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Category: Kids corner

Tried and true kid friendly themes & ideas including our fave crafts and recipes

Raspberry Banana Green Power Smoothie

Tis’ the month for green and since little man doesn’t so much prefer mint (and there are already thousands of Shamrock Shake adaptations out there), we’re bringing you a simple, sweet and powerful festive green smoothie to incorporate into your diet this month.  It is amazingly kid friendly as well.  We created this smoothie one day before P’s basketball game and he slurped it down like it was his job.  It is honestly soo easy, and soo yum.  Plus, it can be thrown together in a matter of seconds, blend it up and serve.  You most likely already have many of these ingredients in your home right now and your littles will love it too!

Raspberry Banana Green Power Smoothie
Serves 1
A thick and creamy green smoothie full of flavor and nutrition
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Prep Time
5 min
Prep Time
5 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 handful organic spinach
  2. 1/2 avocado
  3. 1 frozen banana
  4. 1 cup almond milk (or other dairy free sub of choice)
  5. 2 tbsp raw honey
  6. 1 cup raspberry flavored coconutmilk yogurt
Instructions
  1. Blend all until smooth and serve chilled.
Notes
  1. Do ahead: freeze banana, can also be made with regular banana, smoothie texture just won't be same
3 Whole Peas in our Gluten Free Pod http://www.3wholepeasinourgfpod.com/

 

Turkey Cookies

In an attempt to replicate the famous tradtional Pinterest inspired turkey cookies made with chocolate sandwich cookies, I was on a mission to find some clean ingredients and also replicate the adorable treats in gluten free fashion.  I knew right away that our favorite gluten free JoJo’s from Trader Joe’s would be my cookie base and that Justin’s mini dark chocolate peanut butter cups would become our turkey body.  Then, after a little searching, I was able to find the rest of our yummy kid-approved ingredients, including delicious frosting (ie the “glue” that holds it all together, and the candy corn feathers).  

If you haven’t given Simple Mills organic frosting a try yet, you’re totally missing out on some amazing frosting!  It has way less sugar than conventional store-bought frosting, not to mention the fact that it has clean ingredients so you don’t have to worry about the negative effects of genetically modified ingredients and chemicals disrupting your body.  Win, win!   It tastes delicious too, is certified gluten free and even dairy free!  We were also able to hunt down some gluten free, non-gmo candy corn at Whole Foods and again, we love it for all of the same reasons we love anything organic.  The taste replicates the old candy corn I remember from childhood.  For food coloring, we love to use Watkin’s natural dye which uses natural clean ingredients to color frosting.  Say goodbye to red40 and yellow5.  It’s a little pricier, but so worth it!

turkey-cookies-with-logo

Now, are you ready to learn how to assemble these adorable kid-friendly cookies?  Let’s get started….

You’ll need: 

  1. A box of favorite gluten free chocolate sandwich cookies (We use Trader Joes) (budget 2 cookies per turkey)
  2. bag of non-gmo gluten free candy corn (budget 5 pieces per turkey)
  3. Simple Mills vanilla frosting
  4. red, orange and yellow Watkins natural food dye
  5. small bag of Justins dark chocolate peanut butter cups (You can make your own homemade mini cups too, certainly recommended with sunbutter for peanut allergy friends! πŸ™‚  (budget 1 1/2 cups per turkey cookie ie body and head)
  • Lay out your ingredients in mini assembly piles of 2 cookies each, paired with 5 pieces of candy corn, and 1 1/2 unwrapped peanut butter cups.  (You will need to unwrap and cut in half, the remaining peanut butter cups for each turkey head.)
  • Now, carefully twist apart one of your sandwich cookies per turkey, leaving the second one assembled, as is.  It’s time to place the feathers in between.  With a butter knife and frosting, layer in some frosting on bottom cookie piece to act as glue to hold the 5 candy corn feathers.  I tried to alternate candy corn color so there was variety, in a fan-like shape.  Now, sandwich the top cookie piece back on.  You can add more frosting in middle to stick it together as needed.  We found some cookies needed more frosting “glue” than others.  
  • With assembled feather cookie laying flat, glue second sandwich cookie to front of sandwich cookie with feathers vertically, using frosting as glue to hold it in place.  
  • Glue peanut butter cups in place with frosting to form the body and head, all while feather cookie remains flat.  Allow to set for 30 min before decorating the eyes, feet, and beak.  

While the cookies are drying together, you can mix your yellow and orange frosting next.  (Use red and yellow to mix orange, you won’t need much)

We love to use Watkin’s no artificial dye food coloring.  You can find it on Amazon or if you’re lucky enough…we found it at our local Target.  Using either a frosting decorator tip or a ziploc plastic baggie with the corner cut out, add the beak with orange and the feet and eyes to the cookies with yellow.  Tah-dah!  The littles will gobble them up and you’ll free great knowing these treats are chemical and dye free.  Win, win.  turkey-cookies-blog-post-cover

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LEGOLAND, Living the Gluten Free LifeGluten Free Legoland Cover

From their hotel to the Legoland park itself, Legoland Florida was surprisingly, pretty gluten free friendly.  Having dined a few times at Disney and finding they were very accommodating to a gluten free lifestyle, we just really didn’t know what to expect on our recent stay at Legoland.   Would they measure up?   There are, after all, many posts out there on gluten free dining in Disney….yet, not so many on Legoland. (“What-wah-wah” πŸ™ )  We hope to solve that issue, right now! 

We had emailed ahead of time for a complete list of park dining options and hotel dining options.  Since the venues are separate, we were provided with separate lists accordingly.  We were given prompt feedback!  

Gluten Free Legoland with logo

For the park itself, the food and beverage quality and safety supervisor responded…

“Thank you for your inquiry about gluten free options at LEGOLAND. We do try to avoid cross-contamination as much as possible, but because we tend to have areas that have a lot of variety, the potential is there. This information will cover the specific items carried throughout our park.  

At the park, we do have some options for you:

 Market Restaurant has Grilled Chicken, Chicken Caesar, Chef or Greek Salads, rotisserie chicken or salmon with vegetables and white rice (potatoes could have been cross contaminated during cooking) and fruit cups.  Market serves soup, but changes it daily, and the only one that is gluten-free is the broccoli cheese. 

Pizza Pasta Buffet has a self-serve salad bar and they have gluten free crusts available on request. ” 

**They made us our own individual gluten free pizzas and brought them out to the table, so we really only had to utilize the salad buffet and avoid the gluten contamination from the pizza and pasta buffet side altogether.   (Note:  They do NOT offer gluten free pasta πŸ™ )

January 2016 Legoland 289

“Castle Burger has gluten-free buns available on request for hamburgers/cheeseburgers or they have grilled chicken salads.  They also have French fries available. 

Granny’s has granny smith apple fries with whipped cream.”

**We tried the famous apple fries, yumm-o!

On our park day, of course Evan from EvanTube TV had P convinced that we just NEEDED to check out the famous apple fries first!  Now, it’s pretty rare that fried “park food” is gluten free safe, and these were an exception, 3 cheers!!  Yay!  (I think the adults liked them better than P πŸ™‚ )

P eating apple fries

“Panini Grill has gluten-free bread available upon request for various Panini sandwiches.  Kids sandwiches are ham and cheese or cheese only.  Adult options are ham,  roast beef, chicken Florentine and tomato basil with mozzarella.

Adventure or Robot Trailers have nachos and cheese and ice cream products.

Lakeside Sandwich has Grilled Chicken, Chicken Caesar and Greek Salads, fruit cups and yogurt parfaits.

Castle Cart/Lakeside Cart (open seasonally and weather dependent)β€”popcorn and ice creams.

Fried Chicken Co. has French fries.

Burger Kitchen has gluten-free buns available upon request for hamburgers/ cheeseburgers.

Dino Slush and Fun Town Slush have slushies.

Smaller locations, like the carts, will not be noted on the map.  However, we can point you in the right direction once you are here.  If, on the day of your visit, you have questions regarding the food options, please stop by any of the restaurant locations to speak with a member of leadership.”

SO helpful, right? πŸ™‚

For the hotel:

We have many options available with a gluten free eating experience. Attached you will find an easy to follow chart. Red bars under the allergen shows this product has the allergen and should not be consumed. Please speak to cook prior to dining, our menus change at times and the chefs will know for sure and even can make you a specialized meal.”  

Bricks Copy-of-Florida-Allergies-Legoland  breakfast

Bricks Florida-Allergies-Legoland  dinner

Skyline Restaurant and Bar Allergen Menu lunch and dinner 

The only downside to the breakfast menu, was that they, at the time anyway, did NOT offer gluten free pancakes or waffles, muffins, etc. however they did have gluten free bread to toast (that you could get from the back kitchen from the chef).  Breakfast was mainly fruit, eggs and meat, ie bacon, sausage etc.  So, “note to self” :), pack your own gluten free muffins in a carry-on or purse like we did!!  We packed Trader Joe’s gluten free blueberry for us, and P loves his chocolate chip muffins, mmmm!  

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We dined at Bricks in the hotel for both dinner and breakfast and both times, the chef came out and walked through the buffet lines with us to share what was safe.  They were super friendly about it and didn’t act like we were a nuisance at all.  Fun fact, a lot of their foods are made fresh and prepared right there in the kitchen, so they know exactly all ingredients in the dishes.  Yay!  P highly recommends their nacho cheese sauce and corn chips!

The Skyline bar and restaurant in the hotel also had some “limited” options, yet options nonetheless and this is where we scored this delicious caprese salad for lunch one of the days!  We simply added the plain, grilled chicken for protein.  

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 Regardless of the food options along the trip, and at the parks, I always pack our snacks and gluten free bread to make an easy PB & J (or honey) if you’re the gluten free kid :)… (sunbutter for those peanut allergy friends πŸ™‚ )

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This simple tip alone, also saves the cost on dining for a quick lunch!!

 

We’re off!……January 2016 Legoland 175

 Fun tip:  Before your vacay, plan to do a countdown!  The, easy, DIY countdown was made right at home.  With a simple dry erase Vis-a-Vis marker, we were able to add the countdown numbers to the Legos themselves and attach a fun mini-figure on top of each Lego brick for fun.  3, 2, 1, ……  

image
We started 15 days out, however you could start anywhere from a month out for older kiddos, to even just 5 days out for the littles.  Legoland is SO super kid-friendly for young ones too, with many ride options for all and play areas!!  And don’t forget to plan to do some mini-figure Lego trading while there!  We were able to get away in January, which made for no wait times and less congestion.

Upon hotel check-in, we were pleased to find some great products in the room, including this organic lotion:

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P also was surprised to receive treasures in the treasure chest, just for him, including complimentary Honest Kids juice!

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Gluten free kid tested, mom approved, and no incidents of being, “glutened”….we highly recommend Legoland!!

Welcome to your room

 One thing I wish I would have known ahead of time….IF you’re staying at the hotel, they toast s’mores in the evening…bring your own gluten free graham’s and join the fun!!  We didn’t know about it, so we didn’t have ours packed.  Next time!! πŸ™‚

fire pit

 

 

Find this post helpful?  You may also want to check out:  

3 Tips for Stress Less, Gluten Free Travel

 

Thanks for stopping!!

January 2016 Legoland 235

 

Please note you must always check ingredients and read labels on any food, or products mentioned in this post, including checking with the Legoland food staff. This post was written to reflect the options available to us at the time we traveled.   It is intended to be a helpful guide, however menu items and ingredients could change.  

Organic Pizza PotatoesOrganic pizza potatoes

Yes, you read it correctly.  Pizza.  Potatoes.  

Gluten free pizza crust, sometimes good and sometimes, well, let’s be honest…. not so good.  It can go from being too crispy and overcooked to way too chalky from all of the rice flour that is often substituted.  And always, most always thin crust style.  Now paleo cauliflower crust, SOO delicious when it’s done just right, yet for us often too time consuming to prep on the average busy week night.  If you’re grain-free however, we really believe it’s a tasty, healthy alternative.

I recently discovered Otto’s Cassava Flour, and I really look forward to trying a pizza crust recipe with the yuca root flour.  In the mean time however, no crust, no problems, as long as you’ve got spuds!  This one is fun to make with a sweet potato too!  Especially a must for my paleo fans!

 

Pizza Potatoes
Serves 4
Pepperoni Pizza Baked Potatoes; gluten free, dairy free alternative
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
30 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
30 min
Ingredients
  1. 4 large organic baking potatoes, washed, patted dry, pierced all over w/ knife
  2. 1 1/2 Tbsp. organic olive oil
  3. salt and pepper to taste
  4. 1/2 medium organic onion, chopped
  5. 1 cup sliced organic mushrooms
  6. 1/2 cup sliced pepperoni rounds (gluten free, uncured)
  7. 1/4 cup diced gluten free, uncured ham
  8. 1 8 oz. can organic tomato sauce
  9. 1/2 tsp. 3 whole peas Italian seasoning, or other Italian seasoning of choice
  10. 1 cup shredded organic, grass-fed shredded mozzarella (no growth hormones, or antibiotics:)
  11. *optional green onion/chive for topping
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 425. Line your baking sheet with parchment paper. Rub potatoes with 1/2 Tbsp. oil and then sprinkle with salt. Place potatoes on a moist paper towel and micorwave until just tender, about 10 minutes (turn halfway through). Place potatoes onto baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes, or until skins are crisp.
  2. Heat remaining oil in pan over medium-high heat to cook the onions and mushrooms next. When soft and beginning to brown, stir in pepperoni, tomato sauce, Italian seasoning and 1/4 tsp. each of salt and pepper.
  3. Remove potatoes from oven. Place your oven rack about 5 inches from the top; preheat broiler on high. Carefully cut a slit down each potato and squeeze ends to open, fluffing the inside of each with a fork. Divide pepperoni mixture among potatoes and top with the mozzarella. Broil until cheese is melted, approximately 2 minutes. Serve immediately.
Notes
  1. You can omit the cheese for dairy free or substitute daiya. Also, this recipe can be adapted to include your favorite pizza toppings. This pizza can be made vegetarian by omitting the meat and adding all your favorite veggies! Lastly, this recipe can be made without white potato, substituting in a sweet potato.
Adapted from unknown
Adapted from unknown
3 Whole Peas in our Gluten Free Pod http://www.3wholepeasinourgfpod.com/

pizza potatoes blog content photo

 

 

 

Making this recipe?  Snag a picture of your finished result, and tag us at #3wholepeas!  πŸ™‚  

Also, if you like this post or recipe and want to receive more recipes straight to your inbox, don’t forget to subscribe to our blog!

Thanks for stopping by!

Organic pizza potatoes

Mini Honey Corn Dog Muffins mini corndog muffins

mini corndog muffins
These fun, little, mini corn dog muffins are dippable, mouth poppable, party app-e-teaser delicious, and the best part….(drum roll)….super duper kid-friendly!  Yay!  
We’ve nicknamed them our “corn dog poppers”!

There are SO many variations of these little guys out there that it’s hard to give credit to any one recipe, however I will be the first to admit, the idea of these minis certainly was not my original.  After all, our recipe was crafted using ideas from countless homemade corn dog recipes,  and well, a little trial and error.  πŸ™‚

These “puppies” (ha-ha) are our favorite spin, made with real ingredients and are even gluten and dairy free as written.    (Applause)

We like to double the recipe and freeze some for later to have on hand because we think they make awesome, highly likable, easy to pack, school lunch entrees or simply a quick meal at home.  

image

Mini Honey Corn Dog Poppers
Yields 24
Mini, Allergy Friendly Corn Dog Muffins
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
20 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
20 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 cup of Gluten Free cornbread mix (We used Bob's Red Mill)
  2. 1 organic egg
  3. 1/4 cup of organic canola oil
  4. 1/2 cup of non-dairy milk sub
  5. 2 TBSP Melt brand non-dairy honey butter
  6. 6 nitrate free hot dogs - We love Applegate!
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Spray mini-muffin tin pan with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. Slice hot dogs of choice to approximate depth of your muffin pan: Yield around 4-5 slices per hot dog.
  3. Mix corn bread batter in a large bowl: Cornbread mix, egg, oil, Melt "butter" and dairy free milk.
  4. Pour batter into muffin tin, filling each about half full.
  5. Press a hot dog slice into the center of each.
  6. Bake for 8-10 minutes.
Notes
  1. If Melt brand non-dairy honey butter isn't available to you (we found ours at Whole Foods), you can try to substitute raw honey. πŸ™‚ Good luck!
3 Whole Peas in our Gluten Free Pod http://www.3wholepeasinourgfpod.com/
 Kids and grown ups alike will enjoy these little treats!  Dip them in your favorite gluten free dipping sauces….organic ketchup, honey, honey mustard, Dijon or even barbecue or serve them up with some sweet potato fries!

Fall Literacy Gluten Free Snack Idea fall literacy gf snack


Who doesn’t love Pete the Cat?!  From his rockin’ school shoes to his laid back cool dude attitude and style, he’s one popular cat in our pod.  And, we all know the song/story of The Five Little Pumpkins Sitting on a Gate, right?!  From links on YouTube to various story adaptations, this song has always been one of P’s seasonal faves.  When I saw that James Dean had an adaptation out with Pete the Cat, I had to buy his book for gluten free kid!  We enjoy singing and reading this little picture book over and over and over again.  Even with Halloween over, we still find ourselves humming or singing the tune.  

After some inspiration from prekpages.com, I adapted their Five Little Pumpkins kid-friendly snack into a gluten free version for our family to enjoy.  We made two versions, one with candy (the first image), and a healthier one without the added sugar.  We used Snyders of Hanover gluten free pretzel sticks, Lances gluten free mini cheddar cracker bites and organic raisins for the pumpkin stems.  

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Read the story, give it a taste!  Note:  You can even put the ingredients into a ziploc baggie and let your child have fun building their own snack before they enjoy it! πŸ™‚

Need the Pete the Cat book?  We found our copy on amazon.com.  It looks like it’s actually on sale now!  

Pete the Cat 010

Want to watch the Pete the Cat YouTube video while your little enjoys the treat?  Click here!   

And last, but not least, here is a fun YouTube animated video with the song!

…”because it’s ALL good!”

fall literacy gf snack

Sloppy Joes Sloppy Joes

Homemade Sloppies.  After reading this post, you can now know EVERY ingredient in your sloppy joe and not have to worry about it being filled with chemicals and gmo’s.  Yay!  Bonus, this recipe is gluten AND dairy free.  (applause)

I vividly remember the days of Manwich.  Oh how I loved how fast and simple they were to make.  Plus, I thought they actually tasted great.  (laugh)  Those days are long gone now.  I can’t even recall the last time I ate the canned sauce.  High fructose corn syrup, “natural flavors”…I’m all set, no thanks.  I just can’t bring myself to feed my family that… excuse me, junk.  Although there are many copycat recipes of the red “stuff”, this sloppy recipe has been in our family for years.  It is NOT a Manwich copycat.  

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I only had to adapt one ingredient to make it gluten free and it was already dairy free as written.  Pair the meaty sandwich with our onion-ey rings or sweet potato or carrot fries and now we’re talking!  Our sloppy joes are even great paired with our clean tater skins.  We love to eat them with our homemade (high fructose corn syrup FREE!) baked beans too (recipe coming soon!).  Buh-bye Bush’s.  

The boys sandwich their sloppies in between Udi’s whole grain gluten free buns and I love to wrap mine in romaine lettuce to make it paleo or grain-free style.  If I’m feeling crazy, I might even enjoy a bun too.  πŸ™‚  

The recipe as written calls for all organic ingredients (3 whole peas style :), yet can obviously be made without organic ingredients too.

Sloppy Joes
Serves 8
Homemade sloppy joe with real ingredients; gluten and dairy free
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
40 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
40 min
Ingredients
  1. 2lbs grass fed organic hamburger OR turkey/chicken
  2. 1/4 cup chopped organic sweet onion
  3. 1/4 cup chopped organic celery
  4. 1/4 cup chopped organic green onion
  5. 1 cup organic ketchup (we used Heinz)
  6. 2 TBS white vinegar
  7. 2 tsps organic ground mustard-dry
  8. 2 TBS gf Worcheshire sauce (we used Lea and Perrins)
  9. 2 TBS organic light brown sugar
  10. gf buns of your choice OR romaine lettuce for wraps
Instructions
  1. Cook your burger with chopped onion, green pepper, and celery (add or omit any if wanted). Drain once browned and add all of the remaining ingredients. Mix. Allow to simmer on low for approximately 20 min., stirring occasionally, while the ingredients merry. If you like your sloppy joes sweeter, you can slowly add in more brown sugar to your liking.
Notes
  1. I like to prepare mine ahead of time and reheat, or keep in the slow cooker on low until time to enjoy. I feel recipe tastes even better the longer the ingredients have to merry. Also, if you are avoiding red meat, turkey or chicken is a great alternative!
3 Whole Peas in our Gluten Free Pod http://www.3wholepeasinourgfpod.com/
 We like to enjoy these any time of the year really, however they are especially perfect for chilly fall and winter days.  They make for great game day food too!  If you double the recipe, you can even freeze some for a meal a different day!

November 2nd week 2015 039 

Special thanks to my Aunt “Ne” for sharing her recipe!  πŸ™‚

 

Kid’s Corner:

For a creative, fun, kid-friendly version, P likes to enjoy his sloppies sandwiched in between two Cape Cod waffle chips to make little “mini, sloppy sliders”.  They’re sloppy!, but they’re SO delicious!  The chip “bun” gives them a little crunch!  πŸ™‚

 

Sloppy Joes

 

Fall, A Time for Crafting with your Littles Fall Crafts Post Cover

Fall has never been my favorite time of the year.  SORRY to all my fall loving readers!!  It’s just that fall signified winter was coming next, and that right there was enough to find me wishing it was forever summer.  Now that we’ve relocated south, I find I’ve actually lost track of any sense of the four seasons.  Fortunatley, so far, I don’t even miss them.  Where I grew up, the crisp, cool weather usually always confirmed that it was in fact November, yet this warm time of year here has given me a new attitude towards fall.  P wore his Halloween costume trick or treating and wasn’t even cold.  He didn’t have to be all bundled up in a snowsuit!  What?!

So, enough with the weather talk.  Regardless of your attitude towards fall, there are still SO many super cute crafts to accomplish with your little ones.  During our stay at home days home together, we used to enjoy mommy/son field trips to the zoo (now the aquarium), and I tried to always find some time for crafts.  I’m going to just highlight some of our easy favorites from “mommy school” that can be accomplished with things probably lying around your home already.  Yay!  

Many of these photographs were taken before I knew I was going to be blogging. These photographs were taken during my first year as a stay at home mom, the year that I fell super ill.  I took them to make a keepsake book for P of his “mommy preschool” year and it is nice to reflect back on the photos and see all that I accomplished, even when I felt my worst.  Many of these ideas are pinterest inspired or even stem back from my elementary teaching days… Hope you can find time for a few with someone little you love!

FALL TREE

Popcorn Fall Tree

 

Note:  This craft is best done in two separate stages.  Start in the morning and finish the next day, or later that same afternoon for best results.

For this first craft, you’ll want to start popping your organic popcorn!  We LOVE to pop with organic coconut oil, (you won’t even need butter!), or in organic EVOO.  Sprinkle with sea salt and you’ve got a great, tasty, healthy gluten free snack.  Save some for eating, save some for crafting of course:)

You’ll need:

  1. popped popcorn
  2. acrylic paints (assorted colors)
  3. paintbrush
  4. 1 sheet of white card-stock
  5. hot glue gun
  6. 5 ziploc baggies
  7. paper towels
  8. a toddler or preschooler πŸ™‚ haha and some adult supervision
  • Now, start by getting your paints together (brown, red, green, burgondy, yellow and orange) as well as a white piece of card-stock paper.  Have your child print his/her hand print in the middle of the page with brown, then paint the tree stem. The fingers of the hand print become the branches.
  •  Next, in 5 individual baggies, place a small handful of popcorn.  Add a few drops of paint to each bag, creating a bag of green popcorn (ie leaves), red, etc.  Seal the ziploc baggie shut and allow your preschooler/toddler to work the paint carefully into the popcorn by scrunching the bag gently and manipulating the popcorn pieces into the paint so that most are covered completely.
  •  On paper towel, carefully empty painted colorful popcorn out of each bag and set to dry.  Allow the handprint paper to dry as well.  Best part, enjoy your popcorn while project is drying….

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  • When you’re artwork is dry, its time to get out your hot glue gun and put it to use.  Supervise your little one carefully here!  I placed dots of glue around the tree while P placed the popcorn around.  
  • We then added/glued a pile of “leaves” to the bottom of the page to create some fallen leaves under the tree too.  Have fun!

Fall 2013 Mommy School 312

 

 

SIMPLE ACORN

Easy Acorn Craft

You’ll need:  

  1. Sharpie marker
  2. orange and tan tissue paper cut into small squares
  3. homemade glue/paper mache mixture (equal water and gf flour)
  4. paintbrush
  • First, prepare the glue mixture and tissue paper pieces and find a flat work space.  
  • Next, free-hand sketch an acorn shape onto your white paper.  Lastly, allow little one to “paint” with the glue onto the acorn shape, staying in the lines as best they can.  
  • Model for them how to apply tissue paper pieces to the wet area and set to dry.  Tah-dah!

 

 

PAPER PLATE PUMPKIN WREATH

Pumpkin Wreath

You’ll need:

  1. paper plate with center cut out
  2. orange acrylic paint
  3. paintbrush (larger is best for toddler hands)
  4. leaves (real or fake)
  5. 1 green chenille straw (for vine)
  6. hole punch
  • Start by cutting out the center of your paper plate.  
  • Next, let your toddler get to work painting.  Allow time to dry.  
  • Once project is dry, using a hole punch, carefully punch a hole at the top of the plate and feed chenille straw through.  
  • Hole punch your leaves and string them on the “vine”, finishing the project off by twisting the chenille straw to give it a curly vine appearance.  
  • Hang wherever you’d like πŸ™‚ 

Fall 2013 Mommy School 301 

 

 

 LEAF SUNCATHCER

 Leaf Suncatcher

You’ll need:

  1. wax paper
  2. patterned scissors
  3. colored tissue paper cut into small squares approx 1 in x 1 in (we used yellow, red, burgundy, orange, white and green)
  4. glue mixture (equal parts gf flour and water)
  5. paint brush
  6. craft foam-color of your choice (we used orange)
  7. pencil
  8. tacky glue
  • Cut a sheet of wax paper into the shape and size of leaf sun-catcher you’d like to create.  
  • Prepare glue mixture and tissue paper squares.
  •  Have child “paint” one side of the wax paper with the glue and then place random colors of tissue paper where they’d like.  Allow project to dry.
  •  Once dry, grab your craft foam and fold it in half.  
  • Using your wax paper leaf as a template, trace the outline in pencil onto the craft foam and cut it out, making two leaf outlines.  Cut it out with foam still folded to yield 2.  
  • Glue.  These edges will be glued with tacky glue around the leaf edge creating the sun-catcher border.  
  • With scissors, go around and trim off any excess wax paper that is showing.  
  • Hang in your favorite sunny window and enjoy all the colors! 

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ARTSY LEAF PRINT PAINTING

Leaf Print Painting

You’ll need:

  1.  giant leaf (we found ours on a nature walk)
  2. paint
  3. brush
  4. white cardstock or construction paper
  • Allow your child to paint one side of their leaf.  
  • While still wet, flip it over and print it onto the white paper.  
  • Set to dry.  

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FRANKENSTEIN 

FRANKENSTEIN

 (idea adapted from Allison McDonald @ NoTimeforFlashcards)  Love her!!

You’ll Need:

  1. 2 googly eyes (any size- small or large work!)
  2. empty toilet paper tube
  3. black sharpie marker
  4. green washable marker
  5. 2 brad fasteners (or golf tees work too!)
  6. scissors
  7. school glue
  • To get started, allow your child to color the bottom 2/3 of the tube with green marker.  Depending on the age of child, allow them to color the hair with black sharpie, or you could use a black washable for younger kiddos.  

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Once colored, glue on the eyes, add the smile with black sharpie and push the brads into place.  

Once again, depending on the age of your child, with kid-friendly scissors allow them to make small cuts across the top for the hair spaced about 1/4 in apart.   Have fun with it!

Being silly
                                                                            Being silly
LOOK!
                                                                     LOOK! HAHA

 

Last, but not least, are a few self-explanatory things we wanted to share for Thanksgiving…. These are really more so ideas for the home, however the first one requires some crafting.  We made this family project a couple years ago and still get it back out every November to hang.

Family TurkeyHandprintKeepsake

Finally, this last idea came from a free printable offered by, well, I believe it was iheartnaptime.  Yikes, I can’t recall for sure.  Forgive me if I gave credit to the wrong person; we printed it out a couple years ago and I’m just going off memory here.  I’ll be sure to look into it and correct if I find the appropriate source.   Either way, if you haven’t checked out all the freebies and printables on her site, its worth a look too!  (And if you know the appropriate source, please give me a shot out!)

Anyhow, there were several free printables on the site to choose from and then we just placed the printable into a decorative frame that we already had lying around.  We even swap the image out with seasonal art, so the frame itself stays on display year round, while the art piece inside changes seasonally.  We picked this biblical one!  

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 If you like this post, or try one of the crafts, leave us a comment in the comment section below!

 

 

Fall Crafts Post Cover

 

Ghostly Mashed Boo-tatoes Mashed Boo-Tatoes

So, I don’t know where I was on this years ago, however I was turning the pages of one of my October magazines the other evening when I came across these cutie ghost shaped mashed potatoes in a Target ad.  I knew right then and there that I just had to get these cuties up on the blog for my gluten and dairy free fans.  I have no idea who to give the proper credit to for the idea, but LOVE this and if I ever find out, I owe them a big thanks!

The possibilities are endless for awesome mashed potatoes these days including the many healthy twists you can put on them with so many dairy free milk options.  We’ve used coconut milk and Earth Balance butter before, tried them with flax milk, and even rice milk.  Many people use almond milk.  Although I don’t entirely support the idea, if you’re in a rush, you could even purchase store bought Bob Evans (not non-gmo, cringe, lol) gluten free mashed (as long as you’re not dairy free!) to make this adorable, easy, Halloween side dish.  Make it 3 Whole Peas style….all you need is your favorite organic, dairy free mashed potato recipe, a ziploc baggie, and organic peas for the eyes.  Let’s get started….

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First, prepare your organic mashed potatoes.  Next, cut the corner off of a Ziploc baggie (or frosting tip and baggie if you have one) and spoon some mashed potatoes into the bag.  Carefully squeeze out some potatoes in a circular motion onto a plate or serving platter, forming a ghostly pile of mashed potatoes (gradually getting smaller and smaller until you’ve reached the top).  Last, garnish with peas and serve!  

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It’s so fun to see how each one turns out, with a little different character than the next!!  I am going to try these with sweet potato mash next, however in the spirit of Halloween, I just had to go with white for the full “ghost” look.  I wonder how white sweet potatoes would turn out?!  Hmm..well anyways, go scare up some fun for dinner tonight, because as you can see, we “3 Whole Peas” have been turned into ghosts for now! AHhh….

Mashed Boo-Tatoes

Spooky Sweet, Sweet Potato Dippers Sweet, Sweet Potato Dippers

So by now you know we LOVE to enjoy this root vegetable as our dinner side most nights. The super veggie is packed with potassium, vitamin A and many more vitamins with their countless health benefits.  Buy them organic, and yumm-my!!  

We most often enjoy the colorful, orange veggie as homemade baked sweet potato fries, or dairy free sweet potato mash.   Mmm.  Now I have to be honest with you here, I did NOT like this veggie as a kid. Good thing my taste buds changed because this “potato” became my only starch-like food I was actually able to eat for a long time during my Lyme battle. For me, the sweet potato was and still is, a healing food.  

It was that first Easter during my treatment that I decided to get a little more creative with the sweet potato and make some Easter shaped sweet potato wedges with spring themed cookie cutters for P after we were sparked by a Pinterest idea.  We made egg shaped, chick shaped and even bunnies.  From here I thought, we could adapt these for any holiday!  We’ve been making these for a couple years now and after playing around with the technique for cutting them out efficiently with our cookie cutters, both pre and post baking the potato, I found a strategy that works best for us.  We call them our sweet potato dippers.  Where were these when I was growing up? πŸ™‚Trick or Treat Sweet Potato Dippers

 

Spooky Sweet, Sweet Potato Dippers
Serves 4
Kid and party friendly healthy, sweet potato dippers
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
35 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
35 min
Ingredients
  1. 2-3 large organic sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced vertically into long wedges, approx 1/4 in thick
  2. organic cinnamon and cane sugar mixture for sprinkling (1 part cinnamon for 3 parts sugar, can alter to your liking πŸ™‚ For low-glycemic, opt for coconut sugar!
  3. Organic Coconut or Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  4. Raw honey for dipping
  5. metal cookie cutters
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 425. Peel and slice your sweet potatoes and prepare your pan, lightly greasing with oil or organic non-stick spray. Lay your sliced potatoes in pan and lightly drizzle your oil over top of the potatoes. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool for approximately 5-10 min. Next, take your cookie cutters and imprint them into the potato wedges, carefully making your shapes. We use a butter knife to go around the cutter before pulling it back up. This makes for a cleaner edge to your dippers. Discard excess potato or save in a bowl for making sweet potato mash later. When you're done cutting out all shapes, sprinkle them with cinnamon and sugar, placing them back in the oven to back for an additional 5 minutes. Take out and serve warm, dipping them in raw honey.
Notes
  1. The dippers are a little temperamental, cut them slowly and be sure to use a knife to go around edges before pulling cutter back up. Some may not turn out perfect, but they still taste just as great! You'll see...even mine aren't perfect.
3 Whole Peas in our Gluten Free Pod http://www.3wholepeasinourgfpod.com/
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preheat to 425 degrees 
Peel the potato
Peel the potato
Cut into wedges, 1/4 in thick
Cut into wedges, 1/4 in thick
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(TIP: I measured my wedges out beforehand with the shapes, to make sure they would fit)
drizzle with oil
drizzle with oil (Healthier option:  make oil free and parchment paper)
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Set the timer, 15 minutes first!
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Let them bake and then, cut
sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar
sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar
save for sweet potato mash later!!
save this mess for sweet potato mash later!!
Party Time!
Party Time!
Spooky, Sweet Potato Dippers
Mmm…

 

Spooky Halloween Dippers

 

 

 

They're Spooky and Delicious! Ahhh!
They’re Healthy and Delicious, ahhhhhh!

Interested in our dairy free sweet potato mash recipe or even our baked sweet potato fries?  Check back soon! πŸ™‚