SCD Halloween

Holidays, for SCDers, can be a challenge.

Since Halloween is coming up, I’m brainstorming some workable SCD solutions so I don’t freak out at the last minute.

Please remember, not all of these foods will work for everyone, especially if you are new to the diet. And the small bits of dried fruit and nuts may not be suitable for especially young ones.

I’ve broken this down into two lists, the first for trick-or-treating and the second for parties, festivals, etc.

A few ideas for trick-or-treating:
Add a little extra pizzazz by using themed treat bags.

1. Non-food items such as little puzzles, mini-sticker books, individual-sized Play-doh (note: these contain wheat) etc. (Personally, I’m not a fan of small plastic toys.)
2. Boxed raisins without sugar.
3. Dried fruits without sugar: pineapple, apricots, etc.
4. Date-nut balls, baked or raw, if properly packaged (from Breaking the Vicious Cycle).
5. Clementine pumpkins (You can make really cute jack-o-lanterns by pressing fruit leather onto clementines as seen on page 78 of the print edition of October’s Family Fun magazine.)
6. Mini-pumpkins: not edible, but still fun.
7. Honey lollipops (from Breaking the Vicious Cycle; these are fickle and melt easily. And take it from me, if you tackle these, make sure your counters are level!)
8. Honey marzipan animals—or Halloween ghouls (Ditto the note above. Keep refrigerated as long as possible.)
9. Homemade nut brittle.
10. Individually packaged almond butters. Please note that I have not confirmed that these are SCD compliant, but we have used them successfully.
11. Toasted pumpkin seeds.
12. Homemade trail mix.
13. Homemade Tricolor Chips (from Recipes for the Specific Carbohydrate Diet) or Carrot Curls (from Breaking the Vicious Cycle).

14. Individual mini-sized LaraBars. (I’ve found these in boxes of 12 at Whole Foods, and Target in the vitamin section, for about $10. Definitely not frugal, but as one of the few packaged, easily transportable foods, they’re worth it.)

For other Halloween functions such as parties, festivals, pumpkin patch field trips, etc., where the treats aren’t as likely to be crushed during transportation:

1. Homemade SCD cookies in Halloween shapes, like these gingerbread skeletons. (Or the gingerbread recipe from Recipes for the Specific Carbohydrate Diet.)
2. Homemade SCD meringue cookies (I’m going to try these in scary shapes.)
3. Homemade SCD brownies (from Breaking the Vicious Cycle; replace peanut butter with almond butter).
4. Homemade SCD pumpkin mini-muffins (Don’t forget the specialty liners, like these spider web cupcake wrappers and toppers. Here are some free printable cupcake picks to get you started.)
5. Glazed apple slices (peeled apple cooked in honey, cinnamon, a little butter, and nuts).
6. Pumpkin pie (I usually make a crustless version and bake it in individual ramekins.)
7. Mummy meatloaf (using SCD legal cheese instead of American).

Is this a rare time where we offer non-SCD treats to our little ghosties? That’s a personal decision based on your own child’s health, but on special occasions, I have served these prepared fruit leathers with success.

As for me, I’m on the search for a honey-based candy apple recipe. If you have one, let me know.

What about you? I’d love to hear what SCD Halloween treats you give your little goblins.


Price per Meal Calculators

Hmmm. Another dilemma, another solution.

My husband’s chemistry lab is wrapping up for the semester and he wanted to bring a meal they could all share. Since like many of you, we’re on a budget, we finally came up with a nutritious solution that fit the dietary requirements of all of the students as well as the ease-of-preparation stipulation that this meal will be cooked on-site in a crockpot.

After we found a recipe that would work, I thought “Hmm, wouldn’t it be nice to find a website that calculated cost per meal or cost per serving of recipes for you.”

This is what I found: A USDA recipe finder database originally designed for nutrition educators serving families who receive food assistance. Although it has its limitations, it’s searchability appeals to me. For instance, you can search by ingredients, recipe name, nutrition education goal, menu category, intended audience, available cooking equipment and price per meal or per serving. Not too shabby!

On the recipe pages themselves, I noted a few more perks: You can read the recipe in Spanish, print it in multiple sizes, view the nutrition facts, and even add the ingredients to a shopping list. Yes, I know; these functions are also available on mainstream menu sites, such as my favorite, allrecipes, which admittedly has thousands more recipes available. But they don’t have price per serving options or easily searchable health options.

Just to try it out, I selected two criteria: Main Dish recipes, and chose $1.00 for the Cost Less Than $X per Serving category. The database returned 137 recipes. A quick glance told me that their idea of ‘main dish’ was a little broad, but it’s a good starting point to brainstorm ideas for inexpensive meals.

Now, I can’t vouch for how tasty the recipes are, but since I always tweak recipes anyway, I don’t see that as a major hindrance. Check it out and let me know what recipes worked for you.

By the way, I did find a cost calculator for servings of meat, but no other general calculators. Of course, you could just do it the old fashioned way—math.

If you know of any meal cost calculators, I would love to hear about them.


About LivingLaVidaMama

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Formerly, I've worked in publishing and been a medical student. Currently, I'm a freelance writer and copy editor, and full-time mom with two exceptional daughters. LivingLaVidaMama focuses on intentional frugality and the Specific Carbohydrate Diet that has dramatically improved my younger daughter's autistic-like symptoms. Contact me at MadForWriting at