Jason Schermer D.D.S. January 2019

SAFE AND SWEET Allergy-Friendly Valentines for Your Child’s Classmates ll i l l i il ’ l

F or a parent of a child with allergies, every day can feel like a battle with food labels and ingredients lists — and Valentine’s Day only exacerbates this fear. Avoid the danger of an allergic reaction on Valentine’s Day by creating alternative, candy- free valentines that the whole class will enjoy! Get Creative This valentine idea taps into your kids’ desire to create by using commonly found household items. Have your children draw pictures, create cards, mold tiny sculptures, or braid together friendship bracelets to create one-of-a-kind gifts that will be safe for their classmates to enjoy. Kids can put their own effort into gift-giving, and their valentines will have a personal touch candy cannot replicate.

Think Like a Kid If you’re looking for a creative valentine that will be safe for all your child’s friends to play with, check no further than the toy aisle of your local dollar store. While being mindful of latex allergies, you can purchase little toys that kids will love that won’t break your bank. Think bouncy balls, mini skateboards, Army men, yo- yos, puzzles, rubber ducks, hand-held games, markers, or bubbles. Adorn these little gifts with yarn, ribbons, or personalized tags, and slap on cute sayings to make them fit for the holiday. Finish off the masterpiece by having your kiddo sign their name on each valentine, and you’ve got a kid-approved Valentine’s Day favorite. Fancy Up Some Fruit If you’re worried about food allergies but still want to make a yummy treat, ask your child’s

teacher for a list of students’ allergies, then just work around them. Fruits are usually a safe bet, but it’s best to double check. You could skewer strawberries and heart-shaped pieces of watermelon onto kabob sticks for a sweet and fun snack, or pass out goody bags with apples, bananas, and clementines. Offering a group snack that is allergy-friendly will keep your children and their friends safe and healthy, and it can also help children with allergies feel included in the festivities. As with all Valentine’s Day gifts, keep in mind that it’s not the item or money spent that means the most. It’s the thought behind each gift that makes receiving valentines the sweetest part.


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