Ian moved up to the Toddler A room last week, and kids in that room were encouraged to bring treats for Halloween. (The letter sent home noted that they are peanut-free and there are kids in the room who are allergic to peanuts (read: Ian) so please bring treats that are store-bought and peanut-free.)
Of course, I couldn’t think of anything that’s really toddler-safe as far as candy goes (sure there are some candy that are probably OK, but most are a choking hazard because of size or chewiness.) And almost anything that is chocolate was manufactured in a plant that processes peanuts, so Ian needs to stay away from the chocolate bars even if they aren’t a peanut product. (FYI, Hershey’s manufactures their peanut candy in a separate facility, so their plain milk chocolate bars are OK. Their allergy warning is for soy, milk and almond. Hershey’s is also the only brand of chocolate chips we can buy.) There were some items that we decided were OK for Ian, since we’d be watching him eat them and they were peanut free: smarties, Rice Krispie Treat bars, milk chocolate Hershey’s bar. Other items I thought weren’t toddler appropriate (Jolly Ranchers) or weren’t safe peanut-wise (Crunch bars). He enjoyed the things he could eat, and as long as we offered him an alternative, he didn’t have much of an issue handing over some of his trick-or-treat candy either. And when he woke up this morning, he didn’t remember how much candy he gathered last night (we only went to 5 houses anyway!) Miles’s coworkers are well-fed today.
Woah. This was not going to be a post about his peanut allergy.
It WAS going to be a post about what we sent for his treats. Kool-aid Playdough. Recipe below.
(recipe originally seen here)
- 1-1/2 cups flour
- 1/4 cup salt
- 2 packets Kool-aid (she suggests 2 packets for sweeter smelling and brighter playdough, but you could do only 1 packet)
- 1 cup boiling water
- 1-1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil (or canola or olive)
- Mix flour, salt and Kool-aid in a medium-sized bowl.
- Add boiling water and oil. Mix with a wooden spoon until sticky.
- When not too hot, pick it up and knead like you would while playing with playdough to further mix in the dry ingredients.
- Store in air-tight containers. They will keep for a few months.
Pro tip: when making more than one color, boil several cups of water and then as you are ready to mix one color, ladle the boiling water into your measuring cup. This way, you don’t have to keep measuring water + bringing it to a boil for each color.
This cost me $0.10 per batch (I got the Hy-Vee brand Kool-aid, which was 10 for $1) because I have everything else on hand. I made 2 batches of orange and one of green and was able to make over 18 ‘servings’ for daycare. When I made this recipe for Ian a few months ago, I did several half-recipes in different flavors/colors and it made plenty.
With Kool-aid, my first fear was that it would stain horribly. To my pleasure, it does not stain your hands, bowl or spoon. I have not experienced stained clothes. I have experienced Ian having some pieces on his feet and small pieces get rubbed into the carpet — it comes out with normal carpet stain remover.
For Ian’s treats, I formed them into pumpkin shapes and put them in bags. I used a sharpie on the bag to draw Jack-o-lantern faces and attached a little label explaining what it was and the ingredients (they look like sugar cookies).
This playdough is made of edible items, but I would not encourage kids to eat it. I tasted it, just for knowledge’s sake, and it is nast-ay. Like eating ocean water. The Kool-aid does NOT save it. So though it is technically edible, I’d call it non-toxic. It is very sweet smelling though.