Oct 14

Halloween Boo Bags


Have I missed the Halloween window?  Ok, then I’ll be quick!  Growing up, I always remember Halloween seeming like a HUGE deal!  My mom made us elaborate costumes long before the days of Pinterest.  One year I threw a fit (at age 9 or something—past fit throwing years) about not liking my costume, so as punishment I was responsible for creating my own costume the following year (with her guidance).  We always went all out!


^^^ Even at 11 years old I had a sweet tooth!  Dressed up as a Hershey Kiss in a costume that my mom made from an ironing board cover I think!  With my siblings (missing one sister who had not yet been born), circa 1990.

So far we haven’t really made a big deal about Halloween in our little family (I never know how to refer to my childhood family, and the new one I have created with my little guys…hmmmm).  David has dressed up a few times, but we haven’t trick or treated.


^^^ 2011, 8 months old, Tiger.  2012, 1 1/2, Train conductor.  2 1/2, not a banana—this was just for fun at Target, but I don’t have a single picture of him when he dressed up as a Seahawk last year.  I’ll blame it on being pregnant.  Can’t believe I missed a year!

In some ways, trick or treating is just a strange concept.  If you know your neighbors I think it could be fun, but we don’t know our neighbors (I know, trick or treating could change that!), and it is mostly rainy, cold and dark in Seattle this time of year.  So I’m not overly anxious to start taking the boys out.


^^^ Jonathan—the cutest little pumpkin!

Right now David is very confused about Halloween, thinking that it is somehow related to Thanksgiving.  He has this idea that all of his aunts and uncles will fly in and have a big dinner of pumpkin macaroni at my parents’ house.  Which I suppose would be fun, but it’s not what Halloween is about.


^^^ 2014—semi matching Dinosaur outfits!  My mom made the one David is wearing for my brother back in the 80′s—so awesome that she still has it!  And Jonathan’s is the fleece we got when we took baby David camping 3 years ago!

We’ve decided that for the time being, before the peer pressure of elementary school teaches the boys about trick or treating and all of that sugary goodness, we are going to make our own tradition.  This year we are going to let the boys dress up, take them out to dinner, and give each of them a treat bag.  I know—Jonathan really has no idea what’s going on, and certainly doesn’t care about a treat bag, so that is for David’s benefit—he looooves his baby brother!  I have no idea if we will do this for years to come, or if this will be a one time deal—stay tuned to hear our plans next year!


I’m on a seemingly constant mission to stop getting junk for the kids, and also don’t want to give a ton of junk food to David (part of the reason to forgo trick or treating in the first place).  The bags are simple.  Some candy treats, stickers, and a pair of dollar bin spider glasses for David, a fun chew toy for Jonathan, and squeezie pouches for each of them.  Less than $10 for both bags combined!


^^^ Surf Sweets Fruity Bears, Earth’s Best Organic squeeze up pouch, and Annie’s Halloween Bunny Cookies (that do contain honey, so not for very strict vegans).


I think I will also throw in a glow stick and a couple of YumEarth Organic Lollipops in David’s bag, but I forgot to include them in my pictures!


^^^ Jonathan’s favorite on the go treat—Plum Organics Pumpkin and Banana squeeze pouch.

What are your plans for your kiddos?


^^^ David’s pumpkin from the farm, complete with raccoon mask!

I love to hear from you! Please leave a comment on my facebook wall or send me an email at sarah@frieddandelions.com.

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Oct 14

Pumpkin Spice Latte—No Added Sugar!


Thank you all for your support of the Bandit Bib giveaway, and congratulations to Danielle!  Your adorable bib is on it’s way!  I hope those of you with little ones were able to find some helpful ideas in my posts on introducing solids.  I plan to update in another month with the new things Jonathan and I try out.


It seems like fall is cruising along—it’s already the last week of October!  We rolled all of our fall harvest Halloween activities into one event this year, a bit by accident.  The nearby farm has a fall festival and we decided to brave the drizzly weather and go check it out.  I knew they had a hayride and had really psyched David up for it.  When we arrived the drizzle had turned into a downpour, and Irving and I were ready to turn back.  We offered to take David out for pizza instead, but he held strong that he was going to go on the hayride.  We bundled up in our layers of North Face and headed down to the farm.  What I would have given for a hot Pumpkin Spice Latte right then!


^^^ This was rainy, even by Seattle standards.  Seattle is more of a constant drizzle, although lately we’ve been getting some crazy dumpings!

As we rode on the hayride the skies parted and the sun appeared out of nowhere.  As we walked around we saw the “pumpkin patch”—pre-picked, small pumpkins in a field.  For $4 you could pick out a pumpkin and decorate it right there!  David was thrilled, and we were happy to not need to schedule a second farm day to find our pumpkin for the year.  Bonus points for leaving copious amounts of glitter at the farm and not in our house!



^^^ Best pumpkin patch for 3 year olds—they’re all  cut off the vine, and little.  Just pick up and go!




^^^ Finished product—no messy carving necessary…this year!  (Raccoon mask from Target, assembled with Grandma!)

Before pumpkin fever is completely gone, I want to share a quick and easy Pumpkin Spice Latte with you.  One with real pumpkin, no artificial coloring or spooky ingredients, and no sugar added!  I make this at least a couple of times a week—you’re going to love it!


Pumpkin Spice Latte
8-12 oz unsweetened milk (I use almond milk)
2 dates, pitted
1/8 t cinnamon
dash of clove and nutmeg (tiny!)
2 T pumpkin puree
1 t instant espresso

maple syrup, if desired

Blend all ingredients in the blender until smooth.  Serve over ice, or heat by microwaving or transferring to a small pot on the stove and heat til barely boiling.  Whisk and serve (if you serve hot you may want to skim the foam off the top)!  Add maple syrup to taste if you prefer a sweeter latte.  Yum!

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Oct 14

Baby’s First Solids—Halloween Edition, and a Giveaway!


Jonathan has recently delved in to the world of solids!  I am so excited to start sharing with you some of the foods I am feeding him!  In fact, my whole idea to blog began when David was about this age.  My mom kept telling me that I should get these ideas out there for other moms.  It took me about a year to finally get it off the ground, and by then David was well past baby mushes, so I’m glad to finally have a reason to get these baby recipes out to you!

boys^^^ My foodie babies!


I’m really excited today to have paired up with Nell at Whole Parenting!  She writes a great blog on all things kids and natural parenting, and also has an Etsy shop full of hand made goodies for moms and kids!  I am so happy that she is generously giving away one of her adorable Bandit Bibs to one of you!  These bibs are handmade, organic, and fashionable too!  Check out the Rafflecopter for entry information below!  Today on her site you can get my tips for introducing your baby to solid foods.

bib^^^ How cute is this?  Perfect for the little drooler in your life!  If not for your own baby, enter to win one for a Christmas gift!

Oh, and for those of you that are not parents, and are not in need of the latest and greatest baby mush combos, fear not!  I like to keep my blog focused on what I know best, and my day-to-day experiences.  So I will be sharing baby posts from time to time, and sharing things that have really worked for us, but all of the grown up recipes that you know and love will continue to come your way!  Moms and Dads need to eat too you know!  Next up—homemade Pumpkin Spice Lattes!

PSL^^^ For all the grown ups in the house! 

So, without further ado, here are two Halloween inspired baby food combos for you to try with your littlest vegans!  They have been HUGE hits with my chunky monkey, er, dinosaur, and I hope that your little ones will love them too!

dinos^^^ Aren’t they the cutest little dinosaurs?  I know I’m biased, but c’mon! 

Pumpkin Pie 
Everyone loves pumpkin pie, so why not share with the baby in your life?  Pumpkins are high in fiber and Vitamins A, C and beta carotene.  Bananas are high in potassium, and Vitamins B6 and C.  Coconut oil is a “good” fat, important for brain development and healthy growth, and is also helpful for moisturizing the skin from the inside out!


2 T pumpkin puree
2 inch piece of ripe banana
1 T baby cereal (rice or oatmeal)*
breast milk or water to thin as needed (don’t go too thin!)

pinch of cinnamon (1/8 teaspoon)**
1 teaspoon coconut oil

Mash all ingredients to a lumpy consistency and serve!

^^^ Thoroughly enjoyed.

Monster Mash
Something about the green and black combo makes me think of Frankenstein—every time I make this mash for Jonathan or David (a loooong time ago) I think Monster Mash!  Avocados are another healthy fat, and are high in fiber.  Black beans are high in fiber and iron.  And if black beans aren’t your thing, avocados and bananas pair well too—just skip the garlic and cumin!

monstermash^^^ Baby guacamole!

¼ – ½ ripe avocado
1 – 2 T black beans
1 T baby cereal (rice or oatmeal)*
breast milk or water to thin as needed (don’t go too thin!)

1/8 t cumin**
1/8 t garlic powder**

Mash all ingredients to a lumpy consistency and serve (note, black beans in pictures are slightly bigger than how I served them to Jonathan).  Mash them to your baby’s/your comfort level.)


* My pediatrician recommends that we use fortified baby cereal to increase Jonathan’s intake of vitamins rather than serving him home prepared rice or oatmeal.  As a vegan, iron levels tend to be lower than someone who might be getting large amounts of iron from animal meat.  With a daily vitamin, and healthy consumption of dark leafy greens, your iron levels should be fairly high (mine were great during my last blood draw during pregnancy—go prenatal vitamins, go!).  I always feel like it’s best to err on the side of caution though, so we feed Jonathan the fortified Earth’s Best Organic baby cereals.  You can find these everywhere, even Target!


** I like to add spices to baby food to expand their palate.  Start small, and work up to higher amounts.  I think there is a huge misconception that babies need to start with very bland foods.  Check out my post over on Whole Parenting for more ideas about introducing solids to your baby.

And now for the giveaway….get your clicking fingers ready and….GO win Nell’s fabulous Green Grocer Bandit Bib!

bib-nell^^^ Isn’t this adorable?  Love the foodie baby print!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I love to hear from you! Please leave a comment on my facebook wall or send me an email at sarah@frieddandelions.com.

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Oct 14

Lunch Date at No Bones About It

Today I had to head into Seattle to drop off some donations (to Mary’s Place—a great resource for homeless families in Seattle—locals, check them out!), and since we left close to lunch time I decided to take the boys to our new favorite food truck, No Bones About It.  How cute is their name?


It just so happened that they were parked in front of our favorite vegan bakery, the Violet Sweet Shoppe.  Ironically, there was plenty of space for their truck because the butcher that used to be there went out of business!

karma^^^ That black awning in the background is from the old butcher.  The word karma comes to mind…

Two weeks ago we went to the truck when it was parked in front of Irving’s office in another part of Seattle and I loved it!  I was excited to go back today.

ballard^^^ At our last visit we enjoyed the Beer Battered Avocado Tacos, a kids’ quesadilla, and an order of nachos with cashew cheese—it was all amazing!

As we walked up to the truck we were greeted by the very friendly owner/chef MacKenzie with a “Hi Sarah, how are you?”  Me: “I’m … stunned!”  I couldn’t believe that she recognized us and knew my name—we had only been there one time—off to a great start!  I’ve mentioned before that Irving always teases that someday I will have a food truck—maybe I can apprentice for MacKenzie?!?  Anyway, the lunch gets better….

I debated between ordering their special, a Bahn Mi, and their Yam and Sweet Potato Falafel.  She recommended the Bahn Mi, and it was awesome!  She also made a custom quesadilla for David, just like last time (she remembered).  He loved it so much last time that we had to run out and get a bag of Daiya so that we could make them at home.  She asked him what kind of veggie he wanted on the side, and sliced his tomatoes just the way he likes them at home!

bahnmi^^^ Tofu Bahn Mi—with carrots, cilantro, cucumbers, and a sriracha aioli

david2^^^ Very focused on his quesadilla—and his favorite—ranch sauce!

jonathan^^^ Staying warm inside!  Stay tuned for a post on Friday about the first solid foods Jonathan is trying out!

We ate in the bakery, as it was raining and too chilly to eat outside (they are so nice there—check out their new candy store up on Phinney Ridge!).  We ordered a spooky spider cupcake to share, and a carrot cake to bring home for later.  David was in Heaven with his spider cupcake, especially as he just finished studying spiders at school!


spider2^^^ Not a scary spider, this one is friendly :)


As we ate lunch we overheard people ordering pumpkin bread, so we of course had to get back in line to get some to bring home, and some to deliver to grandma too!


After lunch as we were heading out MacKenzie asked us how lunch was.  We told her we loved it, and that we’d try the falafel next week.  She told me she might not have it next week—I guess it’s the end of falafel season, and time for a new menu—so she whipped one up for me, on the house!  It served as an awesome afternoon snack—yum!

falafel^^^ This picture doesn’t do it justice—it had to sit in the car during swimming lessons! It’s a sweet potato yam falafel patty, with a beet slaw, cucumbers, and a pumpkin aioli. It was so delicious!  I saved the other half for Irving, but I’m secretly hoping that he lets me have it!car^^^ Our “to-go” order

Definitely check out No Bones About It and tell them Fried Dandelions sent you—you can find their schedule on their Facebook page.  They’re mostly in Seattle, but next Thursday, October 30, they’ll be on the Eastside at the 24 Hour Fitness in Redmond!  You know where we’ll be having dinner next week—come say hi!.

I love to hear from you! Please leave a comment on my facebook wall or send me an email at sarah@frieddandelions.com.

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Oct 14

Nut Free Snacks for School

cover^^^ Skip Hop lunch boxes

If you follow along with the blog, you now know that David is in preschool this year.  He is loving his class, and is so sad that it is only two mornings a week.  I think he would go full days, 7 days a week if he could!  He has two wonderful teachers, and lots of friends—he calls them old friends and new friends, as he knew a few of the kids before he started (he goes to the preschool at our church).


One of the things I worried about when getting ready for the school year was dealing with the snack hurdle.  In fact, that is part of the reason (albeit a very small one) that we didn’t send him last year when he was 2.  One less year to deal with “the vegan issue.”  I knew I would have to face it sooner than later, but also knew that it didn’t need to be a big deal!

David’s preschool serves snack about half way through their 3 hour morning (and thank goodness, as David is refusing to eat breakfast/not being awake enough to eat and will fall apart if he gets too hungry).  They provide fruit, a cracker of some type, and some kind of protein—usually a yogurt tube or a string cheese.  In addition to avoiding the dairy, I would prefer to avoid GMOs and non-organic fruit as much as possible (at least the dirty dozen). Obviously we eat non organic from time to time, and GMOs too, but I try to limit it where I can, so that we can splurge when we go to our favorite Mexican restaurant and eat an entire basket of corn chips.  Since school is an ongoing thing, and he’ll be there next year too, it was worth it to me to do something alternative.

I shot an email over to the director of the school asking if I could provide our own snack and she immediately responding saying yes, told me that they needed to be entirely nut free (school policy), prepackaged (nothing homemade), and  looped me in with David’s teachers.  They have been very respectful and supportive of our desires (David’s teacher is even working with me to veganize all of the class cooking projects—more on that later!)!

david-snacktime^^^ he doesn’t seem to be bothered by eating his own thing!

I pack a snack for David daily.  I usually send some kind of fruit (this doesn’t have to be packaged), and 1 extra item.  I leave a large box of crackers with his teacher and they dole them out for him each day (that way I don’t have to send individually wrapped crackers!).  I keep his snacks in a box in the pantry, out of his reach (because he will help himself all day!), but still easy for me to access.


I check in with him most days to ask how snack was, if he noticed what kinds of fruit the other kids were eating, and how he felt about eating something different.  So far he has not seemed to mind eating something different.  I’m trying to be very casual about it and not make a big deal so that it doesn’t become one for him.  He’s hyper aware about what foods are vegan or not—he is always asking me—so he seems to have no problem eating his own thing.  He did mention to me that he thinks the other kids are drinking cheese water because they are omnivores though, so there’s that!

The nut free aspect has been the biggest challenge, but I found plenty of choices!  I’m also trying to limit the cost, as the prepackaged items can be pricier.  Since it is just 2 days a week it hasn’t been bad.  Towards the bottom of this list you’ll notice some sweet treats as well!  Each child is allowed to bring treats on their birthday (or half birthday) and there are a lot of pretty mainstream vegan and nut free treats that the kids would love! (excuse these pictures—I really don’t think product shots are my forte, but you’ll get the idea!)


We adore these saltines from Annie’s.  Seriously, the package can be emptied by our family in less than a day.  Thankfully they last a little longer when rationed by David’s teachers!  I haven’t actually tried these Food Should Taste Good crackers, although I think they are the same as the chips, although I am not completely sure.  David likes them though!


gopicnic^^^ David and I shared this hummus box on our school field trip to the farm.  David had a major case of the hangries that day!

This go picnic snack box was given to me, and the hummus is really yummy (the crackers in one of our boxes were totally crunched though).  They also make an almond butter and cracker snack box, but it’s a no go for our school because of the nuts.


Every kid loves fruit pouches these days!  I was thrilled when I found the organic applesauce (remember, it’s a dirty dozen) at Costco!  They worked out to be 50 cents per pouch which is a major steal!  We also like the Mama Chia pouches.  We got these at Costco as well.  The only thing I worry about with these is that David will stand out in the other direction, as all the kids love the novelty of these :)



I LOVE this Wild Garden Hummus!  We always get these in our airplane snack packs, and it’s really good.  It works great with the crackers and David is always requesting it.  And he adores Oloves olives.  These little packs are so convenient!

For a sweet treat, David loves the organic fruit peels from Trader Joe’s.


Several varieties of the Surf Sweets gummies are vegan (see my post here).  And these Just Fruit bars are another yummy treat.  Any of these could work well for a birthday celebration—in fact, we shared the gummy bears with David’s class on the birthday of their class mascot, Buddy Bear.

birthday^^^ Buddy Bear’s birthday treats!


For a real celebration, all of these cookies are winners!  The Annie’s Bunny Cookies do have honey in them, so they are not vegan in the strictest sense, but they are dairy and egg free.  In my mind, these are a better option than some of the other accidentally vegan cookies like Oreos.  I am obsessed with these Double Chocolate cookies by Enjoy Life.  I used them in my Dirt Cups a few weeks ago—they are so good!  David loves these Snickerdoodles from Trader Joes.  Both the Enjoy Life Chocolate Cookies and the Snickerdoodles are 8 allergen free—gluten/wheat, egg, dairy, peanut, tree nut, shellfish & fish, and soy.

Here are some of my other allergy friendly brands that can be found in most stores!  They would all make great treats for class birthday parties, and would allow everyone to share in the festivities!  Alternatively, if you need to send your child to school with their own snack because the main birthday treat won’t be vegan, these would all be great.

olivia-superfree^^^ These are SO good!

icecream^^^ Think outside the box!  Ice cream would be a huge hit with the kids!  All fruit popsicles are also a great alternative.

oreos^^^ Essentially organic Oreos—vegan and Non GMO!

mightyo^^^ These are a local brand—for all of my Seattle friends, these can be found in PCC, Whole Foods, and of course at the Mighty O shop in Greenlake.

lucys enjoylife

I hope that ALL of this is helpful as you try to seek out allergy friendly, school friendly, and kid friendly snacks and treats for your kiddos!

** This post is NOT sponsored.  These are just the brands that our family enjoys.  Some links are affiliate links, which means a very small portion of your purchase will go towards the cost of running this blog.  Your cost will not be affected.  Thank you for your support!

I love to hear from you! Please leave a comment on my facebook wall or send me an email at sarah@frieddandelions.com.

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