Chocolate Mice, Cauliflower Skulls, and Strawberry Ghosts!!

A night of Jack-O-Lanterns, ghoulish displays of ghosts and goblins, black cats and witches on broomsticks, are hallmarks of Halloween! The excitement in kids as they countdown to wearing their creative costumes, and trick-or-treating is palpable for weeks leading up to Halloween.

Unknown to most, however, for a child with food allergies there is much trepidation. Milk, peanuts, tree-nuts, and more in candy/party treats impose a threat.

Be your own agent and surveil every piece of candy!!

Below is a collage of allergy-safe halloween treats, some sweet, some savory, and some positively disgusting! These will be sure to spice up your party and keep everyone safe!

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NOTE: THESE WERE NOT DEVELOPED BY FOODALLERGYLOWDOWN. THIS IS A COMPILATION OF IDEAS FROM VARIOUS SOURCES.

Those of us affected by food allergies are a TEAM! Add yourself to this great resource from FARE:  www.foodallergy.org/teal-pumpkin-project/fever-map#.WBDSzJMrLcF

It’s a crowd-sourced map for the Teal Pumpkin Project, which allows you to add your home and show that you are handing out allergy-safe candy to your trick-or-treaters. You can also find out which homes near you have registered, and be sure to stop at them!

That’s not all. Here are some past FAL Halloween Posts:

Teal Pumpkins for Halloween

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Courtesy of FARE

For all my candy lovers! Do you find yourself not being able to eat half the candy you collect while Trick-Or-Treating? Look for Teal Pumpkins in your neighborhood! FARE launched a new program in 2014 – they are encouraging families to put out Teal Pumpkins if they have non-food treats to offer!

If you offer these treats yourself put out a pumpkin to alert the other allergic-kids in the neighborhood! Thanks for your support!

Check out FARE for more information here.

Allergy-Safe Halloween Treats!

Halloween decor

Photo Courtesy of Penn State News

Hey Everyone! I’m so excited by the wonderful response I received about my last post. I’m thrilled so many of you are planning to do a Teal Pumpkin for Halloween this year!

For some inspiration, I thought I’d share some ideas on Allergy-Safe treats you could offer. For one, Dum-dum lollipops are free of the Top 7 Allergens – so those might be a good idea to keep around! In terms of non-food treats, packs of pencils, puzzles, party favors, nail polishes, books, small stuffed animals – all things you can find at your local dollar store!

I like to think in terms of what I might put in a goody bag – those treats are usually inexpensive but still super fun!
Enjoy!

HALLOWEEN COOKIES

I’m so excited for Halloween! (As you can tell by all my Halloween themed posts🙂 )

These NUT FREE Halloween cookies are SO delicious and only have Wheat and Egg as major allergens!! They are wonderful for any event from costume parties to snacking while watching a scary movie! Enjoy🙂

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PLEASE SHARE TO RAISE AWARENESS…YOU ARE A FOOD ALLERGY ADVOCATE!!

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Going to College #2

Attention College Bound Students!!
Have you heard of the FARE College Food Allergy Program?

FARE started a campaign in 2014 to not only help educate college staff on how to best accommodate children with food allergies, but also compile a database so prospective students can learn how each college plans to handle food allergies.

This new database is expected to be available by late 2016/early 2017.

For more information, visit: http://www.foodallergy.org/collegeprogram

If you’re heading off to college sooner than the database release, reach out to the colleges you’re considering for more information!

Many colleges already have established programs (such as mandatory staff trainings and additional allergen-free dining facilities) to ensure that their students with allergies can have a fun and safe time on campus.

Stay tuned for next week’s post: Allergy-Safe Airlines! More Going to College posts are on the way too!

WOW Stories: “The Hilton” FAL’s 3-Day Hotel Special #2

Over the course of many years I have stayed at The Hilton and their franchises several times, in the US, Hawaii and at three of their international locations:

  • Hilton Niagara Falls – Canada
  • Hilton London Heathrow Airport – United Kingdom
  • Hilton Jumeirah Beach- Dubai.

When staying at a hotel overseas I strongly recommend emailing the General Manager and the Executive Chef prior to arrival. Occasionally you will even see the hotel suggest this:

If you have a delicate allergy and need more information or support from the hotel, please contact us in advance of your stay.”

In my experience the chefs at the Hilton Restaurants are experienced in preparing meals with special dietary guidelines.

At the three international locations that I stayed at, I found them to be very knowledgeable, accommodating and most importantly proactive with regards to food allergies. It seemed standard for the following statement to appear on the menu, but what was remarkable is their competence in executing the precautions:

Please note that some of our dishes may contain traces of nuts. For guests with special dietary requirements of allergies who may want to know about the food ingredients used, please ask a member of the restaurant team.

                                                              

 The WOW Story!!

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While visiting the Big Island of Hawaii I dreamt of an exhilarating, experience under the magical Hawaiian night sky, swaying palms, music, hula dancers – an experience that would heighten the senses- a Luau.

The catch however was that a big part of the Luau is in the indulgence of a Hawaiian feast – a buffet that is filled with an array of Pan-Pacific food.

I did my research. The Legends of Hawaii Luau at the Hilton Waikoloa Village seemed the best fit.

Prior to making reservations for the Luau I spoke to the Executive Chef. We reviewed the dietary restrictions and the necessary precautions. He promised me a safe and memorable experience.

When we arrived at the Luau, he came and greeted us.

He had prepared a multi course meal. It was a Hawaiian- American combination of some traditional island dishes and some continental fare. He pointed out that the Kalua Pig was safe to eat.

Experiencing the individual flavors and aromas of the food while watching the Hula Kahiko performers beneath the mid-Pacific skies was an unforgettable experience!

Disclaimer: As always, be sure to communicate your allergies to the restaurant staff to the extent that YOU are comfortable with the way they are handled. For guidance in this matter we recommend our App, AllergySmartz.

**We hope you enjoyed the second installment of FAL’s 3-Day “WOW Stories” Special about Allergy-Friendly Hotels. The final installment will be out TOMORROW at 4:00 PM EST! Stay Tuned!

 

WOW Stories: “The Westin” FAL’s 3-Day Hotel Special #1

Sharing positive experiences of dining at hotel restaurants with international chains has the power to inspire, motivate and reinforce the efforts of the staff. Recognizing a chef who offered an exemplary dining experience sends more travelers with special dietary needs to the hotel chain.

As a world traveler with tree nut allergies I always exchange emails with the hotel’s General Manager and Executive Chef prior to my arrival (I highly recommend this).

My experiences at many locations of The Westin both domestic and abroad have been delightful.

The WOW Story!!

I arrived at The Westin at 2:00 AM local time, after a long international flight. I was thrilled to be greeted at check-in by the Head Chef. We sat down, and he made a note of all the dietary restrictions, cross contamination issues, etc.

He then had the concierge enter the information into their system. This alerted all the kitchen staff on EVERY shift.

The next morning, at breakfast, when the hostess sat me down, she informed the Executive Chef of my arrival.

The Executive Chef made an extra effort to make himself available at all times and personally took responsibility for every meal. He enquired and reassured me that he would personally cook those exotic dishes on the menu, while keeping them allergy safe, as he wanted me to enjoy the various cuisines.

As a backup a chef was assigned just for me, on every shift.

The entire team, especially the food service folks were friendly, helpful and inviting.

Every meal was a legendary experience.

As someone with tree nut allergies the huge array of delicious desserts are usually off limits. Seeing the chef’s passion to rise to the challenge and his demonstrated experience over my week long stay, I even got to enjoy the sublime texture and glorious flavor of some exotic desserts.

I came back with a deep sense of gratitude for that personal touch that made my stay at The Westin, Gurgaon, India a unique, positive and memorable experience!

Disclaimer: As always, be sure to communicate your allergies to the restaurant staff to the extent that YOU are comfortable with the way they are handled. For guidance in this matter we recommend our App, AllergySmartz.

**We hope you enjoyed the first installment of FAL’s 3-Day “WOW Stories” Special about Allergy-Friendly Hotels. The second installment will be out TOMORROW at 4:00 PM EST! Stay Tuned!