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A blog about all things allergen-free and delicious

Entries in valentine's day (2)


Love is In the Air… Valentine Ideas for Your Food Allergic Child


Great ideas from Guest Blogger, Melanie Potock of


Allergen-free Cookies from Cybele Pascal


Recipe from Cybele Pascal
This weekend,  kitchen tables everywhere will be piled high with home-made Valentine cards or frosted with flour and cookie cut-outs as everyone prepares for the traditional Valentine’s Day Party at school. For kids with food allergies or sensitivities, new ideas for alternative crafts or treats are plenty and I’d love to share some of them here with you!
Let’s get right to it: cookies, that is.  I mean, you have to have a heart shaped cookie on Valentine’s Day…I’m pretty sure there’s a law about that.  When I laid eyes on these delectable allergen-free “melt in your mouth” cookies from Cybele Pascal, I knew I had found the perfect little hearts to share with you. 

Fun Valentine Cards & Activities


Speaking of little hearts, here’s a clever idea for a Valentine’s Day card that is not only from your child’s heart, but direct from his tiny hand! created this easy tutorial where you take a photo of your child with their hand reaching toward the camera and then simply put the token of your choice in his hand as a special Valentine treat!  Allergy free options might include an organic lollypop, a Starbuck’s card (for teacher!) or a one-word, handwritten message in your child’s own lettering, such as “KISS”.


Another option for cards takes a bit more time and definitely adult supervision, but I loved these “dotty valentines” using precision Q-tips™.  The Crafty Crow recommends acrylic or tempura paints (contains egg) but another option would be Allergen Free Non-toxic finger paints either homemade or from  India Tree Natural Decorating Colors , which are made from vegetables.  As always, check ingredients to ensure that your child is safe and consult with for craft supplies that may contain allergens.


Continue to challenge your kiddo’s fine motor skills with this lacing activity! Looking for an inexpensive class activity that doesn’t involve scooping up as much sugar and candy as little fists can hold and then piling it all on top of a processed cookie in less than 15 seconds?  This Valentine craft will keep tiny hands busy and the poor teacher won’t have to deal with 25 kids in a sugar coma after the party has ended.

Cupcakes!  GF, DF, Egg-free, Nut-free, Soy-free

Let’s do the teacher, the kids and the other parents a favor and bring in a sweet pink treat that can’t be beat…wait for it…yes, “Beet-iful Cupcakes by Gluten Free Gigi.  Bright reddish-pink cushions of heaven, thanks to the natural color of a roasted beet!  These are gluten, dairy, egg, soy and nut free, sweetened with honey and delish!

Gifts of Service

What I loved most as I explored all the options for Valentine’s Day, was this post that I felt gave the best examples of how we can express our love, even to those that we have yet to know.  Reach out to an army family, visit a nursing home, bring art supplies for Valentines to your local children’s hospital or write a message to the kids to help them heal... just like someone did here in the freshly fallen snow in Colorado!
It will warm your heart…and theirs.  
"Get Well Kids" written in the snow....
Happy Valentine’s Day Tender Foodies!

About Melanie

Melanie Potock, MA, CCC-SLPMelanie is speech language pathologist who specializes in feeding.  Her work brings her into the homes and schools of her clients, kids, who for various reasons have difficulty with food or with eating. She works with kids and their parents to develop effective strategies that help children become “more adventurous eaters”.  At least 50% of her clients have food allergies or intolerances, and for them, “adventurous eating” takes on a special meaning.  Melanie is also the author of Happy Mealtimes with Happy Kids” and the executive producer of “Dancing in the Kitchen.”



More Posts from Melanie

How Can Parents Feel Less Stress with a Food Allergic Child in School?

Review:  The Magic of the BellyFULL Kit from the Hopeful Company





Review: Indie Candy


Allergen-Free Sweets for Your Valentine

Having a tough time finding the perfect sweet for your favorite Tender Sweetie? You can pull out all of the stops and make your own, or order from a professional like Indie Candy. Most of their sweets contain none of the “Big 8” allergens. Plus, they cater to special diet protocols (like Feingold, Kosher and Vegan). You would think this is a recipe for crappy candy, but it’s not. It’s tasty. I sampled a few of their Valentine-themed products for you. You don’t have to thank me. No really. Here are my choices.


Dark Chocolate Truffles

Truffles are love. Truffles are sensuous. “Truffle” even sounds romantic. So when you bite into one, you long to hear that naughty little voice in your head say, “Ohhhh. (pause) “Ohhh Yeah.” And these truffles do not disappoint. What I like the most is the initial snap as you bite into the hard chocolate shell and the caramel-like consistency of the center. Yum. Are they as fluffy as the dairy-packed confections that I remember? Not quite. But they don’t have to be. They are the “real thing” and they are very, very good.


Sweet Hearts Gummies

These gummies are yummy. And pretty. Indie Candy uses no artificial dyes or flavors so the wild cherry and watermelon flavors pop genuinely. The texture is satisfying and sexy, too. Might make your gluten-free Valentine’s imagination run wild.


Other products that I sampled were the Pineapple “Love Heart” which was not a favorite (it just tasted like sugar).  But the “Beary Sweet” dark chocolate sucker used high quality chocolate and would please adult and child alike. The packaging of each product is not highly designed, but sweet and down-to-earth.


Sweetheart GummiesThe Company

Before I took my first bite, I wanted to understand the company and its practices. I spoke with the President/CEO, Hanson Watkins. I was sincerely impressed with her knowledge and passion for both confections and health. She emphasized their goal of making things truly delicious, not just allergen-free – a goal that the Tender Foodie requires. Indie Candy carefully sources each ingredient right down to the factory where it is processed and to the seed that is sown. The majority of their ingredients are organic and they do their best to use non-GMO foodstuff. They sell their own in-house artisan candies (no Big 8 allergen is allowed in their kitchen) as well as those from other independent confectioners who cater to more narrow allergen-free markets. The Indie site clearly directs you by allergen, diet and confection and includes the ingredients, so read them.

If you are a Tender Foodie (or a Tender Valentine) and you give Indie Candy a try, let me know what you think!