Saturday, November 9, 2013

Packin' It Dye-Free for the Movies!

AMC Theatres offers a sensory-friendly showing of a new-release kids film at select locations roughly once a month. These are designed for kids with ASD and SPD; the lights stay on at trailer-level, the sound is turned down, kids are allowed to move and make noise, etc.
But I think they're great for introducing toddlers to the movie theatre experience, and for kids who are still too young to sit quietly through a whole movie. And because many autistic kids are on special diets, the theatre lets you bring your own food to these showings! Perfect for a dye-free movie experience! (You think that theater popcorn turns yellow magically?)

Toddler Tidbits
Organic peach (or nectarine?) Pirate's Booty, organic popcorn w/salt
I did a quick DIY microwave popcorn by tossing some organic popcorn kernels into a paper lunch sack (which I had to buy special for storing mushrooms in the fridge and popping corn - I've never used them to pack lunches! Ha!) I sprayed some olive oil into the bag and shook it around, then cooked it in the microwave for the normal microwave popcorn time (2.5 minutes for me.) This takes only a few minutes, which I use to pack the other foods, and I usually manage to bang these snacks out while Hubby is cajoling the girls into their shoes and coats and car seats.

Big Girl Bites
Organic popcorn w/salt, GF Lucy's chocolate chip cookies, organic apples
I didn't think Z would go for the nectarine (peach?) that E and I shared, so she got apples instead. She's highly resistant to fruits with pits, in general. She got cookies instead of Pirate's Booty because I figured (correctly) that E would eventually get bored sitting in her own seat, and come cadge treats off of Mama. So no cookies for E!

Mama's Munchies
Organic popcorn, GF garlic pretzels, dark SunDrops, and salt snack mix.
broken GF Lucy's chocolate chip cookies, organic peach. I think. Nectarine, maybe?
Since I get the girls set up first, and we're sitting in semi-darkness facing forward, I figured (correctly) that I could get away with kicking my popcorn up a notch!

I also bring a selection of Unreal Candies mini candy bars (they have junk-free versions of Snickers, Milky Way, and Reese's PB Cups, plus dye-free M and Ms!) And we buy bottled water from concessions, or sometimes Sprite, since it has natural flavors (and no color.)

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Tools of the Trade


  1. Nectarines have smooth skin. Peaches are fuzzy. That's basically the only difference XD

  2. I've ALWAYS packed our own snacks for the movies... in our case it's not because of allergies, but because the prices at the snack bar are insane!! And I'm always worried that we'll get "found out", so I bring them in a Macy's shopping bag (there's a Macy's in the mall where our AMC is) as though we just finished our shopping spree and we just had to take a break at the movies. No one has ever stopped us :) But even if we didn't bring our own snacks, there's no way I would spend my money at the snack bar ... (This is an interesting article about the prices: Your snacks look just as yummy as the ones you'd pay 3 times for :) Great post Kendra!

    1. We do buy their overpriced drinks, since I know concessions are their bread and butter, and my goal isn't to cheat the system. But we'd only buy one popcorn (and they give free refills on the larges) and maybe a candy to share otherwise, so it's not like they're losing out on a ton of sales because I'm packing my own! And in exchange, I'm not leaving a trail of wrappers in our wake!

  3. Your snacks look delicious! Wonderful post!

  4. Wow, what a great idea, Kendra! So fun, healthy AND waaaay cheaper. :) I'm gonna have to try this next time we take the girls out to a movie! :) THanks!

  5. I'm going to do this the next time I take my grandson,Ben to the movies.. WAY more cheaper and alot better for him.. I will still buy Ben a drink ...but bring my own things.. super idea~! thanks ~!~!
    ta ta for now~! from Iowa~!


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