Help make Valentine’s Day a positive experience for your gluten free child with these 5 Survival Tips for a Gluten Free Valentine’s Day.
Valentine’s Day is such a fun holiday for the little ones, but so much of it revolves around food that it can be a tougher holiday to navigate with celiac disease or food allergies. We’ve been through three Valentine’s Days now since our daughter’s celiac disease diagnosis, and here are some survival tips that have worked for us. I hope they help make your little one’s Valentine’s Day a positive experience.
1. Celebrate all month long
Extending the holiday helps take the pressure off of the main day where your kids will likely see treats they can’t eat at class parties or in Valentine’s exchanges. Do crafts, make recipes or meals with heart shapes, and put up some decorations. Here are three ideas for at home Valentine’s themed kid crafts.
2. Volunteer at your child’s class party
I like to volunteer at class parties whenever possible. My kids get excited to see me, and I think that helps to make sure they’re feeling included and having fun. In my experience, I have been really lucky to have other parents who were willing for me to make a yummy gluten free, dairy free treat and/or snack for the class so I’ve always known that on those special class party days there would be something for sharing.
I know that’s not always possible for everyone, either because the other parents aren’t as accommodating or because you simply don’t have time to attend the party. If you aren’t able to attend, try sending in a treat for the kids to share, or at least enough for your child so they have something delicious and festive to enjoy.
3. Non-Food Valentine’s Exchanges
Oh how I wish that parents would be asked to do non-food exchanges at school for Halloween, Valentine’s Day, Easter and other celebrations but because that hasn’t happened in our experience we have to be prepared.
- For Valentine’s exchanges we prefer to do the fun cards that have a hole in them where you can stick a fun pencil, and wrap it up in cellophane with a cute tie.
- We also like scratch and sniff cards because they’re fun for little ones to play with.
- Stickers and erasers are also fun to wrap in a cellophane bag. Punch a hole in a homemade heart-shaped tag, attach it to the string and you’re done!
4. Food Based Valentine’s Exchanges
- Attach an individual gluten free gummies bag (like Surf Sweets or Yum Earth) to a Valentine’s Card. We staple them together if the kids are old enough, or tape works too.
- Make chocolate heart lollipops or a chocolate mini hearts and place them in a cellophane bag with a twist tie.
5. Be Prepared at Home After School
Have some gluten free treats or candy or fun themed toys at home. That way, when your child gets home and goes through his/her bag of Valentine’s with you you’re ready with replacements. Even though your child understands that they can’t eat certain treats, it’s still hard to throw it away and stay empty handed. A back up supply fixes that. For help finding gluten free candy, see my Valentine’s Gluten Free Candy post.