Egg-free, dairy-free, nut-free…so what’s left?

I have never had to read nutrition labels with such scrutiny. Before it used to be like “120 calories per serving? score!” or “25% saturated fats?, no thanks” “6 grams of fiber? I’ll need that”. And that was the end of it. If it tastes good, it’s going in my belly!

But now, with Kyla’s allergies, snack time foods have been a challenge.  I’ve had to look for egg-, dairy-, and nut-free snacks. No string-cheese, pizzas, cheez-its, cookies, trail mixes? No birthday cakes, muffins, cheetohs or peanut butter? What can she eat?

Luckily, I’ve been able to find some good finds at good ol’ Trader Joe’s. I figure anything that is considered vegan and doesn’t have nuts, is good for Kyla’s allergies. Granted, not all of these snacks are the healthiest foods, but my 5-10% percentile in weight child can use the calories. Here is a list of egg-free, dairy-free, and nut-free snacks that I’ve compiled:

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INNER PEAS: These are basically green peas extruded into a bean-shaped snack. Super easy to eat, Kyla loves it, and you can find the equivalent of these in the more popular brand “Calbee Snap Pea Crisps”

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SOFT-BAKED SNICKERDOODLES: These are free of 8 common allergens including gluten, wheat, milk, dairy, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts and soy. These are perfectly bite sized for the little toddler hands and are 130 calories for 2 cookies.

 

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MINI CAFE TWISTS: These I love! Think about those french butterfly cookies but in little twists. It’s non-dairy and does not  use butter for the yummy flakiness. Only 30 calories per twist, but you can’t just have one. The only caveat is that when given to a little toddler, it creates a mess that you would be thankful if you had a dog to help you clean it up (ie our dogs)

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SPECULOOS COOKIES: Have you ever tried Trader Joe’s cookie butter? If you have, these are the very delicious Belgian cookies that are used to make it. Verified by the ingredient label to be dairy and egg-free, even though it tastes so buttery and good.

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HONEY GRAHAM CRACKERS: These are probably one of the easiest snacks to have in my purse whenever Kyla gets cranky, I mean, hungry. They come as a breakable long cookie that I can give her as a big piece to keep her busy in the car, or just a smaller piece if I don’t want to spoil her appetite before dinner.

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CATS COOKIES and ORGANIC ANIMAL CRACKERS: Wheat, nut and egg free, these are my go-to snacks if I want to pack them up in a ziploc bag for the road. They’re fun, not too sugary and Kyla loves them.

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CINNAMON APPLE SNACK STICKS: I am not sure how much “apple” are in these sticks, but Kyla sure loves these.  Crunchy and toddler-hand sized, these snacks are a hit.

Trader Joe’s has so many great snacks to add to this list, but these are so far my favorites. Do you have any Trader Joe’s allergy-friendly snacks that you recommend?

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We’re going to the market, we’re going to the fair

..to see the senoritas with flowers in her hair!

Does anyone remember that old childhood rhyme? I forgot whether it was a hand clapping game or one where it was a bunch of kids dancing in a circle, but it included lyrics that went like “shake it shake it shake it, shake it all around..” My guess is that perhaps its the latter–a dancing in a circle type of game.  Then that got me thinking, as a kid, I learned these little childhood games from my playground friends. Do kids still pass on games like this anymore or are these things now obsolete? Should I have written down these little playful games so they can be passed on? What do kids do now in the playground?

One tradition that we hope to continue with our kid(s) is to attend the annual San Diego Fair, formerly known as Del Mar fair. We took Kyla last year when she was about 6 months, and although it was fun, it wasn’t nearly as rewarding as it was this time around. Kyla curiously petted the cow, stared at the award winning bunnies and guinea pigs, thoroughly enjoyed some corn on the cob, bravely rode the pony, and shook it shook it shook it to some lively gospel music.

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Vegan blueberry muffins

Kyla is allergic to eggs, dairy and nuts and it’s been a challenge to find things for her to eat sometimes. But challenge accepted! Kyla LOVES her blueberries. Since it’s blueberry season, we have a surplus of blueberries in our house (hello $3 for 18 oz sale!). I decided to make blueberry muffins and tweaked this recipe (http://www.inspiredtaste.net/18982/our-favorite-easy-blueberry-muffin-recipe/) to make it egg-free and dairy-free. This recipe is simple, uses common pantry ingredients (except the chia seeds), and doesn’t take too much prep. I found using mini-muffin pans yielded the perfect hand-sized muffins for a little toddler.

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Vegan Blueberry Muffins:

(makes about 24 mini muffins)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400F. Spray mini-muffin pan with vegetable cooking spray (you may also use cupcake liners).

Combine flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, together in one bowl. In a separate bowl, mix oil, chia seed mix, milk, and vanilla extract. Combine the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. Make sure to not overmix. Then add blueberries and fold to evenly distrubute. Spoon into each muffin pan and sprinkle sugar on top of each muffin (optional) and bake for 15-20 minutes at 400F.  The tops of the muffin should be lightly brown when done.

Enjoy!