Our local community pool was having a July 4th cookout as they always do. And I do have to say that in past years, they have always been superb about asking if my son needed his burger cooked separately, letting him get whatever food items are safe first (because, you know, people tend to put their hands into every single bag which = hello I will possibly eat every single food that person has just touched) and I am beyond appreciative of this. Food allergy mothers can actually feel their heart relax when they find groups that are aware of what needs to be done for your child's safety. This year, I wanted to give back in some way. I wanted to share some of our favorite foods to show them that allergy-friendly foods are no different than other foods (well, they may just be better!). I reached out to a few of my favorite companies and shortly after, I was collecting some of my healthiest oils, chips, spreads and snacks. Warning: this often causes NutriHubby to eye up the foods while they are waiting to be used. I watch them like a hawk and I admittedly give him the stink eye if he even as much as grabs a product.
Cook Healthy, Eat Healthy
I know, I know- it's a holiday. We all cheat (a little) but one of the things that I pride myself on is sharing products that make us feel like we are indulging while we are still actually eating healthier than if we had not been using the products. One of the easiest ways to incorporate healthy fats is to utilize oils in your every day meals (You're saying Huh? Read here). Most spray oils contain soy, propellants, additives and other chemicals...gross, just gross. I'm serious- next time you food shop, start comparing labels and I guarantee your eyes will be bulging. It's horrifying what we do to our foods. I was more than excited to share the only spray oil that NutriFamily has used for many years- Winona Pure Oils. I know this sounds salesman-ish and I have admittedly been working with them for many years but I stand by what I say- I have not and will not ever promote a product that I do not believe in. What I thought was really fun was when Tim (aka the pool grilling guru) started to give me tips on how to use Winona Pure Oil to keep your grill in tip top shape. Watch-
|Perfect beach bag size!|
When a Snack Attack is Acceptable
When I was considering what snacks I would bring to the pool, I began thinking about what I had mentioned earlier- people reaching into bags, cross contamination (shuddering) so I wanted to also provide a few items that would make it both safe and easy for them to get what they needed for their meal. Again, I thought of my children and what they most enjoy when they eat- dipping! Not just them- I am a dipper too but I am absolutely not all about double-dipping, sharing spoons from any type of dip or chancing that a miscellaneous food from another dish happened to make it's way into a dip, rendering it no longer allergy-friendly. The best answer? Single serve items, grab and go or individual packs! I also wanted something that would be just plain fun to have as another dining option on the table that nobody else would normally bring. Among the table full of typical cook out dishes, I had a basket of SunButter. Not only was it patriotic in it's own way but who could resist having the extra protein? Plus, did you know that sunflower seeds have multiple health benefits such as contributing to your Vitamin E intake to protect your cells from free radicals which can cause damage cell membranes. Being exposed to the sun means protecting your skin from the outside and the inside. Truly, you are what you eat.
"Eat Freely" They Say
- Step 1: Eyeball the product, maybe even pick it up but then place it back down and go for the chips
- Step 2: Watch as other people begin to add it to their plate but you are already at the end of the line
- Step 3: Patiently wait for the line to die down, hoping there will be some left for you
- Step 4: Begin stuffing multiple pouches into your beach bag because you have realized how good they are and you feel ashamed that you passed them up the first time
|FYI- the grill guru was not the rude family member :)|
Winona Pure Oils come in five varieties- ALL of them lend a great taste to anything that you decide to grill. I also encourage mixing it up and combining flavors that you might not normally try together (ex: our perfect grilled corn on the cob uses Popcorn Butter, Olive and Coconut spray).
Apparently, SunButter 1.1 ounce floats! Great for a pool party game or fun in the sun idea but I do recommend making sure you check the seals on them before and after (no icky pool water allowed!). This also applies to the Enjoy Life Foods Seed & Fruit packets ~
I have always been a glass is half full kind of a person but here is proof! The end of an RW Garcia bag of chips is not the end, just the beginning of a new bag.
Enjoy Life Foods Seed & Fruit mix pouches are not only allergy-friendly, they are event-friendly. Their size and easy, on the go portion makes them perfect for planned and unplanned places that families are off to together.
I am happy to report that everyone was fed well and a bunch of people asked about the wonderful products that I brought with me. Multiple hugs and gratitude to Winona Pure Oils, SunButter, RW Garcia and Enjoy Life Foods for sending the supplies to share with my community and to help further food allergy awareness (and great tasting awareness). Additional hugs to Winona Pure Oils and SunButter for supplying a variety pack of your products for giveaway prizes.