LOVE -ahem- VALENTINE TREATS – ARE IN THE AIR
Valentine’s Day is coming upon us quickly! Children are crafting and writing up their Valentine’s Day cards for friends and classroom parents are eagerly planning knock-your-socks-off parties for the special day. There’s excitement and love in the air! Remember the Food Allergies!
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EXCLUDE THE FOOD
How do you have a party at school that makes everyone happy when 1 in 13 children has food allergies? That’s an average of 2 per classroom. There’s the saying “exclude the food, not the child” and it’s a good one. When you ignore the allergies and just tell the child with food allergies not to eat the offending food (while others are happily chomping away), the allergic child’s emotional well-being is at stake. They feel left out, alone, and different.
The alternative is to choose fun foods that everyone can partake in, whether you have an allergy or not. This is easy to do in the planning stages of the party. Sometimes it’s as easy as picking up a bag of olive oil popcorn instead of buttered popcorn. Or serve plain strawberries instead of chocolate dipped strawberries. Either way, children are happy and can have a fun Valentine’s celebration.
INCLUDE THE CHILD
When all the food at the class party is allergen safe, there is such an emotional weight off the shoulders. First of all, the allergic child’s parents are ecstatic that she can be just like everyone else and enjoy the free for all. The child doesn’t need to worry about the trail of allergens and what everyone else’s allergen-laden fingers have touched. She feels happy and included. The teacher and room parents don’t need to worry about keeping an eye on the child, watching for a potential allergic reaction. And all the kids in the classroom don’t miss having those particular foods with allergens because it’s been replaced with delicious treats that everyone can enjoy.
FUN VALENTINE TREAT RECIPES
So what’s on the menu? We’ve had fun trolling the internet and searching for fun allergy friendly Valentine treats. Allergies can vary greatly, but here’s the best recipes we’ve curated. These capture the essence of Valentine’s Day. See what can work for you.
If you prefer to get your hands on a nice box of safe Valentine’s Chocolates, try these nut-free chocolates from Amore di Mona. They’re made in a facility free from peanuts, tree nuts, gluten, wheat, soy, milk, and eggs.
|Raspberry Soy Butter Rice Crispy Treats (nut free, dairy free, seed free) from Allergic Princess
Free of highly processed sugars, butter, and nut butters, this treat is sure to delight!
|Dark Chocolate Whole Wheat Brownies (dairy free) from 100 Days of Real Food
Any chocoholic will attest that brownies are needed at all Valentine’s celebrations. Now even the dairy allergic and nut allergic can enjoy this!
|Red Velvet Cupcakes (gluten free) from Flippin’ Delicious
Who could resist red velvet? Perfect for those who are gluten free.
|Strawberry Pop Tarts (gluten free, vegan) from Allergy Free Alaska
Ah… We’ve grown up with pop tarts, but this gluten free and vegan version is so much healthier!
|Strawberry Fool Dessert (dairy free, gluten free, vegan) from Go Dairy Free
This cool and creamy dessert looks delicious. I can’t believe it’s dairy free!
|Strawberry Lemonade Gelatin Jello Gummies (nut free, dairy free) from Allergic Princess
Usually jello and healthy don’t go together, but this healthy jello contains only juice and grass fed gelatin!
|Cherry and Coconut Fruit Juice Jello Hearts (gluten free, paleo, scd) from The Tao of Dana
These jello hearts are so colorful and contrast nicely.
|Valentine’s Day Sugar Cookies (gluten free, vegan, nut free) from The Pretty Bee
An easy all purpose sugar cookie dough that’s easy to cut shapes from.
|Chocolate Filled Valentine Heart Cookies (gluten free, vegan) from The Pretty Bee
These beauties are made with no food coloring! Paired with chocolate, we’ve all got to try this.
|Strawberry Whoopie Pies (gluten free, vegan) from Nerdy Mama
Wow, the vibrant color and the creamy center look amazing on these babies. I can almost taste them.
Is your mouth watering yet?
All these look so delicious! We’ve tried a few, but not all of them yet. We’ve got a few more days!
For more tips and food ideas, read this post about managing food allergies at school parties.
Do you have some yummy Valentine’s Day treats to share? Let’s hear it in the comments.
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