Posts tagged: peanut free

Salt Dough Activity

 

Salt Dough Ornaments

As this Holiday Season is upon us, I know I am always looking for activities to do with my children.

Whether it  is enjoying the winter weather outside or making holiday treats in the kitchen, I like to try to come up with some non-food related activities!!

I found a number of Salt-Dough recipes and ideas on the internet!  NOT FOR EATING but for decorating, these are a fun, easy, hands on kitchen activity you can do with children of all ages!

 

How to make salt dough:

  • 1 cup salt
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • Up to 1 1/2 cup of warm water (add gradually)
  • Straw or toothpick to make hole for hanging
  • Yarn, ribbon or string

 

Method:

Combine the salt and flour then pour in the water gradually, stopping when it has become dough-like and not too sticky. There should be no residue left on your fingers when you touch it. Knead it on a floured surface for a few minutes to make it soft, workable and stretchy, like you would with any dough.

You may add color to the dough by mixing food coloring into the water before adding it to the flour/salt mix.

Choose a range of cookie cutter shapes and simply cut straight from the dough.  Poke a straw through the centre, near the top, of each shape so that a ribbon can be threaded through later.

Lay them on some greaseproof or baking paper and on a baking tray. Cook them on a VERY low heat (250 degrees F) for up to 3 hours. If the shapes are over 1cm thick then they will probably need to be turned over during cooking.

It is VERY important not to have the oven on too high. This will cause the salt dough to bubble up and fill with air, as essentially it is being cooked. What you are really aiming for is to dry them out thoroughly, over a slow period of time.

Let the “ornaments” cool completely. Then paint using acrylic paints and decorate them as you like. Makes about 2 dozen pieces, but please do not eat them! These are for decorative purposes only.

To see more info on salt dough click here.

 

 

 

Food Allergies in the Classroom

Allergies to all kinds of food have always existed, but over the last two decades they seem to have increased exponentially!!!

Some interesting statistics from The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (AAAA):

  • The prevalence of food allergy among children under the age of 18 increased 18% percent from 1997 to 2007.
  • Peanut allergy affects 1.2% of children. Approximately 20% of children outgrow it by age 6.
  • Peanut allergy doubled in children from 1997-2002.
  • Skin contact and inhalation exposure to peanut butter are unlikely to cause systemic reactions or anaphylaxis.

I’m not here to speculate on why this is, but the question I have is how do schools and parents work together to ensure the safety of the children without alienating the child without making waves in the classrooms for the rest of the kids?

Cafeteria:

Our schools have an allergy free table in the cafeteria, that all children with food allergies sit at during their lunch period. They can invite a friend (if they buy lunch that day) and there is an absolute no food sharing rule throughout the school.  It seems to work out great.

Class Parties:

I am a room mom at my children’s elementary school.  We typically have about  four class parties each year.  In the recent years, the rules have changed. We no longer bring in what would be considered an “unhealthy treat”. Only small amounts of healthy foods are permitted for each celebration.  For allergy and food safety reasons, it’s been suggested that  home baked goods not come into the classroom for parties at all.  I agree completely.  But where do we draw the line?

Is it okay to offer a treat that is not “allergy free” as long as you offer an alternative?  Who’s responsibility should it be?  Of course we want to keep our kids safe, but are we helping these kids by protecting them from the foods that are dangerous to them? Or is it better to start making kids learn from the beginning that their situation is different and they always need to be their own advocate and be responsible to their own issues?  This is definitely a personal decision.  Some parents may not want their child to be singled out as the “allergy kid” and choose to leave “safe snacks”  in the classroom so that their child always has a treat if needed.  Some parents feel more comfortable knowing that the classroom is “allergy free” for their child.  Regardless,  a child should always be taught to be checking to make sure that any treat is safe for them before they eat it.  Is it fair to make a classroom allergy free for some specific food allergies and not for others?  It is also important to teach children without allergies to be respectful and aware of the dangers involved in exposing a child to a food that they may be allergic too.

As a parent of a child with these restrictions – what is your role?  Would you rather the party is “allergy free”, or do you choose to provide snacks (just in case) so that there is something available regardless of what happens in the classroom?   Are you against having an alternate “safe” option or would you choose no snack at all.

What are we trying to teach our children?… to overcome adversity, learn to cope with small samplings of the real world or hope everyone and everything changes for us.

How do you see this topic?

 

Banana Chocolate Chip Mini Loafs

We found these at Whole Foods…Looks like you can also find them at Walmart and Costco.

Peanut and Nut free Individually wrapped Mini Loaf Cakes

With all of the allergies that exist in the classrooms these days…I thought this was a great idea.

Great packaging to identify that this is a nut-free product. No guessing or dissecting the list of ingredient.  My kids loved them!

I found this review from Best Health Magazine:

Treasure Mills School Safe Banana Chocolate Chip Mini Loafs

Treasure Mills School Safe loafs are school safe because they are made in a peanut-free bakery facility in Newmarket, Ont. Each loaf (40 g) has 130 calories, 2 g protein, 6 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 18 g carbohydrates, 0 g fibre, 20 mg cholesterol and 40 mg sodium. ($3, 320 g, 8 per pkg)

Kid tested: “They’re just the right size for a recess-time snack at school and I even eat them at home. My mom keeps them in the freezer, but I prefer them warmed up.” —Hudson Walker, 11

Mom approved: I like these banana loafs because the main ingredients is bananas, they are peanut- and nut-free, made without preservatives, the packaging is recycled and, most of all, my kids will eat them. They aren’t moist, which if I was eating them would be a drawback, but that means they also aren’t mushy so there’s no messy fingers to contend with. —Jennifer Walker, Senior Content Editor