Archive for Newsworthy

Aug
12

Managing a Gluten-Free Diet in School

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Yikes! My kids go back to school this week! Ever since they started preschool, we’ve been on the traditional schedule of starting school after labor day. So starting in August, feels really early to me. Especially since we spent most of our summer moving! But we’re ready. The kids are anxious to learn about their new school and meet some new friends. And I…well, I am ready to get back on a schedule. I still have a lot of boxes to unpack and organize. And that’s a little easier without the kids at home. :)

As we are getting so close to the start, I’ve been going through some of my older posts about keeping the kids gluten free at school. We’ll have new teachers, administrators, and nurses to connect with and make sure they understand the importance of my kids being gluten free.

Earlier this year, I put together a page (Gluten Free in School) with all the posts I have written about managing my kids’ gluten-free diets at school. Maybe you’re preparing for school, too, and would like some new ideas to review? I’ve got sample letters to teachers, snack and classroom party food ideas, and craft recipes all linked. So, check it out and feel free to add your own ideas in the comments. Simply click on “Gluten Free in School” on the menu bar above. Or here: Gluten Free in School.

Want to discuss the issue further? NFCA (along with the sponsor Mary’s Gone Crackers) is facilitating a Back-to-School webinar about “….Preparing to Educate Administrators on the Importance of Gluten-Free.” To be a part of it, you can register for free at CeliacCentral.org. And don’t worry if you miss it. After the event, they will post the webinar on their website, so you can download it and review later from their archived webinars.

Categories : Events, Newsworthy, Parenting
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Dec
24

Gluten-Free Holiday Recipes Galore

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Update: I hope everyone is enjoying the holiday season! I took some time to update the Holiday Recipe Events below with all the links to recipes and roundups, so browse through them for some great gluten-free recipes. You may find just the recipe you want for  some last-minute ideas for Christmas, or maybe you’re thinking ahead to New Year celebrations.??

I also want to mention another gluten-free event that I completely neglected (unintentionally) – Jules’s Gluten-Free Cookie Swap. I’m not very good about following Facebook, but I finally got a chance to look at it. Wow! It has more than 100 gluten-free cookie recipes posted. You don’t want to leave this off your list of recipes to peruse. And maybe you’ll share your own favorite cookie recipe!

However you are spending the start of the winter season, I send you warm wishes to you and yours. I hope you have a happy, healthy, gluten-free holiday!

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Three online events are going on this season to help you enjoy your holidays gluten free. I’ve already shared with you the December Sanity Challenge. Here are two events that are more specific to gluten-free recipes. The events have already started, but don’t let that stop you from checking them out. New gluten-free recipes are being posted everyday by bloggers wanting to share their healthy ideas with you. And, there are still prizes to win, too!

http://simplysugarandglutenfree.com/a-gluten-free-holiday-2011/

A Gluten-Free Holiday

This weekly themed link-up event is taking place on Thursdays (November through December) and includes a cookbook give-away every week.

Share your own favorite gluten-free holiday dishes and browse through new gluten-free recipes to add to your menu.

Nov. 3rd – Healthier Through the Holidays at Simply Sugar & Gluten-Free
Nov. 10th – Thanksgiving Favorites at Cook It Allergy Free
Nov. 17th – Edible Gifts at Taste at Tasty Eats at Home
Dec. 1st – Holiday Entrees & Sides Dishes at Daily Bites
Dec. 8th – Holiday Breakfast & Brunch at Diet, Dessert, and Dogs
Dec. 15th – Holiday Desserts at She Let Them Eat Cake

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Home for the Holidays

This daily event is taking place through December 23, and features holiday recipes from 25 different bloggers. Shirley at gluten free easily gathered almost 100 items to give away throughout the event.

The prizes include gluten-free cookbooks, e-books, magazine subscriptions, applications, and a testing kit. The final top three prizes will be a VitaMix blender, $150 shopping spree at Free From Gluten, and a giveaway package from Caveman Cookies.

Check out all the details in the event announcement from Shirley.

Nov. 28– Nutmeg Shortbread Flats (Gluten-Free) at gfe–gluten free easily
Nov. 29– Toffee (Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free) at The WHOLE Gang
Nov. 30– Fritters/Förtchens/Futtjens/Ferdons (Gluten-Free) at Adventures of a Gluten-Free Mom
Dec. 1– Cut-out Gingerbread Cookies (Gluten-Free) at The Whole Life Nutrition Kitchen
Dec. 2– Chocolate Pecan “Toll House” Pie (Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free) at And Love it, Too!
Dec. 3– Paleo Monkey Bread (Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free) at Paleo Parents
Dec. 4– Candy Cane Ice Cream (Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free) at She Let Them Eat Cake
Dec. 5– Red Chile Enchilada Casserole (Gluten-Free) at Gluten Free For Good
Dec. 6– Cinnamon Bun Cake (Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free) at Cook IT Allergy Free
Dec. 7– Chocolate Pomegranate Clusters (Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Soy-Free, Vegan, Corn-Free)at Lexie’s Kitchen
Dec. 8– Chocolate & Cinnamon Babka Bread (Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free) at Real Sustenance
Dec. 9– Gingerbread Apple Crisp (Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free) at Elana’s Pantry
Dec. 10– Peanut Butter Pie with a Double Chocolate Crust (Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free) at The Spunky Coconut
Dec. 11– Chocolate Peppermint Truffles (Anti-Candida, Sugar-Free, Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Vegan) at Diet, Dessert and Dogs
Dec. 12–  Cream Cheese Cookies (Gluten-Free, Soy-Free, Vegan) at The Daily Dietribe
Dec. 13– Pumpkin Chocolate Cookies (Gluten-Free, Vegan) at Gluten Free by Nature
Dec. 14– Cinnamon Sticky Rolls (Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Vegan, Oven or Crock Pot Method) at Jules Speaks Gluten Free
Dec. 15– Pine Nut Cookies (Gluten-Free) at Silvana’s Kitchen (and Easy Eats)
Dec. 16– Christmas Breakfast Casserole (Gluten-Free) at Gluten-Free Cat
Dec. 17– Baked Eggs Florentine (Gluten-Free) at Simply…Gluten Free
Dec. 18– Holiday Pumpkin Bread (Gluten-Free, Vegan) at Alisa Cooks
Dec. 19– Cinnamon Rolls (Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free) at The Gluten-Free Homemaker
Dec. 20– Magical Seven-Layer Bars (Vegan, Soy-Free, Nut-Free, Casein-Free) at Gluten Free Gigi
Dec. 21– Cranberry White Chocolate Chunk Cookies (Gluten-Free) at Z’s Cup of Tea
Dec. 22– Chocolate Silk Pie with Honey Whipped Cream (Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Soy-Free, Grain-Free) at Lillian’s Test Kitchen
Dec. 23— Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate (Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free) at gfe—gluten free easily

Categories : Events, Newsworthy
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This week only, through Sunday, December 25, Gluten-Free Saver has partnered with Van’s Natural Foods to raise money to send gluten-free kids to a summer camp next year.

The money collected will be used for scholarships for kids to attend a gluten-free summer camp hosted by the Celiac Disease Foundation next summer in San Bernardino, California. The summer camp will be held from July 30 to August 3, 2012. It’s open to all kids between the ages of 7 and 15 who are gluten-intolerant or gluten-sensitive. The kids do not need to have an official diagnosis of celiac disease, only the need to be gluten free.

Van’s is matching all donations this week up to $1,000! Please join me this week in donating to the cause. Even a small donation of $2 will add $4 dollars to the scholarships. If you are feeling generous this holiday season, feel free to contribute as much as you’d like.

You can find more details on this one-week fundraiser at Gluten-Free Saver.

 

Categories : Events, Newsworthy
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This giveaway is now closed.

We have a little more than three weeks before my kids head back to school this year. So, thoughts of packing snacks and lunches for my kids is on my mind. I’d like to tell you that I only make homemade gluten-free cookies and snacks for my kids. But the truth is I also purchase gluten-free snack products at the stores. Sometimes we just need something quick and easy.

Mi-Del sent me some coupons to review their gluten-free cookies. Mi-Del gluten-free cookies are not new to my family. In fact, Mi-Del’s Arrowroot Animal Cookies were the first gluten-free cookies I purchased when my son, a toddler at the time, was diagnosed with Celiac Disease. With no gluten-free goldfish or graham crackers to eat, we used these arrowroot cookies for snacks on a regular basis. Then, after moving to a new state, we couldn’t find them in the stores near our house, and so we adjusted to other cookies and brands.

Last year, we found something new from Mi-Del: We found this cute little box of individual packs of S’mores Cookies. We love these! The box contains five individual 90-calorie packages of little bite-size cookies. They are chocolatey and crunchy with a little marshmallow flavor baked in, too. It’s really nice to have some snacks that you can just grab and go, but it’s even better for having shelf-stable treats that the kids’ teachers can store in their classrooms for unexpected needs. (Unexpected classmate birthday celebrations and class food projects that aren’t gluten-free do come up during the year.)

Since Mi-Del sent us some coupons, the kids and I went looking for some different Mi-Del cookies to try. We wanted to try the Chocolate Caramel and the Chocolate Sandwich cookie varieties listed on the Mi-Del website, but never found them in our local stores. We did, however, find the Pecan Flavored Cookies, Chocolate Chip Cookies, and Ginger Snaps. And the kids were happy to be the taste testers. :)

My son’s favorite was the Pecan flavored cookies. This was my first time trying Mi-Del’s Pecan flavored cookies, and my first thought about them was that they reminded me of vanilla wafers. They certainly aren’t the same as Nilla® Wafers (which aren’t gluten-free), but if you are looking for a gluten-free substitute, I suggest you give these a try. They are about the same size, but perhaps not as crisp, and a little darker in color with a mild taste of pecans and molasses.  They make great cookie sandwiches. Just add some peanut butter, frosting, or ice cream between two of them.

I knew that my daughter’s favorite would be the Chocolate Chip Cookies. Like me, she is a lover of all that is chocolate. Honestly, these are not my favorite chocolate chip cookies, but we do buy them on occasion. I prefer to make my own chewy chocolate chip cookies.

And what about the Ginger Snaps? Well, Mi-Del makes really good ginger snaps. My nieces and sister-in-law (who don’t follow a gluten-free diet) love them. I think the flavor is a little too strong for my two cookie eaters’ sensitive taste buds. I personally think these, as well as their Cinnamon Snaps, are great for making crusts for pies, tarts, and cheesecakes. Just crush them up and use them in your favorite recipes.

Allergens and Ingredients. Mi-Del states that their “Gluten-Free products are routinely tested using the ELISA method to ensure gluten-free status as determined by the World Health Organization.” I know many Celiac Family readers are also sensitive to other grains and allergens, so you may be interested to know that the gluten-free flour used for these cookies is a mixture of corn flour, soy flour, potato flour, rice flour, corn starch, potato starch and xanthan gum. The Chocolate Chip and Pecan Flavored cookies also contain egg and milk. The Ginger Snaps contain egg, but have no dairy ingredients listed.

My final thoughts on the cookies. These small cookies are perfect for snacks. They aren’t chewy nor too crispy, but somewhere in between with a tender crumb. They don’t break too easily, so you can pack them in lunches without getting a lot of broken pieces. And the price is reasonable for purchasing gluten-free cookies in the stores. The S’mores bite-size cookies are a little more pricey because of the extra packaging. If you are not familiar with Mi-Del cookies, please be aware that Mi-Del does make cookies that are not gluten free. So, make sure you are purchasing the cookies that are clearly marked “Gluten-Free” on the packaging!

This giveaway is now closed.

FREE Cookies Giveaway. So, now that I’ve told you what my family thinks of them, what do you you think? Do you want to try them yourself? Mi-Del gave me some coupons to offer to Celiac Family readers. Each coupon is good for one FREE Mi-Del product. Mi-Del’s website also has a product locator that can tell you where to find their products near you.

  • To enter, simply leave a comment below saying which product you would purchase with the coupon. Check out Mi-Del’s gluten-free products on their website to see all the varieties they make gluten free.
  • You can receive bonus entries for letting your friends know about the giveaway on Twitter, Facebook, or your blog. Just be sure to come back and leave an additional comment below letting us know where you mentioned it.
  • Make sure when you’re leaving a comment, that you put your email address in the appropriate box so that I can contact you if you win.

Three Winners will be chosen using a random generator. Each winner will receive one coupon to redeem at your local store for any Mi-Del product up to $4.00. All comments/entries must be received no later than 11:59 pm EDT, Friday Aug. 19. The winner should respond within 48 hours after being contacted by email. If I’m unable to contact a winner, another winner will be chosen. Good Luck!

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May
12

Gluten-Free Food Labeling Summit 2011

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Last week, my husband and I decided last minute to join the crowd in D.C. for the 1 in 133 event. I really didn’t think we would be able to attend, but decided that we could skip out on some after school activities for such an important event. So, I picked up the kids at school and headed to D.C. to pick up my husband and join the event.

We arrived toward the end of the cake building. The top was being placed, and the decorative frosting was being added to the sides. The kids and I even got to decorate a couple smaller cakes that were added at the bottom. We stayed as long as we could and still get the kids home to bed on time. It was a good night to reconnect with fellow Celiacs I hadn’t seen for a long time and meet some new gluten-free friends, too.

I took some photos of the cake, and a few of the kids.  I talked with Linda of The Gluten-Free Homemaker, Jules Shepherd of Jules Gluten Free, John Forberger the Gluten-Free Triathlete, Dr. Alessio Fasano of The University of Maryland Center for Celiac Research, and so many more.

It really was a great event with many gluten free experts, researchers, sponsors, food manufacturers, bloggers, celiacs, supporters, etc. Also present was a member of the FDA who was there to hear our plea for federal regulation on gluten-free food labels. There really were so many other people there who were instrumental in bringing the night’s event together, but unfortunately I didn’t get all those names and titles. I guess I didn’t have my reporter hat on that night.

I’ll bet you’re wondering if there was any news from the event. I can tell you that the cake was 11’2″ tall. And, the talk about the gluten-free labeling law sounded encouraging. It was difficult to hear the speakers, especially with two fidgety young kids. So, that’s about all of the information I can offer. For more specific details of the event, read Amy Ratner’s more thorough report at Gluten-Free Living. For additional photos and videos of the event, check out the post at The Gluten-Free Homemaker.

There is still more work to do. Please show your support of the effort any way you can:

Categories : Events, Newsworthy
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