Easter With Food Allergies
Celebrating Easter with food allergies can be a challenge, but here are some tips for Easter egg hunts and baskets, and recipes to make your Easter safe and happy for everyone!
Easter Egg Hunt
Those plastic Easter eggs that kids hunt for are often filled with chocolates, jelly beans and other candies that contain allergens. If there’s an allergic child in the group, here are some ideas:
1. This is my favorite one – Label the eggs with small stickers, one sticker design for each child in the hunt. For example, one child gets the eggs with the soccer stickers on them, another child gets the eggs with the football stickers on them, and a third child gets the eggs with the flower stickers on them. Then, during the egg hunt, each child only picks up the eggs meant for them and labeled with their special sticker. This is great if there are kids of all ages and abilities in the hunt, because the older or faster kids won’t get all of the eggs. They will only pick up the ones labeled for them. Also, each kid can get what they like in their eggs, and food allergic kids will only get stuff approved by you. Some kids would love to get coins, or others may have special candy that they expect on Easter. By allowing each child to have their own eggs to find, the non-allergic kids can still get what they want and the allergic kids can have their special treats and stay safe. We did this with my extended family last year and it worked out perfectly. All of the kids were happy and I didn’t have to worry about my son getting eggs with treats he couldn’t have. It was really cute too, with the older kids helping the younger ones find their eggs!
2. Put only allergy free candy in those eggs. There are plenty to choose from. Find a recent list of allergy friendly candy brands for Easter here. Jelly beans that are free of the top 8 allergens and also gluten free are made by Surf Sweets and Gimbal’s Candy. We love YumEarth’s organic lollipops, which are gluten free, nut free, peanut free, soy free, dairy free, vegan, and contain no artificial colors. Plus, they have some vitamin C in them! If you bend the bottom of the stick or cut them off a little with scissors, you can put these inside the larger plastic eggs. These are my allergic son’s favorite. DumDum lollipops are also top 8 allergen free.
3. Fill the plastic eggs with non-food treats, like stickers, tattoos, or small toys. The favor section of a party supply store is a great place to get stuff like that. Or put real coins into the eggs – my kids love finding money!
A big ham is an Easter tradition, but the glaze on the ham often contains gluten, soy, or other allergens. Try this recipe for Honey Baked Ham. I make it each year and everyone loves it. It’s better than store-bought ham and so easy to make!
This recipe for Green Beans with Fresh Vinaigrette is great as a side dish. The green beans are fresh and crisp, with a light vinaigrette. It’s a good contrast to those veggies in baked casseroles with heavy sauces that are a staple at holiday meals.
Roasted Cauliflower is a wonderful dish that is so easy to make but gets rave reviews. This recipe has converted many cauliflower haters like me. Give it a try!
I want to try this Whole Foods recipe for Carrots with Peas and Pancetta. I’ll sub some olive oil for the butter to make it dairy free.
For dessert, how about some incredible Chocolate Truffles? They are allergy free but no one will be able to tell!
I’ll be posting a few more Easter recipes this week, so please check back soon.
Skip the prepackaged baskets from the store – they usually have all kinds of unhealthy and allergen-filled candy in them. Make baskets yourself, and fill them with small toys and safe candies. Art supplies, craft kits, books, coloring books, and travel-sized toys are great for Easter baskets. Your child can get much more use out of these things than the cheap toys and yucky candy that they put in those prepackaged baskets. And you can tailor the basket to whatever your child likes.
Do you have any tips for celebrating Easter with food allergies? Please reply and share them. Thanks for reading!