Plan Ahead for An Allergy Free, Sugar Free Halloween

By Sonnie Sei
Staff Writer
Kirkman Group, Inc.


Halloween:  a night filled with ghosts and goblins and tricks and treats.  It is a fun time of year that always seems to be here before we know it! October is a month full of a variety of sweet treats.  From class parties, costume parties, and trick-or-treating there is always an option to indulge in something delicious!  For parents of children with food allergies, the overwhelming presence of food that may contain an allergen can be stressful.  Planning ahead and being prepared is a great way to keep Halloween focused on the tricks and treats instead of the stress and worry!

Here are some great allergen-free treats you can make for you kid to keep them included in all of the festivities, and help keep you worry-free!

There is nothing spooky about these delicious 3-ingredient chocolate bars!  They are quick and easy to make, and guaranteed to satisfy every kids desire for chocolate on Halloween night!  They are allergen-free and a great treat to enjoy after trick-or-treating!

Tip:  Enlist the help of your neighbors to give out these candy alternatives to your trick-or-treater.  Most neighbors will be happy to help when you explain your child’s special needs.

Chocolate Bars:


½-cup plus 1-tablespoon dark cocoa powder

4-tablespoons coconut oil, melted

¼-cup Kirkman® No Sugar – Sugar Substitute (or ¼-cup agave or honey, which makes a smoother bar)


  1. Mix together melted coconut oil with No Sugar – Sugar Substitute (or agave/honey). Add dark cocoa powder and stir well for at least 3-4 minutes. You want the mixture to be extra thick.
  2. Pour into a parchment paper-lined flat container.
  3. Stick in the freezer until solid (about 30 minutes) and chop into pieces or bars.
  4. Store in the fridge, since coconut oil is almost liquid at room temperature.

Allergen Free Carmel Apples 
Halloween doesn’t feel complete without consuming a gooey, sticky caramel apple!  Try this recipe for homemade caramel apples.  You won’t be able to resist having one or two!


    4 apples
    4 popsicle sticks
    6 ounces gluten-free, dairy-free dark chocolate

    Salted Caramel

    1-cup full fat canned coconut milk
    1-cup coconut sugar
¼ teaspoon fine-ground sea salt


  1. Press a popsicle stick into the top of each apple and place apples in the refrigerator to chill overnight.
  2. To make salted caramel, place coconut milk, coconut sugar and salt in a heavy-bottom pot.  Whisk to combine ingredients. Bring mixture to a boil, watching carefully so that it doesn’t boil over. Boil 15 minutes over medium heat, and then reduce heat to low and simmer 5 minutes, watching carefully to make sure mixture doesn’t burn.  Put on ovenproof gloves and carefully pour caramel into a small bowl. Stir regularly as it cools to room temperature.  Caramel should thicken to a molasses-like texture when it reaches room temperature (about 20 minutes). If it doesn’t thicken, pour it back into the pot and let it simmer over lowest heat 3 to 5 minutes. Wear gloves to pour caramel back into the small bowl and stir periodically as it cools to room temperature. (Caramel should be fairly thick. If it’s too thin and hot, it will run off the apple, taking the chocolate with it.)
  3. Melt chocolate in a double boiler. Carefully pour melted chocolate into a bowl. Fill another bowl about half full and set aside. 
  4. Dip each chilled apple into melted chocolate and swirl it around. Hold the apple over the bowl, twisting it until chocolate begins to dry. Place each apple to dry completely.
  5. When dry, dip each chocolate-covered apple into salted caramel and swirl it around. Alternatively, spread the caramel over the apple with a butter knife. Only a small amount of caramel is needed for each apple.
  6. Let the apples sit upside down to dry completely.

There is nothing that says “Halloween” more than pumpkin!  Be sure to try this pumpkin cookie recipe – it’ll be the center of every October festivity you attend!

Pumpkin Cookies

Wet Ingredients

1-cup unsweetened pumpkin

½ -cup coconut oil, melted

¼-cup sweetener, either granulated (Kirkman® No Sugar – Sugar Substitute) or liquid (you can use coconut sugar or honey)

Dry Ingredients

1½-cup gluten-free flour (you can use almond flour)

1/32-tsp stevia extract, or approximately 4-8 Tbsp. sweetener of your choice, to taste

1-tsp baking soda

1-tsp cinnamon

¼-tsp salt


  1. Preheat oven to 375º. Combine pumpkin, oil, and sweetener in a medium bowl.
  2. Add flour, baking soda, & seasonings. Mix until combined.
  3. Make scoops of the mixture with a 2-Tbsp. muffin scoop.
  4. Place scoops on a baking sheet
  5. Bake 8 -10 minutes or until lightly browned. They will harden a bit as they cool, but will still be nice and soft.
Posted in Allergies & Allergens, Gluten Free / Casein Free, recipe | Leave a comment

Don’t Overlook the Stress You’re Feeling!

It’s been a stressful month – back-to-back hurricanes, a devasting earthquake, protests in the streets over healthcare, race and court decisions, recalling the horror of 9/11 and intensifying nuclear threats, not to mention – - the kids have gone back to school!


Stress affects both your mind and your body.  Symptoms of stress include depression, anxiety, sleep problems, fatigue, high blood pressure and more. The National Institutes of Health offers these tips for managing stress1:

  • Recognize the symptoms.
  • Get help – talk to a health care provider.
  • Get regular exercise.  Even 30 minutes a day can boost mood and reduce stress.
  • Try a relaxing activity such as meditation, yoga or tai chi.
  • Set goals and priorities.  Decide what must get done and what can wait.
  • Stay connected with people who can provide emotional support.

Nutritional supplements can also help ease the effects of stress.  Download our free brochure “Stress Management” to get a complete list of Kirkman’s nutritional supplements that can offer stress relief. 


1“5 Things You Should Know About Stress.”
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A Minerals Primer — Important Things You Should Know About Minerals



Have you ever noticed that most “multi-vitamin” formulations also contain multi-minerals?  That’s because vitamins need minerals to be effective.  An interesting fact is that the body can use minerals without vitamins, but it cannot use vitamins without minerals1.

Minerals are naturally occurring chemical elements that are found in the earth.  We benefit from the nutrients that minerals provide when we eat plants that have absorbed minerals from the soil or water or animals that have eaten the plants.  Minerals are extracted from mineral salts (molecules such as sulfate, carbonate, citrate, oxide or other negatively charged chemical group) for use in dietary supplements.

Kirkman® offers a blend of minerals in our hypoallergenic Multiple Mineral Complex Pro-Support (#0063-180) and Advanced Mineral Support (#0325-180).  Kirkman® also offers extensive lines of single mineral supplements (for a complete list click here) and multi-vitamin/mineral supplements (for a complete list click here).


The Importance of Minerals

Minerals are needed for the proper composition of body fluids, including blood, and for the proper composition of tissues, bone, teeth, muscles and nerves.  Minerals also play a significant role in maintaining healthy nerve function, the regulation of muscle tone, and supporting a healthy cardiovascular system.

Like vitamins, minerals also function as coenzymes that allow the body to perform its biochemical functions including:

  • energy production;
  • growth;
  • healing;
  • proper utilization of vitamins and other nutrients.

The human body must have a proper chemical balance that depends on the levels of different minerals in the body and in the ratios of certain mineral levels to one another.  If one mineral level is out of balance, all other mineral levels may be affected.  If this type of imbalance is not corrected, a chain reaction of imbalances can begin that may lead to serious health problems.2

The late Dr. Linus Pauling, winner of two Nobel prizes, and a founder of the Linus Pauling Institute, which since 1973 has been devoted to nutrient research, said that minerals were the key to good health.  “You can trace every sickness, every disease and every ailment to a mineral deficiency, ” Dr. Pauling was quoted to say.3

Classifications of Minerals

Minerals that are considered vital to good health, fitness, and mental well-being are divided into two primary groups: major minerals (also known as macro minerals) and trace minerals (also known as micro minerals). 

Major minerals are required by the body in relatively large amounts.  There are seven major minerals, which include calcium, chloride, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium and sulfur. 

Trace minerals, though only required in minute amounts by the body are, nevertheless, essential for good health. Primary trace minerals include iron, zinc, copper, chromium, selenium, molybdenum, manganese, and iodine.4 

More About Major Minerals

Note:  The Dietary Reference Intakes (DRIs) are indicated for each mineral for males and females nine years of age and older (not including infants, children under the age of 8 or pregnant or lactating women). Developed by the Food and Nutrition Board of the Institute of Medicine, they incorporate Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDAs) (the average daily dietary intake level; sufficient to meet the nutrient requirements of nearly all [97-98 per cent] healthy individuals in a group.)  The DRIs, which are more comprehensive than the RDAs, were updated in 2016 and are expected to replace the RDAs in the future.5


Calcium is the most abundant mineral in the body.  It makes up 1.5-2% of our body weight, with bones making up about 99% of the body’s calcium content.  The major function of calcium is to build and maintain healthy bones and teeth; however, it is also involved in much of the body’s enzyme activity as well as regulation of cardiovascular function. The DRIs for calcium are 1,000-1,300 mg/day.  


Magnesium is involved in more biochemical functions than any other mineral in the body.  Over 300 metabolic reactions involve this important nutrient so it is prudent to ensure your daily intake is sufficient.  Magnesium is also extremely important in regulating heart rhythms.  The recommended daily value for magnesium is 400 mg. and most dietary surveys indicate that most individuals only get 220-320 mg. per day, a suboptimal level.  It is important, however, not to over consume magnesium since excess amounts of this mineral have a laxative effect.  The DRIs for magnesium are 240-420 mg/day.


Phosphorus is an important macromineral in the body, but, like potassium, the diet usually supplies adequate levels.  Phosphorus deficiency and the need for supplementation are rare because almost all foods are rich in this mineral, including carbonated beverages.  Some nutritional supplements may contain a small amount of phosphorus as a safety factor, but that supplementation is seldom required.  The DRIs for phosphorus are 700-1250 mg/day.


Potassium is a mineral necessary for good health and organ function, though most individuals’ potassium requirements are met by their diet.  Additional supplementation outside of the diet is NOT RECOMMENDED.  This is because life-sustaining functions are regulated by potassium and upsetting the chemical balance of this nutrient can be life- threatening.  For this reason, potassium is not found in significant quantities in dietary supplements.  Potassium should only be supplemented if recommended by your physician.  The DRIs for potassium are 4,500-4,700 mg/day.

Sodium and Chloride

Sodium is an essential mineral that your body needs to function properly.  Along with the mineral chloride, it helps regulate the balance of fluids inside and outside of your cells and blood pressure.  Sodium also helps with the functions of nerves and muscles.  Sodium and chloride make up table salt.  Because of the liberal use of salt in American diets, sodium sufficiency is not a common problem. Excessive sodium and chloride can lead to serious health problems including high blood pressure and kidney issues. The DRIs for sodium are 1,200-1,500 mg/day.  The DRIs for chloride are 1,800-2,300 mg/day.

Sulfur is the third most abundant mineral in the body and is essential for life.  Sulfur contributes important amino acids that create protein for cells, enzymes, tissues, and hormones.  We get sulfur from the proteins in meats, poultry, eggs, fish, milk, nuts and beans. 

More About Trace Minerals


Chromium is an essential mineral in human nutrition, though its mechanisms are not well understood.  Chromium plays an important role in carbohydrate metabolism and is important in glucose regulating activities. Good sources of dietary chromium are whole grains, cereals, mushrooms and meat. 

The average American diet is chromium deficient because chromium is poorly absorbed, even from chromium rich foods.  For that reason, most multiple vitamin/mineral products contain chromium.  As with selenium, however, excess chromium can be toxic and lead to organ failure.  The DRIs for chromium are 20-35 mcg/day.


Copper is an essential trace mineral in human and animal nutrition.  Copper aids in the formation of various human tissues and red blood cells.  It also works synergistically with zinc and vitamin C in the formation of skin protein. Most individuals consume enough copper in their diets so that additional supplementation is not necessary.  In fact, excessive copper intake can lead to copper toxicity and a drop in zinc and vitamin C levels.  For this reason, copper supplements are not common.  The DRIs for copper are 700-900 mcg/day.  


Trace amounts of iodine are vital to support a healthy thyroid gland.  Iodized salt, in common use these days, provides adequate amounts of iron in most individual’s diets. Other foods high in iodine content include seafood, kelp, asparagus, spinach, mushrooms, Swiss chard, turnip greens and sesame seeds. Individuals on a low sodium diet may not consume enough iodized salt to get their daily requirement, so those individuals will need to make sure they take a supplement or eat iodine rich foods.  The DRIs for iodine are 120-150 mcg/day. 


Iron is essential in the human diet for the respiration process, the transport of oxygen in the blood and in the oxygenation of red blood cells.  Estimates are that 25% of the world’s population is iron deficient. Even so, iron supplementation should only be taken if recommended by your physician or at a low, daily dose in multi-vitamins.

Iron rich foods include eggs, meats, whole grains, almonds, avocados, beets, and green vegetables.  Iron found in breads, milk and cereals are not well absorbed.  If your doctor prescribes iron supplementation, it should be taken with food as iron tends to upset and irritate the digestive and gastrointestinal tracts.  The DRIs for iron are 8-18 mg/day.


Manganese is a mineral element that is both nutritionally essential and potentially toxic.  It is a constituent of multiple enzymes and an activator of other enzymes.  Manganese superoxide dismutase is the principal antioxidant enzyme in the mitochondria, which is particularly vulnerable to oxidative stress because it consumes 90% of the oxygen used by cells.  This mineral aids in the metabolism of carbohydrates, amino acids, cholesterol, vitamin B-1 and vitamin E. Some of the best sources of manganese are grains, nuts, vegetables and teas. The DRIs for manganese are 1.6-2.3 mg/day.


Molybdenum is a trace mineral required by both animals and humans to activate certain enzymes used in catabolism and detoxification processes.  Though deficiencies in humans are very rare, individuals undergoing detoxification protocols may want to supplement with this mineral just to be sure catabolism is at its optimal levels. 

Molybdenum is found naturally in beans, liver, cereal grains, peas, legumes and dark green leafy vegetables.  Molybdenum intake should not exceed 1 mg. daily.  Excessive amounts can lead to gout or molybdenum poisoning.  The recommended daily value is 70 micrograms.  TheDRIs for molybdenum are 34-45 mcg/day.  


Selenium is an essential trace element in humans and animals.  It is involved in a healthy immune system, the detoxification process and also has high antioxidant activity.  It works synergistically with vitamin E and vitamin C in preventing the formation of free radicals. 

Selenium can be found in meat and grains but is very soil dependent as to how much is present in those foods.  So, areas of the country where the soil is low in selenium produce crops that are also low in selenium content or farm animals deficient in this nutrient.  One of the best sources of selenium is Brazil nuts, which can contain more than 500 micrograms per ounce of nuts. 

The DRIs for selenium are 40-55 mcg/day.  Excess selenium should not be consumed, as this can lead to selenium toxicity that can cause numerous health issues.


Zinc is a mineral that is essential to humans and animals, and it plays several vital roles in maintaining good health.  Zinc is involved in more than 200 enzymatic reactions that make up our metabolic processes.  Other vital functions of zinc include:

  • maintaining growth and development;
  • maintaining a healthy, effective immune response;
  • supporting healthy skin and proper wound healing; and
  • supporting sexual maturation and reproduction.

Zinc is found in many food sources including egg yolks, fish, meat (including fish and poultry), seafood, seeds and grains.  Even though it is found in many regularly consumed foods, zinc deficiency is common due to body functions that interfere with its absorption such as:

  • zinc loss through perspiration;
  • diarrhea;
  • kidney disease; and,
  • the binding of zinc with phytates from consumed legumes and grains, which makes the zinc unabsorbable.

Because zinc binds with certain foods, it is often recommended that at least some of your daily zinc supplements be taken in the evening (about two hours away from dinner) or at bedtime. 

Zinc deficiency can result in loss of taste and/or smell, delayed sexual maturation and a depressed immune response.  The DRIs for zinc are 8-11 mg/day.

Other trace metals that may prove essential in tiny amounts include boron, vanadium, nickel and cobalt however, the science is not currently evidentiary.


1,3 “Why Are Minerals More Important Than Vitamins?” Mineralife, are-minerals-more-important-than-vitamins/.
“The Nutrient Interrelationships of Minerals – Vitamins – Endocrines and Health.”
“Minerals: Their Functions and Sources-Topic Overview.”
Home | The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine | | Where the Nation Turns for Independent, Expert Advice,


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5 Things You Didn’t Know About Folinic Acid


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Prebotics: Are They Important?



    Kulani Mahikoa
    Executive Vice President
    Kirkman Group, Inc.



Some health experts argue that prebiotics rival probiotics in their importance to gastrointestinal and immune system health.

Probiotics are good bacteria that live in the large intestine.  When they are sufficiently present, they crowd out bad bacteria that can cause health problems and create healthy microflora to support digestion, immune function and bestow other important health benefits.  Probiotics can be sourced from foods such as yogurt or sauerkraut or dietary supplements.

Prebiotics, come from fibrous plants like chicory root (inulin), raw asparagus, artichokes, raw onions and dietary supplements.  When ingested they provide food for probiotics to help the good bacteria grow and multiply.  

Unlike probiotics, prebiotics aren’t degraded by body heat or stomach acid as they move through the gastrointestinal tract.  They stay intact until they reach the colon where about 80% of the body’s bacteria reside. There, they act as “fertilizer” or “food” to only the good bacteria and can cause their rapid growth.

Think of it this way – probiotics add good bacteria to the gut while prebiotics make good bacteria grow and repopulate the gut.  Both are beneficial to get rid of unwanted or bad microorganisms that can cause illness.  The reason you may want to use both is that probiotics and prebiotics have a symbiotic relationship, which means that when they are taken together they can be mutually beneficial to each other. 

Kirkman® uses inulin, from chicory root and acacia gum prebiotics in some of its probiotic blends. These prebiotics provide probiotics with significant substrate to attach to the intestinal tract resulting in improved colonization.

Kirkman’s probiotic products with prebiotics in their formulations include:

0341-120 Pro-Culture Gold™ – Hypoallergenic

Kirkman’s Pro-Culture Gold™ features the Lactobacillus rhamnosus (L. rhamnosus) probiotic strain. This species is recognized as one of the primary friendly lactic acid bacteria that resides in a healthy GI tract. Research over the past decade has shown that L. rhamnosus provides a number of important health benefits including:

  • ability to adhere to the GI mucosa and colonize the GI tract;
  • support for the body’s immune system;
  • help for alleviating occasional diarrhea or constipation.

0345-060 Super Pro-Bio™ 75 billion – Bio-Max Series – Hypoallergenic

Super Pro-Bio™ 75 Billion is Kirkman’s powerful broad-spectrum probiotic formulation containing seven strains of probiotic organisms that colonize and adhere to the gastrointestinal tract, thereby helping support GI health, good intestinal flora and immune system response. This formulation contains excess of 75 billion organisms, which makes it one of the most potent probiotic formulations available to the increasing number of physicians who use probiotic products to aid in gastrointestinal support.

0463-090 Pro-Bio Defense™

Pro-Bio Defense™ contains the most important “resident” and “transient” microorganisms that contribute to maintaining and promoting a healthy GI tract. It offers the six probiotic strains in Kirkman’s popular Pro-Bio Gold™ with added Saccharomyces boulardii (S. boulardii), a special strain of yeast that has probiotic capabilities.

0485-060 Multi-Flora Spectrum – Hypoallergenic™

Kirkman’s Multi-Flora Spectrum™ is one of the most broad spectrum and potent probiotic formulations available in the marketplace. The strains used in this formulation have been the subjects of extensive clinical studies. These studies documented their ability to adhere to and colonize the gastrointestinal tract, resist gastric acid and bile salts, improve lactose digestion and support immune system response. 

8813-005 Culturelle® with Lactobacillus GG

Culturelle® with LGG has been widely studied and documented to have the following characteristics and benefits:

  • adheres and colonizes the gastrointestinal tract;
  • assists intestinal functioning;
  • supports the body’s natural defenses;helps alleviate occasional diarrhea;
  • has high tolerance to survive stomach acids;
  • assists with lactose metabolism.

0508-008 Acidophilus Probiotic Powder

Kirkman’s Acidophilus Probiotic Powder includes six strains of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium probiotics. This reformulated product includes the addition of a significant amount of inulin from chicory root.

2503-060 P2i Baby™ Probiotic Gastrointestinal Support – Hypoallergenic

A probiotic for men and women specially formulated to use from preconception through pregnancy.  Healthy intestinal flora for prospective parents is extremely important because flora is involved in immune system response, proper digestion and overall gastrointestinal health. P2i Baby™ Probiotic Gastrointestinal Support is the perfect maintenance probiotic to ensure a healthy gut flora on a continuing basis.

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Back-to-School Requires That You Think About the Treats!

By Sonnie Sei
Staff Writer
Kirkman Group, Inc.


It is that time of year again!  The temperature is getting cooler and the long days of freedom, fun and endless sunshine are coming to an end.  While the carefree days of summer are becoming distant memories, there is another notable occasion that indicates summer is over – going back to school! For some, the start of a new school year is exciting. It is a chance for a fresh start with the added thrill of a new classroom, friends and teachers. Similarly, there are some kids (and parents!) that with a new school year comes stress, worry and anxiety. 

For parents with a child with special needs, the transition from a summer routine (or lack of routine!) to a new school year can be extra unsettling. A main concern for parents and kids is beginning a new school year with a dietary allergy or sensitivity. Sending your kid to school with lunch money may not be an option when considering a food allergy and the limited options that are available at your child’s school, so being prepared and planning ahead is a must!

Good nutrition is a great start to planning for the school year. Put the stress to rest by beginning each day with a healthy breakfast. By doing so, it will help your child concentrate in class and will provide them with the energy they will need throughout the day. Plan ahead and make these delicious allergen-free muffins! As an added bonus, you can make them the night before to help create a stress-free morning!

Almond Flour Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins (Makes 12 Muffins)

Ingredients – 

·      3 eggs (or use an egg substitute, such as ¾ cup of unsweetened applesauce or 3 heaping tablespoons of soy flour and 6 tablespoons of water when necessary)

·      1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

·      3 over-ripe bananas, mashed

·      ¼ cup honey or Kirkman’s No Sugar

·      1 teaspoon vanilla

·      3 cups almond flour or meal (can use coconut flour as a substitute when necessary)

·      ¾ teaspoon baking powder

·      ½ teaspoon salt

·      ¼ cup coconut oil, melted

·      1 recommended serving per muffin (varies by child) of Calcium 200 mg – Bio-Max Series – Hypoallergenic(capsule opened and contents emptied – mixed into each muffin or mixed well into main batter )

·      ½ cup bittersweet chocolate chips, or Paskesz Real Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips

Directions – 

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Line a muffin pan with paper or foil liners. Whisk eggs (or use egg substitute), vinegar, banana, honey and vanilla in a medium mixing bowl. In a second, larger bowl, whisk almond flour, baking powder and salt until no lumps remain. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix by hand until almost combined. Add coconut oil and fold gently until evenly mixed. Stir in chocolate chips. Divide batter into muffin tin. Bake for 20 minutes or until set. Let cool about five minutes in pan and remove to wire rack to cool completely.


Packing a flavorful and nutritious lunch that your child will eat which is also allergen-free can often times become a stressor all on it’s own!  You can always keep it simple and pack a twist to an all-time favorite: Pea Butter and Jelly Sandwich! This recipe is free of the common allergens, and the pea butter can be made the night before and used in various ways throughout the week!

Pea Butter and Jelly Sandwich

Ingredients – 

        ▪       ⅔ cup dry whole yellow peas
        ▪       ½ cup water
        ▪       2 ½ tablespoons refined coconut oil
        ▪       ½ tablespoon agave nectar
        ▪       ¼ teaspoon sea salt
        ▪       Gluten-free bread, sliced
        ▪       Jelly of choice, sugar-free

Directions – 

Soften peas by placing them in a bowl and cover with one inch of cool water. Cover and let stand 24 hours.
When ready, preheat the oven to 350° F and line a baking sheet with parchment. 

Drain peas and spread in one layer on the sheet. Bake for one hour, stopping every 15 minutes to shake the pan (prevents burning).
Place the peas in a bowl to cool. Once cooled, move them to a food processor and add water.

Let stand 15 minutes then pulse until finely chopped. Add oil, agave and salt and run the food processor until the ingredients turn into a smooth, thick paste, adding more water if necessary.

Spread desired amount on gluten-free bread of choice and add sugar-free jelly. 


After a day full of new activities and learning, your child most likely worked up quite an appetite.  Want a quick after-school snack that will hold them over until dinner is ready?  Try this quick smoothie recipe!  You can also be sure they are getting their multivitamins by sneaking some into the recipe!

Very Berry Smoothie

Ingredients – 

        ▪       1 cup frozen mixed berries
        ▪       1 cup flavored juice (Orange is recommended, plus it helps your child get more vitamin C!)
        ▪       1 ½ cup ice
        ▪       ½ cup yogurt (If your child is sensitive to dairy, try prepared Vance’s™ DariFree™ Original Flavor.)
        ▪        1 recommended serving (varies by child) Super Nu-Thera® Liquid – Raspberry Flavored Concentrate – New Formula

Directions – 

Blend all ingredients until smooth.

Posted in Allergies & Allergens, Gluten Free / Casein Free, recipe, Special Needs, Vitamins, Minerals, and Nutrition | Leave a comment

Supplements to Support Your Student’s Brainpower


By Kulani Mahikoa
Executive Vice President
Kirkman Group, Inc.








The luxury of summer fun will soon give way to the more rigid demands of schoolwork when kids head back-to-school. Nutritional supplements that support brain health can help your child’s ability to meet the challenges of learning. Certain supplements can improve focus, attention, memory, and even assuage classroom anxiety. Consider these six supplements to boost your scholar’s brainpower.

Acetyl L-Carnitine (ALCAR) (#0528-090)

ALCAR is a powerful amino acid that can increase both mental and physical energy.  This nutrient offers significant antioxidant activity to protect the brain from free radical damage and also promotes the production of glutathione. ALCAR is a precursor of acetylcholine, the neurotransmitter of memory and learning.

Studies have shown that ALCAR can increase insulin sensitivity of brain cells to help them utilize blood glucose, the brain’s main fuel source. ALCAR is often used as a brain booster, due to its ability to increase alertness and mitochondrial capacity while providing support for the neurons.

(May interfere with certain prescription medications so consult your physician before using it). 

L-Theanine (#0515-100)

L-Theanine is an amino acid found in black and green teas.  It raises levels of several key neurotransmitters – serotonin, dopamine and GABA and can promote learning, recall, and positive mood.[1]

Curcumin (#0530-060)

Curcumin, the bioactive compound in the Indian spice, tumeric, has been used for centuries for a variety of health benefits including brain support.  

Curcumin protects the brain by increasing levels of dopamine and serotonin and blood flow to the brain.  Health benefits include improved memory and attention capabilities.

Ginkgo Biloba (#0031-250)

Ginkgo biloba is one of the world’s oldest living tree species that has been used for centuries in the Orient to support good health.

Kirkman® uses a standardized extract from the leaves of ginkgo biloba, which has been assayed and is guaranteed to contain the marker compounds flavonglycosides (24%) and terpene lactones (6%). Studies have shown that these compounds must be present in order for the product to be effective.

Ginkgo biloba increases circulation to the brain, balances brain chemistry, and protects the brain from free radical damage.  

DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) (#8833-360)

DHA is the major building block of the cerebral cortex which plays a key role in memory, attention, perception, cognition, thought, language and consciousness.[2]

Kirkman® offers Children’s DHA Strawberry Capsules (8833-360) from Nordic Naturals.

Phosphatidylserine (#3936)

Phosphatidylserine (PS) is a phospholipid naturally found in high concentrations in the brain.  It’s health benefits include boosting memory, cognition, concentration and learning and reducing stress.  This nutrient is a major component of human brain cell membranes that help keep toxins and other unwanted invaders out of the brain. 

Kirkman offers this nutrient in our 60 to 90 line as Memory Boost (3936-030 and 3936-090) but it is also appropriate for all ages.

[1] Nathan, P J, et al. “The Neuropharmacology of L-Theanine(N-Ethyl-L-Glutamine): a Possible Neuroprotective and Cognitive Enhancing Agent.” Journal of Herbal Pharmacotherapy., U.S. National Library of Medicine,

[2] Kandel, Eric R.; Schwartz, James H.; Jessell, Thomas M. (2000). Principles of Neural Science (Fourth ed.). United State of America: McGraw-Hill. p. 324. ISBN0-8385-7701-6

Posted in Gluten Free / Casein Free, Immune System, Probiotics, Ultra Tested, Vitamins, Minerals, and Nutrition | Leave a comment