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Hi -

Two very different questions. My son turns 3 in March and we are in the process of potty training him. He is autistic so in the initial stages we really need to rely on a good food reward for going in the potty. We've been using M&M's which have been pretty effective but I really don't like him to have the dyes. Can anyone recommend a gluten free treat w/out dyes? It's got to be portable and more importantly really REALLY special.

2nd question - I want to make him cupcakes for his birthday. What's your favorite cake mix? I'm looking for a mix b/c I haven't stocked up on from scratch ingredients yet since I'm not sure how long he's going to be on the gluten-free diet.

Thanks!

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I liked the Betty Crocker one. Or make gluten-free Pantry brownies then put ice cream & Carmel or chocolate sauce on top. ( my teen boys fav).

For a treat, what about chocolate chips?

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What about an icecream "cake" or make your own sundaes. What about Gummy Candies for Potty treats?

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I like the Betty Crocker cake mixes . . . but only for cupcakes. When I bake them as a cake, the outside half gets really dry and crumbly before the inside is all the way cooked . . . at least that's what has been my experience. The Betty Crocker mixes are pretty easily found.

I like Karen's idea of choc chips . . . could be milk choc or white choc. Also, Hershey kisses, the little tootsie rolls (there are ones that are really small), milk duds, . . .

Have you ever seen Florida's Natural Fruit Nuggets? They are kind of like a skittle in the way they chew . . . a harder "shell" and a chewy center . . . but there are no artificial dyes or preservatives. I have found them at my SuperTarget. One 'nugget' is a little smaller than an M&M. The packaging looks like this:

http://www.target.com/Florida-Natural-Fruit-Nuggets-Variey/dp/B004CV3J4C

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I haven't seen those fruit things. I like those.

I got interrupted earlier - the burgers were coming in from the grill. I was going to say that choc chips worked great for one of my kids. We had the chocolate cure for any booboo or hurt feelings, too. The other would have rather had the fruit things or cereal or skittles. But skittles have a lot of funny dyes to make them those pretty colors.

I have also found that cupcakes cook better. If you have other kids there, cupcakes are served faster and easier with no fighting over who gets the Elmos' head in icing. We used to get the individual ice cream cups, too. Takes too long for 12 kids to wait for cut cake & scooped ice cream.

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If you potty trainer likes fruit, why not buy a few of his favs dried fruit then cube them or cut into "sticks" and dole them out as rewards.

I get dried pineapple and papaya to add to gluten-free granola as a trail mix treat with choc chips.

or Annies bunny fruit snacks.

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Thanks everyone! I think I have some chocolate chips in my pantry - I'll have to give that a try. I know that the M&M's are special for him b/c I have never really given him candy. Poor kid has been ridiculously excited about those darn M&M's - stayed dry all day for them! Hopefully something else will be just as effective.

Definitely going to do cupcakes for his birthday. I ordered an alphabet mold b/c he absolutely loves letters - hopefully the gluten-free mixes will work in them.

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There is a candy called Whizzers. I believe it's British. Like M & M's but the colors are subtle because they are vegetable dyes. Like beet. They are available online at vegan stores if you can't get them at your health food store.

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