Happy Food Allergy Awareness Week!  This is the week we get to shine our community on the rest of the world and hopefully bring education and advocacy for the estimated 30 million Americans diagnosed with life threatening food allergies.  That is a staggering number, and with more and more children being diagnosed education is critical to prepare these generations for the future. Two of the most valuable resources for my family has been FAACT, the Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Connection Team and the Friends Helping Friends Facebook page.  FAACT’s website is loaded with information with everything from newly diagnosed education to helpful signage for recognizing the signs of anaphylaxis.  We have a copy printed and hanging in our kitchen!  The Friends page is run by my allergy “fairy godmothers” Georgina and Sue, and their advice and medical based information for allergy parents. They have been unbelievably helpful for me and Casey’s journey thus far.  Please take a look when you get a chance and see how helpful it can be, as well as the Love for Giovanni Foundation page which was created in honor of Georgina’s son Giovanni.

The Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Team 

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1448583488780077/

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1417013271848840

To celebrate this week, I just wanted a fun dessert that all kids know, love and want to eat-marshmallow cereal treats!  I’m not re-inventing the wheel here, just keeping true to the same recipes a few generations now have known and loved. I made my version with Cheerios, not just because they are safe for Casey, but I love the flavor and texture they offer.  Traditional rice cereal isn’t safe for Casey because it contains malt flavor, which is a barley derivative.  He is allergic to wheat, barley, and other gluten containing grains.  Use whatever cereal you like-I’ve used Crispix and Corn Chex and although delicious, make it a little more difficult to cut because they are not as compact.

As for the marshmallows, use whatever safe brand you trust.  I chose to dip mine in a little chocolate and add a few toppings which brings the fun (and the potential for an epic sugar high!) to a new level.  Get creative using cookie cutters or making little balls, it’s all good!  I tinted the marshmallows teal for my middle son to bring to school because they are recognizing food allergies this week and he gets a kick out of telling Casey’s war stories! Just have fun making a safe treat that is lunchbox, wallet and allergy friendly.

So, to all my fellow Teal Warriors, happy Food Allergy Awareness Week!  Repeat all our mantras- Every Label, Every Time; No Label, No Eat; Always Carry Two! Be safe, be well and remember life is short so eat dessert first…safely! 💙👩🏻‍🍳

Ingredients and Substitutions

Cereal – I chose to use Cheerios but if wheat/gluten is not an issue than use your safe puffed rice cereal.  Be aware that the proportions will be different, however.  I will note in the recipe.

Marshmallows – Our safe brand is Jet Puffed by Kraft.  I trust their labeling.  Although Casey has FPIES to beef and pork, our GI doctor green lit him to try gelatin because the protein is so broken down and thankfully, he was correct.  If you prefer vegan, they are many brands on the market.

Safe butter – This is necessary to the recipe, and you can use whatever your safe option is, vegan or regular dairy butter.  I don’t recommend coconut oil; however, it stays a little too greasy and makes the cereal mushy as it sits.

Food Coloring – Tinting the marshmallow is so fun!  Kids get a kick out of it, and you can tailor it for whichever holiday/celebration to coordinate.  McCormick is our safe brand.

**As always, please check which brands are safe for your needs.**

Allergy Friendly Marshmallow Cereal Treats

Dairy Free, Egg Free, Gluten Free, Nut Free, Seed Free, Top 8 Allergy Free, Vegan, Vegetarian

Author: Katie Martino Lopez

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: less than 5 minutes

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Total Time: with dipping, about 30 minutes

Yield: 12 large or 24 small squares

Ingredients

For Cheerios Treats

5 c. Cheerios or other safe oat-O cereal

1-10 oz. bag marshmallows

3 Tbls. safe butter

For Rice Krispies Treats

6 c. Rice Krispies or other safe puffed rice cereal

1-10 oz. bag marshmallows

3 Tbls. safe butter

Method

  1. Lightly grease a 13”x9” pan with either safe butter or pan spray and set aside.
  2. Measure out cereal and set aside.
  3. In a large, heavy bottom pot, place safe butter and marshmallows and heat on a low flame, stirring constantly (it will burn fast!) until the mixture is melted. This can also be done in the microwave, heating in small increments and stirring each time.
  4. Immediately add the food dye (if using) and cereal. Mix until thoroughly blended and press into the pan with lightly greased or wet hands.  It will stick to bare hands!  If using pop sticks, only push the mixture to ¾ of the pan-they need to be a bit thicker to hold the pop stick.
  5. Cut when cool. If dipping, do not let the chocolate get too hot or it will affect the texture of the cereal.  Chill after dipping but store at room temperature.  If using a pop stick like I did (see picture for reference), push up through the bottom before dipping so you don’t ruin the chocolate with your fingers.
  6. Cereal treats will keep 2-3 days at room temperature.

Recipe Notes

  • Cereal treats are very malleable so have fun making balls, triangles, or other shapes with them.
  • They will not keep more than a few days as the cereal gets very mushy. Keep in an airtight container at room temperature-do not refrigerate.
  • Use whatever cereal you’d like just keep in mind that the bigger shapes need more marshmallow to bind and if it is a sugary cereal the taste will be very sweet with the marshmallows.

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Disclaimer

As we all know, reading labels and preparing food when managing allergies is a job within itself with much responsibility. All the brands I use are ones that I have contacted, and Casey has eaten safely. That being said, I must remind…

Please do your own research when deciding which products and foods are safe for the allergies you manage. These are the ones that are safe for our needs but may not be for you. Everyone has different comfort levels with manufacturing and production procedures.

And, as a friendly reminder, always have 2 epinephrine auto injectors on hand!

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