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Daily Tips

When it comes to food allergies, there is a big learning curve.  To help with the details, we are posting a daily tip about the top food allergens, cross contamination and how to avoid it, crazy hidden places that food allergies hide, cooking and baking tips, and more.  There will be a new one every day!  Read them with your morning beverage, forward to family & friends who need them, and discuss.




Chef Tip: Store Nuts in Fridge or Freezer to Prolong Shelf Life

Today's Tip brought to you by:

Nuts and nut flours are a great baking substitute for the gluten-free baker, but the higher fat content means these expensive products can go rancid more quickly, especially in summertime heat. Store nut flours in an airtight container in the fridge or freezer to prolong the shelf life.


HALLOWEEN Tip: Create an "allergy goblin".

Today's Tip Brought to You By:

Halloween is a wonderful holiday, but for parents of food allergic kids, it can be a little scary for all of the wrong reasons. Communicating with your kids about the brands of wrapped candy that are "safe" for them to eat and what is not is a start. Even so, its best to sort through the candy with your child, and if you can make a game of it, all the better.

At the end of the night, when all of the candy is sorted, place  your child's unsafe candy in a bag.  Then, you and your child can place it outside the front door where the "good allergy goblin" will come and take it away, and give them a gift in return. After they go to bed, or before they wake up, replace the bag of candy with a toy your child will love. It's a magical way to make your child feel special. Halloween is a social holiday, that isn't just about candy, and game like this can help keep it joyful.

PLEASE NOTE: Rockford Food Allergy Network (RFAN) is not a medical organization and any information should not be relied upon as medical advice. ALWAYS discuss individual health questions, concerns and medical issues with a qualified physician."

 Other Halloween Posts

Halloween "Safe" Candy List

Fun Ideas to Keep Your Trick-or-Treater Safe This Halloween

Cash For Candy at Your Local Dentist



Shop in Teams for Less Stress in Severe Weather

Shopping with food allergies often means mulitple trips to multiple stores.  This can be exhausting in any weather.  During severe storms, stocking up before a hurricane hits can be very complicated when food allergies are involved.  People with food allergies have to eat certain foods that are not readily available or convenient to find.  If you need help, or know of a neighbor who does, partner with them or with the people in your local food allergy support network. 

Each person can take a list with specific products for each person in the shopping group.  One person is assigned to one or two stores.  Keep the groups manageable.  Keep the lists to essentials -- but get enough.  The news warns to have enough food, water and flashlight batteries for 5 days.  And of course all mediations, including Epipens, need to be accounted for and with the allergic person at all times.  Pick a local spot that is convenient to everyone and exchange food and money accordingly.

If you don't know of any other person with food allergies, perhaps a friend or family member can help by picking up some stuff for you at their regular grocery store while you do your shopping at the allergen-free store.   

When times get tough, it takes a community.  To all of our friends on the East Coast, stay safe, secure, and loved.  Lots of good energy is coming your way.


Kid Tip: Keep Lunch to a Simple 3-4 items

Today's Tip Sponsored By Melanie Potock &:

Often, I see parents packing 6 to 9 foods in a child’s lunch strategizing that “This way, there has to be SOMETHING in here they will eat”.  In fact, packing too many items in too many containers or plastic bags is overwhelming for a child.  Consider that once a child finds his way to his table in the school cafeteria, he has about 20 minutes left to eat.  Too many choices, too many items to rummage through, too many options spilled out on the table before him can back-fire. 

Keep it simple.  Pack 3 to 4 things max.  Try a one-step, easy-open container that has compartments for each food. Pre-cut the food into bite-size portions so kids can just grab it, eat it and chat with friends. “Grab and Gab” easy, simple lunches – that’s the best strategy!

Read More About Packing an Easy Lunch from Melanie


Chef's Tip: Freeze Cranberries & Add Nutrients to More Foods

It's cranberry season!  Fresh cranberries are incredibly good for you, and in The Tender Palate's opinion, should be used much more often than at Thanksgiving.  To extend the life of your cranberries, throw them into a freezer bag and into the freezer as soon as you get them home from the grocery store or farmer's market.  Then wash them before each use.  Run boiling water over them to wash and thaw and then immediately rinse them with cold, filtered water.  Throw them into pancakes, smoothies, sauces, hot breakfast cereal, gluten-free sweet breads.. whatever sounds good to you.  

CRANBERRIES are full of Vitamins C & K, manganese, and dietary fiber. But the phytonutrients are in the wheel house that researchers believe delivers anti-oxident, anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer and all of the benefits that go with them. They support your heart, stomach, immune system, mouth & gums and urinary tract. The phytonutrients are mostly found in the skin of the fruit, so eat those little puppies whole, too.