This time of year is a difficult one to navigate for any parent with a child with food allergies, food intolerances and metabolic issues. It seems as if many celebrations in our culture are synonymous with food and specific “treats” to eat. As our little gal gets older she is more aware of the treats that others are eating. This year she noticed CANDY CANES. I was so hopeful that by the time this day came, she would be able to enjoy one of the sweet treats, but with her severe salicylate sensitivity that still exists, coupled with the fact that CANDY CANES include a high salicylate ingredient PEPPERMINT… we are not willing to take the risk of letting her eat them this holiday.
This year, as in years past, I have been trying very hard to focus our celebrations on non-food items, so that Lady A can still be included in the festivities but also so she doesn’t feel left out when we have to replace a treat with one from home. This is not fool-proof and in situations like at preschool parties and such, we will still have her “safe” food from home… but for gift giving and gift exchanging we are sticking to “Food Free Treats” this year!
This morning she had her dance class and last night we made Snowflake Ballerinas to give to all her sweet friends. The smiles on their faces was priceless and made me realize that there can be joy in the season without focusing on food or even candy canes!
For her preschool friends we are going to exchange books and she is wrapping up for them, light-up ornaments, that will hopefully last a bit longer than the artificial colored M&M’s!
I am always looking for new ideas on food free treats and ways to celebrate, especially since Lady A has a birthday just around the corner. What are some of your favorite food- free festive findings?