Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Allergy-Free Valentine’s Day!

by Kelley Lindberg

Love is in the air. And, of course, so is the smell of chocolate.

But if chocolate is off your menu because of food allergies, don’t despair. There are plenty of yummy ways to celebrate Valentine’s today, whether you’re spending it with your one true love, your children, or the whole family. Here are some ideas:
  • Flowers… oh, yeah. We always love ‘em. (Kid version: Even kids like to get flowers!)
  • A romantic movie from the nearest Redbox. (Kid version: a family-friendly movie to enjoy together)
  • A bowl of strawberries dusted with sugar. (Kid version: use safe white frosting to paint faces or hearts on the strawberries)
  • A romantic novel. (Kid version: whatever book, graphic novel, or magazine they’re into)
  • A bottle of bubbly or sparkling apple cider (Kid version: a beverage they seldom get, like an unusual flavor of soda, such as pineapple, strawberry, or mango)
  • A drive up into the mountains to watch the sun set or the stars sparkle. (Kid version: this works for them, too)
  • A new pair of earrings or a bracelet for her, a pair of driving gloves for him – doesn’t have to be expensive, just fun. (Kid version: for girls, a fun piece of jewelry. For boys, a pack of Pokemon cards, HotWheels car, or action figure)
  • Rice Krispie Treats in the shape of a heart. (Kid version: replace half of the Rice Krispies with a safe flavored cereal, like Cocoa Puffs or Fruity Pebbles) (Tip: I double the amount of safe margarine called for in the "official" recipe)
  • Safe cupcakes with pink sprinkles (try Duncan Hines or Cherrybrook Kitchen cake mixes) (Kid version: Look for safe sprinkles in heart shapes)
  • Tropical fruit kabobs (chunks of fresh pineapple, mango, papaya, kiwi, banana, and strawberries threaded on a skewer). (Kid version: if they don’t like fruit, try safe popsicles)
  • Quiet time with your sweetie (with the door locked, perhaps?). (Kid version: Board games all night!)
Valentine's Day is all about the caring, not about the calories. And it doesn't have to be expensive or elaborate, either. Plan a regular meal or evening with one fun thing thrown in, and everyone will love it! I hope you have a wonderfully loving and safe time with your loved ones.

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