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Freedom from Food Restrictions this Fourth of July 2014

Sometimes I feel like I may be overcompensating for my kids' food allergies with lots of festive snacks on special occasions.  But I will never regret creating memories with my kids and enjoying good food with family.

This Fourth of July was no exception.  I made way too many snacks, and the kids had tummy aches by the time the fireworks rolled around.  But they loved all the food, and I'm sure I will be making some of these items again in the near future.

Since last Fourth of July (see last year's post here), we have had a few changes in diets in our family.  Bubs is allergic to milk, eggs, and peanuts and is sensitive to gluten, soy, and artificial colors.  GirlyGirl is allergic to peanuts and is sensitive to milk, and she is avoiding artificial colors.  My 5 year old nephew is allergic to milk and is avoiding gluten and artificial colors.  My sister-in-law is avoiding gluten.  My 1 year old niece is allergic to eggs.  Out of all the kids there, my SIL's stepson and my two littlest girls are the only ones without food allergies.  The good part about dealing with all the food restrictions in this family is that a lot of them overlap.  Basically, if it's safe for Bubs, it's safe for everyone.

We began our day with some yummy blueberry bread made with fresh blueberries we had picked at a local blueberry patch the week before.  I was hoping to have enough to save for later in the day, but the kids devoured it!

My mother-in-law has perfected a Top 8 Free hamburger bun/roll that the kids absolutely love.  So burgers it was for lunch.  She got some grass-fed only beef (along with some regular beef for those without issues), grilled up some burgers along with some veggies, and a feast we had.  I brought fruit cups to share, my SIL brought some safe chips to eat with corn and bean salsa, and some safe potato chips on the side made for a great meal.



I made several safe treats for the kids to graze on throughout the day, including strawberry jello mixed with strawberries, star shaped strawberry jello jigglers, peach and blueberry cobbler, and power balls.  The jello I used is a vegan jel dessert made without artificial colors.  It tasted more flavorful and less sugary than the Jello brand.

Jello with strawberries, Peach and Blueberry Cobbler, Jigglers, and Power Balls

Vegan jello, made with no artificial colors

I also made cupcake cones topped with buttercream frosting and a blueberry.  Next time I think I'll top some with cherries or strawberries and some with blueberries to get the red, white, and blue theme going.  The cones are gluten free, and the chocolate cake was Betty Crocker's gluten free cake mix.  I used Earth Balance Soy Free butter and EnerG Egg Replacer instead of the milk and eggs the box called for.  

I had some leftover cake batter after making 6 cupcake cones, so I decided to make cupcakes topped with sprinkles that contain no artificial colors. 

I have seen these "Got Milk" straws in the store and just assumed they contain milk, so I have never even bothered to look at the label.  It turns out, though, that they are free of milk and other allergens.  They are meant to placed in a glass of milk to make chocolate or strawberry milk, but I just let the kids eat the candies right from the straw.  They loved it!  What a treat!

The weather was perfect, and family time was a blast!  What more could you ask for on the Fourth of July!