Tried and true kid friendly themes & ideas including our fave crafts and recipes
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!
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!
Now, are you ready to learn how to assemble these adorable kid-friendly cookies? Let’s get started….
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.
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” 🙁 ) 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!
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 🙁 )
“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 🙂 )
“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)—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? 🙂
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!
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.
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 🙂 )
This simple tip alone, also saves the cost on dining for a quick lunch!!
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, ……
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:
P also was surprised to receive treasures in the treasure chest, just for him, including complimentary Honest Kids juice!
Gluten free kid tested, mom approved, and no incidents of being, “glutened”….we highly recommend Legoland!!
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!! 🙂
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Thanks for stopping!!
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.
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!
Making this recipe? Snag a picture of your finished result, and tag us at #3wholepeas! 🙂
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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. 🙂
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.
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.
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! 🙂
Need the Pete the Cat book? We found our copy on amazon.com. It looks like it’s actually on sale now!
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!”
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.
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. 🙂
The recipe as written calls for all organic ingredients (3 whole peas style :), yet can obviously be made without organic ingredients too.
Special thanks to my Aunt “Ne” for sharing her recipe! 🙂
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! 🙂
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!
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:)
PAPER PLATE PUMPKIN WREATH
ARTSY LEAF PRINT PAINTING
(idea adapted from Allison McDonald @ NoTimeforFlashcards) Love her!!
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!
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.
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!
If you like this post, or try one of the crafts, leave us a comment in the comment section below!
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….
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!
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….
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 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? 🙂
Interested in our dairy free sweet potato mash recipe or even our baked sweet potato fries? Check back soon! 🙂