Easy Does It: Another Great Back-to-School Snack

This is my not-so-secret go-to snack of choice when I go to various pot-luck/food-sharing events with a lot of other families and children: it’s easy, quick, deliciously sticky, and what’s more, all the other kids instantly recognize it and love it, too. And it’s allergen-free!

What is this mystery wonder snack? None other than the classic Rice Krispies Treats. All you have to do is switch out the butter for safe margarine and you have a kid-friendly snack that is also marvelously free of the top 8 allergens!

I have to admit that I cringe at the contents of these treats: I am not a fan of processed foods and I usually avoid things like high fructose corn syrup, food colors, preservatives and the like. These sticky little treats are chock full of all those things (unless you shell out the extra bucks to buy the healthier versions of crisp rice cereal and marshmallows – I don’t currently have room in my budget for that most of the time!), but I still make them for those special occasions and outings.

I can overcome my strong dislike of those over-processed ingredients in this case because:

They are so easy to make, not something you can say for many allergen-free recipes.

-They are instantly recognized by non-allergic kids as a yummy treat, again not something you can say for all allergen-free recipes.

-My Certain Little Someone doesn’t have to feel excluded because other children are enjoying the same exact treat he is.

The older he gets, the more important that last part is becoming to me. Until very recently, he didn’t even seem to notice that his food was different from everyone else’s, but now he’s beginning to notice the forbidden foods… and want them. It is going to be hard to find the balance between helping him feel included in meals and celebrations that focus on food while still maintaining  a healthy awareness of his allergies and the knowledge that he is different from the other kids in one very big way. I don’t want  him to feel like he’s missing out on all kinds of fun because of his allergies, yet I want him to be aware of them and the dangers they create. I don’t want his allergies to keep him from enjoying food-centered fellowship, yet I want him to be comfortable with the fact that more often than not, he simply cannot eat what everyone else is eating.

Can this be accomplished? I have seen other families successfully manage it, so I think yes! How? I have no clue! I am just entering this phase of the food-allergy journey and hope to learn from others who’ve gone before me. Tips, anyone?

I took these treats to a Labor Day Picnic today, and while he noticed the variety of tasty cookies and other desserts on the table, he was quite satisfied with the choice we made for him! It helped that I was able to set them out on the table with everything else, so he really felt like he was part of the action when his treat came from the same place as everyone else’s.

Just in case you need the recipe, here it is. If you follow the recipe on the box of cereal, don’t be alarmed by the caution not to use margarine in  place of the butter. Hogwash! I do it all the time and it turns out perfectly!

Rice Krispies Treats – Modified

3 TBSP safe margarine

1 pkg safe marshmallows

6 cups crisp rice cereal

Melt the margarine over low heat on the stove or in the microwave. Add marshmallows, and stir and heat until completely melted and smooth. Pour cereal into large mixing bowl. Pour the marshmallow mixture over the cereal and stir until well coated and thoroughly mixed. Lightly grease a 9×13 pan, and dump the cereal mixture into it. Rinse your hands (dont’ dry them) and press the mixture firmly into the pan. (Wet hands keep the very sticky mixture from sticking onto your fingers.) Allow to cool and set for a while before cutting and enjoying .

This is a great treat to bring to classroom celebrations as well, or if you sign up to bring a special snack.

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