Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn on qualifying purchases. My participation in this program comes at no added cost to you, and helps support my small business. You can learn more about this program, and all my site's terms and conditions, here.
Celebrating holidays with food allergies can be a challenge. Everyday foods and activities may not be safe, and hosting family can mean less control over what you child comes into contact with. Whether you are the parent of a child with food allergies, have food allergies yourself, or are looking to accommodate someone with food allergies; whether you celebrate Easter as a holy day, a secular spring event, or somewhere in between; this guide will help you celebrate Easter safely.
Basic Tips for Managing Food Allergies
Whether it is Easter, another holiday, or a regular day, there are several things that can be done to help stay safe when managing food allergies:
Decorate Easter Eggs (without real eggs!)
Eggs are a top 8 allergen, and that means many families feel dying easter eggs isn't an option. Luckily, I found these great Merry Art Dyeable Decorating Easter Eggs! I haven't used them, but the reviews look incredibly promising.
Dyeing Easter eggs not your thing? Try decorating fake ones with paint, glitter, or anything else your heart desires! You can find eggs made out of a number of materials, like thesewooden ones.
Or, create paper easter eggs using construction paper (and cardboard or cardstock if you choose), scissors, glue, glitter, and pom poms! Be sure to download my egg stencil and print it off to create the perfect Easter egg shape!
Fill Your Easter Eggs with Safer Options, and Use Plastic Eggs instead of Real Ones
Candy Free Trinkets for Easter Eggs
Candy free options are excellent not only for children with allergies, but those who are too young to eat candy (though be cautious, many small trinkets are choking hazards, so I recommend sticking to things like stickers). They are also excellent options for families who want to avoid too much sugar, have metabolic conditions, or food sensitivities.
Here are some highly rated options your family will love!
Allergy Friendlier Candy Options
Our family loves Yum Earth goodies, including their seasonal varieties! Here are some made especially for spring!
Allergy Friendly Easter Basket Ideas
Forget the chocolate bunnies! Keep kids with food allergies in you family safe with these food free Easter basket ideas! Here is a list to get you inspired about what to put in your baskets this year, plus a few highly rated products that your kids will love!
1. Stuffed Animals
Stuffed animals are always an adorable hit in Easter baskets. We usually put at least on in our child's and our niece's!
Puzzles make great activities for kids of all ages, and fit nicely into baskets. We love wooden puzzles, and Melissa and Doug brand puzzles in our home! There are tons of great and educational options to choose from out there. Here are a few!
What kid doesn't love bubbles? They are a great spring activity; a reason to get outside, enjoy the nice weather, and focus on the light spring breeze! With a toddler, we love mess free Fubbles! The design of the container prevents large spills... and if you have a child, you know exactly what I am talking about!
4. Art Supplies and/or Stickers
Art supplies and stickers are another option that we love for Easter baskets. Whatever your child's age, there are plenty of amazing options out there!
Click on the images below to view some fun options for kids of all ages, or here to find all sorts of amazing Crayola products!
Books are always a great gift, if you ask my family. We are all avid readers, and even my toddler gets excited when he gets a new book. Here are a few spring options, but if your child is older, feel free to opt for the latest chapter book in their favorite series, or another hot read for the year!
6. Other Fun, Smaller Toys
Easter baskets are an opportunity to give your child a new, fun toy to freshen up their collection. We don't always do a toy in our child's basket, but do sometimes give gifts to other children in the family (while aunts/uncles/grandparents do the same for our child). It is a way to add something special to the Easter basket they've already received!
And don't forget the basket!!!!
We prefer getting something that can be reused year after year. it is more eco friendly, and makes for a special tradition when my child gets to pull out their basket again from the prior year.
No matter what your Easter plans; whether you give Easter baskets, do an Easter egg hunt, go to church, or just have a nice brunch; when managing food allergies the most important thing is to be INCLUSIVE. Years from now child won't remember what was in their Easter basket, but they will remember whether they felt left out or apart of the fun and festivities.
Managing food allergies is difficult, but with a bit of creativity, you can celebrate holidays safely.
Be sure to share to help others make this Easter food allergy friendly!
You can find more resources for managing food allergies here.
Or, check out other great season activities for your family!
Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn on qualifying purchases. My participation in this program comes at no added cost to you, and helps support my small business. You can learn more about this program, and all this site's terms and conditions here. Additionally, I periodically receive gifted products from Yum Earth. All opinions are my own. We love their products, use them in our home, recommend them to all our friends and family, and genuinely believe in their brand!
Holidays can be tough for kids with food allergies, and Valentine's Day is no different. Here are some ideas to keep your Valentine's Day school card exchange or party food allergy friendly!
Tips for Food Allergy Families
1. Communication is key! Speak with the classroom teacher in advance. Discuss any concerns about food allergies, and offer to provide information about food allergies for the teacher to send home to other families.
2. Offer to do any baking for the class party, or send in special treats just for your child.
3. Plan ahead. Speak with your child about how to stay safe at school. Make sure your child's epi pens are not expired, and check in with the school to make sure they are up to date on the details of your child's reaction plan. This is good practice ahead of any celebration that may revolve around food.
4. Refer toFood Allergy Research and Education's website for tons more resources!
Tips for Non-Food Allergy Families
1. If you are sending in food items to share, make sure their are food allergy friendly. Or, better yet, provide nonfood treats!
2. Nut free doesn't mean the product will be entirely nut free, either. Always check if the product is from a nut free facility.
3. Nut free does not mean allergen free. Allergen/Classroom Friendly does not mean allergen free.
4. Ask your child's teacher if there are any food allergies in the class you should be aware of.
Ideas for Card Exchange Goodies
These highly rated Amazon choice products are sure to impress your child's classmates!
Allergy Friendly Valentines Candy
We love YumEarth products! They are Top 9 free, which makes them perfect for our family!
Printable Valentine's Cards
Feel free to download this cute food allergy friendly Valentine's card!!!
Or, download one that isn't related to food allergies!
Allergy Friendly Baking
Store bought baked goods are frequently come into cross contact with allergens. As a result, food allergy families like mine usually opt to bake our own brownies, cakes, and cookies. One of our favorite recipes is this nut free brownie recipe (we do not use the frosting recipe, but you certainly can if you choose). When made with your favorite safe flour, butter, and other preferred products, it is easy to modify to be cross contact free. It is not wheat,,/gluten dairy, or egg allergy safe, unfortunately, but I'm speaking to some of my blogger friends to get an amazing Top 9 option that I'll share ASAP.
You can check out our preferred products here, or visit myfood allergy portal to get recommendations for food allergy support groups where you can ask for recommendations based on your individual allergies and comfort levels.
We topped our Valentine's brownies with pink vanilla frosting, Valentine's sprinkles, and delicious Yum Earth Valentine's gummies!
Want more great food allergy content? Check out my food allergy family portal here!
Help keep kids with food allergies safe this Valentine's Day by sharing!
Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Association, I earn on qualifying purchases. My participation in this program comes at no added cost to you, and helps support this blog (a small business!!). You can learn more about my participation in this program here.
Food allergies are tough to manage on your average day, let alone on holidays or during social events. And while this year holidays look a bit safer for those not having guests coming to celebrate (see the incident with my mother's lip gloss for all you need to know on this subject), even those who are celebrating with immediate family should still be concerned about things like season treats(which may be manufactured differently than the usual products), and potential for allergens in nonfood gifts (like lotions or cosmetics).
Whatever your holidays look like this year, here are some tips to help keep your family safe!
Read the labels, every time!
Even if you have used a product for years, manufacturing practices can change at any time. This is especially true for seasonal specialty products (think those Christmas versions of favorite candies). If you are concerned about cross contact or an allergen not in the top 8, be sure to contact the company directly! There is no legal obligation to list for these in ingredients. Furthermore, cosmetics and lotions may be held to a different standard than food.
If you are getting together with guests outside your household, volunteer to do the cooking, or host.
Even with clear communication, mistakes can happen. Ensure foods are safe by doing the cooking, bringing your own food to a celebration, or (best yet, if you are insistent on getting together with others), hosting. Hosting ensures that you are in control of procedures to limit cross contact (CC) in prep areas. You can also bring your own plates, utensils, or plan to use disposable products to further limit issues with CC.
Clearly communicate your comfort level with anyone you are gathering with; never assume others understand cross contact concerns!
Not comfortable with shared lines or facilities? Communicate this in clear language. Make sure to express concerns with cosmetics or body products that could transfer and cause a reaction as well.
Make sure anyone involved with caretaking has a clear understanding of the patient's allergy action plan.
Better yet, bring a copy as a reference as well as having clear discussions with all appropriate parties! Never leave your child in the care of anyone who does not fully understand the steps to follow in the event of a reaction.
Make sure cosmetics/body products are safe, not just food!
Food isn't the only thing that contains allergens. Many cosmetics and lotions contain nut and seed oils. Never assume a product is safe because you can't eat it!
Finally, always carry 2 epipens, and when in doubt, it is always better to epi than leave the reaction to chance*!
Always follow your individual action plan and listen to your doctor's recommendations first and foremost! Guides like this are great, but your practitioner will know the best steps to keep you or your child safe.
Looking for tips on Top 9 free holiday candy? We love YumEarth!!! Their products (other than candy corn, which is only available around Halloween) are free from Top 9, and their manufacturing facilities are free of Top 9 as well. Best yet? They are delicious!
Be sure to share this to help keep other food allergy patients safe this holiday season!
And be sure to check out Food Allergy Research and Education's webpage to learn more about food allergies. Or check out my food allergy portal for even more about managing food allergies, including recipes, other blog posts, great lists, product recommendations, and more!
This Thanksgiving, I'm grateful for being included in this amazing web series episode by Food Allergy Research and Education. Check out the entire video below!
Celebrate Halloween with free themed coloring pages, and help communicate with Trick or Treaters or party guests about important allergen information with easy to read alert cards.
If you love these, be sure to check out my subscriber's library for tons of other great (and free) printables!
Food Allergy Alert Cards
Let Trick or Treaters or guests know what goodie bags are safe for those with food allergies by pairing these cards with clear bags. Or, use them to display in front of trick or treat bowls.
Disclaimer: Always read individual labels before ingesting if you have a food allergy, or are giving food to someone with a food allergy.
And check out even more Halloween themed printables in the exclusive and completely free subscribers only resource library.
Just some of what you will find there! Teal Pumpkin Project inspired printables, 10 Little Pumpkins printables, more coloring pages, Halloween worksheets for elementary aged kids, binder book activities, and more!
Love this? Be sure to share with others!
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Many readers will already recognize the Teal Pumpkin for food allergies, but have you heard about the blue bucket for autism? If you have, there are a few things you should know to help you understand why requiring a blue bucket to have a child participate in Halloween is in bad taste, and why disclosing your child's diagnosis with a blue bucket is problematic.
If you are new to my blog and social media feeds, be sure to first take a look at the following resources to help you understand the issues associated with the blue bucket for autism initiative:
There are many, many reasons that Trick or Treaters may behave differently than your expectations. Obviously food allergies are one I discuss a lot, and autism is another. But there are even more reasons Trick or Treaters need and deserve kindness, and why you should be inclusive on Halloween; no matter who comes to your door. And ultimately, it is absolutely none of your business what those reasons are.
About "This Home is Inclusive"
Not all kids talk. It isn't your business.
Not all kids like costumes. It isn't your business.
Not all kids can eat, or even like candy. It isn't your business.
Kids may take a long time to make a choice for any number of reasons. It isn't your business.
Someone's diagnosis is none of your business. Parents/Trick or Treaters shouldn't have to disclose a diagnosis to have their child participate in Trick or Treat. Not all disabilities are visible. Someone's neurotype definitely isn't. Please be inclusive on Halloween, and everyday. No child should feel left out because of adults' expectations. Don't make children put on a show for free candy. It is just plain mean.
Now that you have some background on why inclusivity matters, perhaps consider putting up a sign saying your home is inclusive to everyone on Halloween (food allergy patients, autistics, etc.). The idea for blue pumpkins to show a Trick or Treater is autistic was developed for a reason. Parents of autistics felt that there was a need to disclose a diagnosis for their child to be accepted. How awful is that?! You don't want to be one of those people, right? Of course not.
You can use the sign below to share that your home is inclusive for everyone. Also feel free to share the poem below (with appropriate crediting, of course!).
Free Printables Available for Immediate Download
There are even more food allergy awareness signs in the subscriber's resource library!
"This Home is Inclusive" (Poem Text)
By the Mindfully Scientific Mama
We won't make you ask for a trick or a treat.
No blue buckets required to get a sweet.
No one is too old or too young to join in.
And you don't need a costume to give us a grin.
It isn't our business if you can talk or cannot.
Or why you want a trinket put into your pot.
Halloween is for everyone,
No if, ands, or buts.
Our home is inclusive, we won't keep our door shut!
Love this? Be sure to share!!
Did you catch my recent collaboration with YumEarth and FARE on Instagram? If you are like me and love candy, but need something allergy friendly, check out these amazing YumEarth Goodies available for purchase online!
Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn on qualifying purchases. My participation in this program comes at no added cost to you, and helps support this blog. You can learn more about my participation in this program here. Additionally, I have previously collaborated with FARE for a YumEarth campaign. This post is not affiliated nor endorsed by either FARE or YumEarth, and all opinions are my own. I simply love YumEarth products and am happy to endorse them as a consumer!
YumEarth everyday goodies are Top 8 free, and their facilities are currently sesame free. Their candy corn is not Top 8 free (it contains egg). If you are managing allergies, always remember to read labels every time, and be sure to check the allergy policy to confirm specific items are safe for your family. Luckily, YumEarth's website is quite comprehensive and user friendly.
Here are some of my favorite YumEarth products!!!
Looking for the YumEarth allergy policy? You can find that here!
You can find even more YumEarth products here, or directly on their website.
Or, check out these other delicious options (I love these, too!!)
The Teal Pumpkin Project initiative by FARE is literally a lifesaver for food allergy families like mine. With so many ways for Halloween to go from scary fun to plain scary, seeing more and more homes giving out trinkets instead of treats makes this mama feel safer letting my child Trick or Treat. While Trick or Treat may look different this year, for those still participating in a modified version, nonfood treats are just as important as any other year (or perhaps more, since an emergency room visit could now result in exposure to the very virus that is forcing these changes in the first place!).
If you've yet to buy your Teal Pumpkin worthy goodies, fear not! The Mindfully Scientific Mama has you covered with a list of excellent options, plus a list of other stores you can check if you don't like the ones on this roundup!
The Teal Pumpkin Trinket Roundup
Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn on qualifying purchases. My participation in this program comes at no additional cost to you, and helps support this blog. You can learn more here. The Mindfully Scientific Mama has not tested the products being recommended, but has researched them and only provided recommendations for highly rated products.
I scoured Amazon so you don't have to! Check out these highly rated options! I've also included some Prime Day Deals for Prime Members looking to save extra.
PRIME DAY DEAL! Glow Sticks - 20% Off On Prime Day
15pcs Halloween Felt Masks - 17% Off on Prime Day
Halloween Crafts - 24PCS Magic Rainbow Scratch Art Masks Kits Bulk - Prime Day Deal
Squishy Super Soft Squeeze Squishes - 23% Off on Prime Day
These are a bit pricier, and therefore may be better for switch witch gifts. But, they are absolutely adorable, and a great sensory toy for kids who need to destress or fidget!
Other Great Stops for Nonfood Goodies for Halloween
If you prefer brick and mortar shopping, here are some stores that often have goodies that would be perfect for trick or treat candy alternatives!
And don't forget to put a Teal Pumpkin on your doorstep to show you are a safer stop for kids with food allergies! You can paint a real pumpkin, or buy a reusable teal pumpkin from many of the stores listed above!
Love this? Be sure to share!
Over the next month I will be sharing variety of resources, tips, and tricks to help make Halloween 2020 safer for you and your children, while still being tons of fun. This will include Teal Pumpkin Project resources, as well as information about making a socially distant Halloween happen, whether you choose to trick or treat or seek alternatives.
The links below will get you started, and stay tuned to the blog and mysocial media feeds for more! I've also included a list with a few more ideas at the bottom of the page.
Resources to Get You Started
More Halloween Ideas
Is your family skipping trick or treating? Aside from the ideas listed in my Westchester County Mom article, here are some other options to celebrate Halloween at home. You can do these with your family, or include your social/learning pod with precautions!
And be sure to check out my Pinterest account for Halloween themed boards, and ideas from tons of other amazing bloggers!
What comes to mind when you hear the term "allergy attack"? Sneezing? A stuffy nose? Itchy eyes? Maybe you know someone with food allergies and think of hives. Perhaps you even understand that food allergies are life threatening. But what about nonfood products?
In my latest piece for Westchester County Mom's Blog, I discuss my child's anaphylactic reaction and how managing food allergies means more than just watching what you eat.
Or, read my other posts about living as a food allergy family and find resources to help your family on The Mindfully Scientific Mama Food Allergy portal.
The following is an advertisement from Amazon. As an Amazon Associate, I earn on qualifying purchases. Learn more about my participation in this program here. Commissions earned help support this blog and allow me to publish new, valuable content. My participation in this program costs you nothing.
Is your family managing food allergies? What is something you would want people to know about living with these conditions?
Be sure to respond below!
May 2020 (Prior to 5/31)
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Disclaimer: Content on this website is meant for informational and educational purposes. Nothing found on The Mindfully Scientific Mama constitutes medical or psychological advice. Always consult a profession in the respect field for advice specific to your situation. Read more about this site's terms and conditions here.