jennifer affectionately dubs the Super Muffin.  She describes it as a healthy breakfast muffin but with flavors like these, they sound far too delicious to be healthy…

  • Original Spice Cake
  • Pumpkin Chocolate Chip
  • Banana Sunflower
  • Chocolate Banana
  • Lemon Blueberry
  • Lemon Chia Seed
  • Oatmeal Raisin
  • Sunflower Butter & Jam

Jennifer graciously sent over a couple of goodies for my family to try.  To put the proof in the pudding so to speak, she sent four boxes of Super Muffins:  Oatmeal Raisin, Signature Spice, Lemon Blueberry, and Pumpkin Chocolate Chip.

Since the muffins were not gluten-free and some products can contain chickpeas (one of my son’s allergies), my son and I did not taste test.  That left the two toughest taste testers around- my husband and daughter, neither of which are super fond of allergy-friendly and/or healthy treats.

I won’t lie…I was worried.  Really worried.  But you know what?  They liked them!  So much so, that they ate them, liked them, and kept eating them without me needing their taste testing skills anymore.  My husband was extremely partial to the Oatmeal Raisin and Signature Spice but my daughter loved Pumpkin Chocolate Chip.  It simply made my heart happy that both of them were getting 1/4 a serving of fruits/veggies with every super muffin they ate!

Still…to round out my survey group, I took the muffins to my workplace to have a few of the ladies do their own taste test.  Oatmeal raisin and Pumpkin Chocolate Chip came out on top again.  Signature Spice came in third.  In full disclosure, although they said the Lemon Blueberry Muffins were good, they did admit to them tasting a little dry.

From time to time, Awesome Bites Co. will offer Beanie Brownies (a healthy version of a brownie) and gourmet hot chocolate on a limited basis.  To find out more about what Jennifer is cooking, be sure to visit the company’s Facebook page.

Looking to start your year off on a healthier note?  Stop by Awesome Bites Co. at Memorial Village Farmers Market in Houston and let us know what YOU think!

Cheers to happiness and health for you and yours in the new year!

Blessings,

Kimberly

Izzi B’s Gingerbread Houses and Cookies Are True Treats

It’s almost 80 degrees here in Houston today…ridiculously hot for Texas for it being just two days until Christmas!  I have to say, the feel of summer outside takes away a little bit from it feeling like Christmas.

Thankfully, my family and I could play outside by day and build a gingerbread house from Izzi B’s by night.  And not just any gingerbread house…but one that caters for some with certain food allergies.  (I crafted a previous post about Izzi B’s  several years ago that has more information about the company and their products.)

According to the company’s website, their “products are free of gluten, wheat, soy, dairy, eggs, all nuts, and casein.  No preservatives, no trans-fats, no refined sugar and cholesterol free.  They are also vegan & kosher certified as well as celiac friendly.”  Awesome, right?  Like I said…it’s no ordinary gingerbread house.

The gingerbread house comes with all supplies included as you can see here.

The icing worked beautifully and hardened so well that when the gingerbread house slid off the seat of my car during transport from grandma’s to home, it didn’t suffer a single crack.  Now that’s what I call efficient icing!

We also enjoyed some delicious gingerbread men cookies that put all others I’ve tried to shame.  Truly…they were adorably decorated and had a perfect savory gingerbread flavor.  I really wished I had paused momentarily to take a picture of them before my family and I began shoving them in our mouths, but alas, I did not.

Here is the ingredient label from our gingerbread house packaging.

I did speak further with Izzi B’s about the label and they did say they feel very comfortable with their providers and their good manufacturing processes.  If you do have tree nut and/or soy allergies and have concerns, I imagine the folks at Izzi B’s will be happy to address any questions you might have about their products as they did mine.

Pam over at Izzi B’s is simply amazing and an absolute delight to work with.  I adore her products and her dedication to her craft.  Izzi B’s is fabulous at baking and customer service!

This gingerbread house has become tradition for me and my family over the years and I’m so very excited to share this again with you.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you and yours.

Blessings,

Kimberly

*Full Disclosure:  Izzi B’s did provide me with a complimentary gingerbread house and two gingerbread cookies.  This did not influence my review of their product.*

Candy Cane Christmas Cookies

Looking for a festive Christmas Cookie recipe?   This is one of my favorites that I make every year.  I like these even better than the traditional sugar cookies.

The recipe follows below. I’ve made it several different ways so that I can tailor it for different food allergies (I love to make them gluten-free).  Have fun with it and make allergy-friendly substitutions to make it work for you and your family.

Enjoy and Merry Christmas!

Candy Cane Christmas Cookies

  • ½ cup butter
  • ½ cup shortening (white)
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 ½ cups of flour
  • 1 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • Red food coloring
  • ½ cup sugar for decoration

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Mix butter, shortening, powdered sugar, egg, and vanilla extract. Blend in flour, xanthan gum, and salt. Divide dough in half.

Blend ½ teaspoon of red food coloring in half of the dough. Put both halves of dough in freezer for 8 minutes.

DSC03171Remove dough from freezer and shape 1 teaspoon of red dough and use your hands to roll it into a 4 inch rope. Repeat with the plain dough and then twist the two colors together into a candy cane shape. Place the candy canes on a parchment paper-lined cookie sheet and bake for 8 minutes, taking care not to let the cookies brown.

When cookies are done, remove from oven and immediately sprinkle with a pinch of sugar. Let cookies cool for 5 minutes and then remove them from the cookie sheet.

Repeat until all the dough has been used.   *If dough becomes too soft, return it to the freezer for 8 minutes.*

 

Allergy-Friendly Advent Calendar For Christmas

As a child, I always looked forward to counting down the days to Christmas with an advent calendar.  Heck, I’m a full-grown adult, and the idea still holds appeal.

Most of the advent calendars you find in the stores are of the chocolate variety.  You know the kind, you peel back a square for that day and just inside waits a delicious mouth-watering chocolate.  The best part is that you get a little piece of chocolate every single day from December 1st to the 25th.  The sad part is that the ingredient labels and allergy warnings on the back of most of those packages are ridiculously long and complex stating that it does or may contain just about every allergen there is.

So what is a mom to do?  Get creative, that’s what! :)

Once my son was old enough to enjoy an advent calendar he still couldn’t have the average chocolate variety because of multiple food allergies.  So back to the drawing board we went looking for something a little different, but just as fun.  We were visiting a friend’s house and she had a board she had by the calendar full of fun Christmas things to do as a family before Christmas arrived.  What a fabulous idea for an advent calendar!  She let me steal her idea and now every year as the holidays approach, we usually send an email back and forth trying to decide if either of us has an activity or two we want to steal for our own calendar.

The best part of this idea is that it can be as simple or complex as you want it to be.  On a budget?  No problem…my idea shouldn’t cost more than $10 and is reusable from year to year.  Want to get crafty?  Go for it!  Would love to see what you come up with here and hope you will share!

Here is how to make your own advent calendar:

photo

Supplies:

  • 2 poster boards
  • Wrapping paper (scraps or a roll)
  • Miniature gift bows (the kind that peel and stick)
  • Sticky notes

Instructions:

  • Turn your poster board vertically and write a title at the top.  Ex:  Smith Family Advent Calendar
  • Take second piece of poster board and cut out twenty-five 2.5 inch by 2.5 inch squares (or whatever size you desire)
  • Wrap each of the 25 squares in wrapping paper.  Place a miniature bow on each so that it resembles a present.
  • Arrange squares on the titled poster board in desired design and tape down only the top border.  Now go back and put a small number above each square 1-25 to aid in counting down to Christmas.
  • Take 13 sticky notes and cut them in half.  Hide one sticky under every “present.”
  • Almost done.  Now write a fun family activity on each sticky note.  (I usually throw in a Christmas Bible verse too.)
  • You’re done.  Now, when December 1st rolls around, you simply lift up the “present” marked with a 1, and do that activity as a family!

I love this idea because it is food allergy-friendly and because it allows you to come together as a family during the holidays.

Need some ideas to get you started?  Here are some of the activities I like to list on my family’s advent calendar:

  • Go caroling.
  • Take Christmas cookies to a friend in need.
  • Visit a live nativity.
  • Drive around and look at Christmas lights.
  • Drink hot chocolate and stir it with a candy cane.
  • Watch The Grinch.
  • Have PJs and Polar Express movie night.
  • Build a gingerbread house (Check out Izzi B’s).
  • Visit Santa.
  • Buy a Christmas present for a child in need.
  • Make and red and green Christmas train.
  • Go ice skating.
  • Make a snowman (in Texas we have to get creative).
  • Camp out in your sleeping bags by the Christmas tree.
  • Make reindeer food (oatmeal and glitter in a ziploc).
  • Go to a local nursing home and bring cookies and board games and spend an hour or two.

This should be enough to get you started, and leave plenty of blanks to help you tailor it to your family’s annual activities and preferences.

What activities will you put on your advent calendar?  I’d love for you to comment and share!

2015 Giving Food Allergy Thanks (Top 23 List)

You’ve been on Facebook and no doubt seen the days of thankfulness challenge.  You know the one…Day 1 and I’m thankful for…fill in the blank.  Although I don’t participate on social media, it is something I introspectively make room for every day…time to count my blessings.

Gratitude is a powerful tool.  Outside of faith, I think it is possibly the only other action that gives us the perspective on life that we so desperately yearn for…peace.

So in honor of the countdown to Thanksgiving, here are 23 things that I am giving food allergy and/or gluten-free thanks for:

1.  My son:  As an almost 12-year-old, my son inspires me every day.  He lives out loud that food allergies can only define you if you let it.  You are beyond amazing, son, and I am so proud of your perseverance and determination.

2.  Our allergist:  I know you are reading, Dr. K and we are always so grateful for your guidance and wisdom.  Thank you for knowing the true value of listening to a parent who knows their child better than anyone else!  We need more doctors like you!

3.  Food Allergy Research Education (FARE):  This organization (formerly FAAN) has been an invaluable source of education and support from a time before online support groups existed.  Thank you for the free resources you provide families, schools, and organizations.  I’m particularly grateful for your advocacy efforts and all that you do to make the world a safer, more understanding place for people with food allergies.

4.  Enjoy Life:  This company makes a ton of delicious products that are free from the top 8 allergens.  On any given day you can find our pantry stocked up on Enjoy Life granola and crunchy cookies…just to name a few of our favs.  They continue to raise the bar in the number and quality of allergy-friendly products they offer.  Thank you for all you do for the food allergy community!

5.  SunButter:  There are no words to convey my family’s love for SunButter or our admiration for their dedication to the food allergy community.  This is our favorite sunflower spread on the market.  Their new on-the-go SunButter cups are a simple and protein-filled compliment to any meal or snack.

6.  King Arthur Gluten-Free Flour:  It feels like I’ve tried every gluten-free flour mix known to man, and not a one of them has come as close to the real thing as King Arthur Gluten-Free Flour.  I’m also loving the great gluten-free recipes you share on social media.  Thank you for making such a quality product that is available at most grocery stores.

7.  Izzi B’s:  Making a gingerbread house every year has always been a tradition for me and my family when I was a young girl.  At the onset of a food allergy diagnosis, that came to a screeching halt…UNTIL I found and fell in love with Izzi B’s amazing gingerbread houses!  It is a holiday MUST!  Truly, nobody makes allergy-friendly gingerbread houses like Izzi B.  Order one today and beat the holiday rush!

8.  Allergic Living Magazine:  This a highly informative publication that has their finger on the trends in allergy and asthma living and research.  I especially enjoy reading articles by contributor, Gina Clowes.

9.  Mylan:  The EpiPen saves lives and we are so grateful to have access to it.  I’m especially thankful for Mylan’s commitment to the food allergy community in all that they do support schools and organizations.  Their EpiPen app and autoinjector cases are just two more examples of their dedication and attention to detail.  Thank you, Mylan.

10.  H-E-B:  This Texas grocery store chain has a huge variety of gluten-free and allergy friendly goodies at rock bottom prices.  They are a food allergy family’s best friend!  And did you know that if you don’t live in Texas and are hearing me rave about this store…you can now order online and experience the H-E-B goodness in your own home (delivery to 46 states)!

11.  Stephanie Sorkin:  One of my fav children’s books for food allergies is Nutley the Nut-Free Squirrel, by Stephanie Sorkin!  She does an amazing job of educating children about food allergies!  This book is a must have to share with your child’s class at school, church, or any extra curricular activities.

12.  Canyon Bakehouse:  This is my go-to gluten-free bread this year!  I’m simply in love with their gluten-free bread, bagels, brownie bites, and more.  This company takes great care in their work of producing a quality and delicious product.  I’m also especially grateful to Canyon Bakehouse for supporting our FARE Walk team this year!  This is an amazing company!

13.  Carrabbas:  We have one of these restaurant’s close by and they are phenomenal in meeting our food allergy and gluten-free needs every single time we visit their establishment.  The whole family is able to safely eat at our local Carrabba’s and as most of you know, that in itself is quite a treat!

14.  Kinnikinnick:  This company holds a special place in my heart for bringing back the gluten, nut, and peanut-free donut.  Thank you for making this a perfect Saturday morning treat!

15.  Crave Cupcakes:  There is no other way to say it.  This company makes the. best. gluten-free. cupcakes. ever.   No really…they do.  The cupcakes taste sinfully delicious, are not at all crumbly, and simply melt in your mouth.  Seriously, if there is a gluten-free cupcake of the month club here…it’s the perfect Christmas gift for me!

16.  Walt Disney World:  I’m so grateful to Disney for allowing the Magical Kingdom to be truly magical…even for those with food allergies.  They are beyond wonderful when it comes to vacationing with food allergies.  Thank you for bringing vacation back!

17.  Conte’s:  It’s hard to find a really good gluten-free pizza, but the whole family enjoys Conte’s pizzas.  If for some reason you’re not crazy about the kind of pizza that comes straight from the box, you can buy plain frozen crusts (in a 2 pack) and make your own creation.  We love it!

18.  Liberation Gluten-Free Bakery:  It’s almost criminal how easy Angela at Liberation Gluten-Free Bakery makes baking look.  She offers a variety of confections from cookies, to cakes, to brownies, and so much more.  She is our go to for delicious baked goodies on special celebrations.

19.  Kids With Food Allergies and the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America:  These organizations work together to provide outstanding coverage of food allergy education, advocacy, and resources.  They so willingly give of their time and energy to support the greater food allergy community!  Thank you, KFA and AAFA!

20.  Trader Joe’s Raw Pecan Pieces: I’m so thankful for the special pecans I could find only at Trader Joe’s that are made in a pecan only facility.  These particular pecans were a life-saver (literally) for my family when I needed pecans (with no cross contamination with other nuts) for my son’s pecan challenge.  (And he PASSED the food challenge and I’m beyond thankful for that!)

21.  Garth Brooks‘ song, “Mom”:  It perfectly reminds me of my job as a mom…especially The Food Allergy Mom.  I *heart* this song.

22.  God:  I honestly wouldn’t be where I am without my faith.  Thank you, God,  for walking my precious family through every single step of this journey and the blessings you provide along the way.

23.  YOU:  I am so thankful for my readers who support others in their food allergy journeys.  Thank you for being a source of positivity for so many.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

Wishing you much joy and many blessings,

Kimberly

My Favorite Thanksgiving Recipes

This Thanksgiving, I’m giving thanks for you, my reader.  Thank you for taking the time to read my posts and share your thoughts and comments with me.  Thank you for sharing about The Food Allergy Mom with others.  Thank you, thank you, thank you…for all you do to help raise awareness of food allergies.  You are simply amazing!

THANK YOU!!!!!

Here is a quick recap of some past posts that include my favorite Thanksgiving recipes.  May they warm your heart and home and bring great joy to the table.

Mimi’s Homemade Holiday Dressing/Stuffing

Pumpkin Pie

Pumpkin Pie Delights

Pie Crust

Pecanless Pecan Pie

Cinnamon Cake

Chocolate Cola Cake

Joy and Blessings,

Kimberly