The leaves are turning, and the air has the crisp feeling of fall. Ghouls and goblins will soon be making their way through our neighborhoods for Halloween. Tricks and treats will be had by all, but some people may find more tricks than treats in their bags this year due to an unfortunate but common intruder: food allergens.
Millions of Americans suffer from food allergies and intolerances. A food allergy is an immune response to a protein in a food. Exposure to even a small amount of an allergen in a food can cause a variety of unpleasant symptoms ranging from mild to life-threatening in some cases. A food intolerance does not involve the immune system but can still produce uncomfortable symptoms that can range from mild to severe. While food intolerances are not life-threatening, eliminating trigger foods can help increase the overall quality of life of individuals with food intolerances.
Enjoy Life Foods strives to provide safe alternatives to individuals with food allergies and intolerances which are especially helpful during a holiday when food is the main feature! Our dietitians recommend choosing Enjoy Life Foods for the following reasons:
- Enjoy Life products are free from the top 8 main allergens which include wheat, peanuts, tree nuts, dairy, soy, egg, fish and shellfish. In addition, Enjoy Life has included six additional free-from foods (sesame, casein, sulfites, lupin, mustard and crustaceans) that are known as common allergies/intolerances.
- Customers can enjoy a wide variety of products from cookies to baking chips, breakfast ovals, protein bites, lentil chips and more!
- Enjoy Life products are made in a bakery that is dedicated gluten-free and nut-free, and none of the 14 allergens listed on the packaging are present in that space. Cross-contamination in production facilities is a common way an individual with food allergies and intolerances may accidentally ingest a trigger food.
- Many schools require allergen-friendly options for lunchboxes. Look for teal packaging of Enjoy Life Foods as an easy, safe and delicious option for your child’s lunchbox – whether or not they have food allergies!
Serve up a delicious and safe Halloween treat with this recipe from Enjoy Life Foods:
Monster Mash Krispie Treats
Makes 8-10 squares
All you need:
- 1 box Enjoy Life Foods Crunchy Double Chocolate Cookies, crushed
- 3 cups Enjoy Life Foods Sea Salt Lentil Chips, crushed
- 4 cups rice cereal
- 3 tbsp vegan margarine
- 1 (10-oz) bag allergy-friendly mini marshmallows
- 1/3 cup Enjoy Life Foods Chocolate Mini Chips
- Optional frosting or sprinkles for decoration
All you do:
- Set aside a few tablespoons of crushed Crunchy Double Chocolate Cookies and crushed Lentil Chips for the garnish.
- Combine rice cereal, remaining crushed cookies and crushed Lentil Chips in a large bowl.
- Melt the vegan margarine in a medium saucepan over medium heat.
- Add marshmallows and stir for 3-4 minutes or until completely melted and smooth.
- Pour marshmallow mixture over the rice cereal mixture and stir to combine.
- Press mixture into a square pan (either 8×8 or 9×9 will work).
- Sprinkle the top with reserved crushed cookies and Lentil Chips plus the Mini Chips.
- Let cool for 1 hour and cut into bars or squares.
- Decorate as desired and enjoy!
Recipe source: Enjoy Life Foods
Looking for more information on how to shop for someone with a food allergy? Reach out to our Hy-Vee dietitian team to learn more about our virtual nutrition tours to navigate common food allergies in the grocery aisles.
*The blog articles, recipes and recommendations found on this site are not intended as medical advice and should not replace consulting with your medical provider. Please consult a medical professional for individual advice.
About the Registered Dietitian
Jennifer Blaser, RD, LD, received her Bachelor of Science degree in Dietetics from Iowa State University in 2010, where she also completed her dietetic internship. She also received her Bachelor of Science degree in Nutritional Science from Iowa State University. She is a member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and the Iowa Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.