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BellaOnline's Allergies and Colds Editor

Back-to-school recipe

Three million children are heading back to school with food allergies. Potential dangers can be avoided with lots of cooperation among parents, teachers and school officials.

Tips and priority tasks for heading back to school:

1. Meet with your child's teacher and school nurse.

2. Obtain a note from your child's doctor to allow medication, such as an Epi pen, to be taken to school.

3. Ask your child's teacher to limit rewards to safe, non-food items.

4. Always send safe snacks with your child to classroom parties.

Here's a tasty snack, free of allergens, for packing in lunches or sending along for classroom parties:

Jam and Sunbutter Bars

Here's what you need for the jelly topping:

3 cups blueberries and blackberries, mixed (use frozen or fresh berries)
sweetener, to taste
for thickening, use either 1/4 cup water with 1/4 cup chia seed: or as an alternative, 1/2 cup water with 1 T. gelatin from grass-fed cows
2 tsp. lemon zest

Here's what you need for the crust:

1/4 cup coconut oil
1 1/2 cups sunflower seed meal (use organic seeds, if possible)
pinch of salt
1 T. unsweetened organic sunbutter

For the sunbutter layer:

1 pear, cored and diced (no need to peel)
sweetener, to taste
1/4 cup coconut oil
1 1/2 cups sunbutter

Here's what you do:

Make the jam. Pour 3 cups of berries into a saucepan. Bring to simmer with water. Add the chia or gelatin. Turn off the heat. Add the zest. Allow to cool. Puree in a food processor. Return to fridge to allow to thicken.

Make the crust. Grind the sunflower seeds into a meal using your grinder or food processor. Mix with other ingredients in a bowl. Press into an 8-by-8-inch square pan, lined with parchment paper. Place in the fridge to firm up the crust.

Make the sunbutter layer. Put all ingredients in a food processor and blend until thick and creamy.

To assemble, spread sunbutter mixture on crust. Place back in fridge to firm up. Finally, top with cooled jam.

Cut into bars. Store in fridge for up to one week. Or store them in the freezer.

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Content copyright © 2013 by Sheree Welshimer. All rights reserved.
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