Allergy Friendly Valentine's Day Treats
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Allergy Friendly Valentine’s Day Treats

Posted on Wednesday, February 4th, 2015 at 7:00 am
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Will your child be attending a Valentine's Day party at school?  Here are some ideas for allergy-friendly Valentine's Day treats.Will you child be attending a Valentine’s Day classroom party at school? While some schools have stopped celebrating this holiday, others continue to do so. Parents may be asked to provide valentines for every student in their child’s class and an allergy friendly treat. Here are a few ideas to try.

Allergy Friendly Valentine’s Day Treats

What allergens should you avoid?
Your child’s school might send home information about a specific allergen that they want parents to exclude from Valentine’s Day treats. For example, they may point out that treats that include peanuts will not be allowed. Often, this is due to a child at the school who has a severe allergy to that specific allergen.

The top eight allergens are: milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts (almonds, cashews, walnuts), fish (bass, cod, flounder) shellfish (crab, lobster, shrimp) soy and wheat. People with milk allergies have to avoid all dairy products. People with allergies to wheat must avoid all foods that contain wheat, rye,and barley (in other words, gluten). These allergens account for an estimated 90 percent of allergic reactions.

Non-Food Treats
One way to avoid most, if not all, of the top eight allergens is to provide a Valentine’s Day treat that is not edible. Choose a Valentine’s Day decorated toy instead of a cookie. Many classrooms are choosing to have non-food treats in an effort to avoid giving children a lot of sugar. Some excellent choices include:

* Valentine’s Day pencils
* Valentine’s Day (or heart shaped) erasers
* Valentine’s Day stickers
* Valentine’s Day coloring sheets
* Valentine’s Day temporary tattoos (other designs will work, too)
* Bookmarks (these don’t have to be Valentine’s Day related)
* Origami hearts
* Friendship bracelets
* Small toys from the dollar store (cars, dolls, plastic animals)

There are two advantages to providing a non-food Valentine’s Day treat. One is that it isn’t food, so you won’t have to worry about a child accidentally eating something that contains an allergen. The other advantage is that you can often buy these items in bulk, which cuts down in the cost.

Treats Without Allergens
Another option is to provide a treat that is food but that doesn’t contain any of the top eight allergens. You may want to check with your child’s teacher to see if any of the students have an allergy to these foods:

* Apples (or apple slices)
* Oranges
* Fruit snacks (that don’t contain the top 8 allergens)
* Individual packages of baby carrots
* Small packages of raisins
* Popcorn (Place individual portions in resealable sandwich bags)

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