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Fair Food on a Stick: Kid-Happy, Allergy-Friendly Food

Fair Food on a Stick: Kid-Happy, Allergy-Friendly Food | Des Moines Moms Blog

What do you think of when you think of Iowa State Fair? Fair Food!

Honestly, I have never been for multiple reasons. First, due to Easton’s special needs, crowds and strange places and people were too overwhelming and not an option until now. Second, we are not native to Iowa and have only been here in the city for three years, but I think this is the year to make it official! The third and final reason is the FOOD. With that being said, a BIG reason why the fair has not been a priority is because my son has many allergies and the food scares me!

Even though I am thankful we have outgrown the Epi-Pen, we still have autoimmune and GI disorders we have to abide by. Over the years I have learned to adapt many foods to make them “Easton-friendly,” but I certainly can’t compete with the 70+ fair foods on a stick or even know where to start!

Fair season is approaching, and I have been on a mission to create something fun and safe that Easton (and me, too) can enjoy at the fair! So here are three allergy-friendly Fair food recipes and how to make them!

*While the ingredients are free from the items listed, always check packages of ingredients to ensure the manufacturing practices are safe for your individual kiddo’s needs.

1. Corn Dog (Gluten, Dairy, Soy, Peanut, Fish, and Shellfish Free)

Warning in advance: these are work because you have to fry them, but if you’re desperate like me and can’t buy these in a store for your little, it is worth it for his smiling face! I make a big batch or even double it and freeze to be more economical! They freeze great and can be reheated in the microwave or oven if you really want them to stay crispy!

Fair Food on a Stick: Kid-Happy, Allergy-Friendly Food | Des Moines Moms Blog


8 cups Grapeseed Oil, for frying
1 1/2 cups yellow Gluten Free Cornmeal (Bob’s Red Mill Brand)
1 1/4 cups all-purpose Gluten Free Flour (King Arthur Brand)
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
2 cups almond milk with 2 teaspoons lemon juice mixed (Buttermilk Substitute)
1 tablespoon Grapeseed Oil
2 tablespoons honey
1 large egg, beaten
6-8 hot dogs (Applegate Brand)
1/4 cup Arrowroot Powder
Wilton 8-inch Sticks (get at any craft store)


  • In a large Dutch oven or deep pot, heat the grapeseed oil to 350° F over medium heat. Line a large plate or baking sheet with paper towels.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Then combine in a separate bowl the almond milk/lemon juice mixture, vegetable oil, honey, and egg. Combine with dry ingredients and stir to combine. The batter should be a little thicker than pancake batter. If necessary, add more almond milk mixture one tablespoon at a time.
  • Dry the hot dogs thoroughly with a paper towel. Insert a skewer into the end of each hot dog, pushing it almost all the way through to the tip.
  • Sprinkle the arrowroot onto a small plate and roll the hot dogs on the plate to lightly dust them with the arrowroot. Gently tap the hot dogs to remove extra arrowroot.
  • Pour the batter into a tall drinking glass. Holding a skewered hot dog at the bottom of the skewer, dunk the hot dog straight down into the glass of batter so that it is fully immersed in the batter. Slowly pull the hot dog back out, ensuring that it is fully coated on all sides and allowing some of the excess batter to drip back into the glass.
  • Immediately place the battered hot dog carefully into the hot oil while still holding the stick (with tongs). Cook until deep golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes, turning the stick as necessary to ensure even browning. Place the cooked corn dog on the plate of paper towels to drain. Repeat with the remaining hot dogs. (Cool completely if freezing.)

2. Rice Krispy Treat Squares on a Stick (Gluten, Dairy, Soy, Eggs, Nut, Fish, and Shellfish Free)Fair Food on a Stick: Kid-Happy, Allergy-Friendly Food | Des Moines Moms Blog


3 tablespoons Earth Balance Coconut Spread
1 package marshmallows (Elyon Brand)
5 ½ cups rice cereal (One Degree Organic Foods Brand Brown Rice Crisps or Erewhon Brand)
Sprinkles, melted chocolate, or other topping of your choice


  • In large saucepan melt coconut oil over low heat. Add marshmallows and stir until completely melted. Remove from heat.
  • Add rice cereal. Stir until well coated.
  • Using oil coated hands or wax paper, press mixture into a 13×9 pan coated with cooking spray. Cool slightly and cut into 2-inch squares.
  • Put stick in the bottom while still warm and top with sprinkles of choice

3. Caramel Apples on a Stick

Fair Food on a Stick: Kid-Happy, Allergy-Friendly Food | Des Moines Moms Blog


1 cup butter alternative (I use Earth Balance Soy Free Spread [Red Label] or Earth Balance Soy Free Spread)
2 1/4 cups brown sugar
1 cup almond milk, plain unsweetened
1 cup of full-fat coconut milk in a can, unsweetened
1 cup honey
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 ¼ teaspoons sea salt
6-8 small apples


  • Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Put stick through bottom of apple all the way up core just until it is about ready to poke through the top.
  • Place the butter alternative, sugar, almond milk, coconut milk, and honey in a large saucepan.
  • Bring ingredients to a boil and then turn to medium heat and cook until candy reaches 245° F (15 minutes or so).
  • Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and salt.
  • Allow the caramel to cool a bit and thicken (5 minutes), then start dipping apples. After you coat the apples, place on wax papered cookie sheet and place them in the fridge! (Tip: You can cover a few apples and then place the remaining caramel in any parchment-lined container to set up and make candies.)

I hope you enjoy these recipes and that they help your little ones with special diets enjoy Fair food!

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