Allergy-Friendly Valentine’s Day Guide

allergy-friendly Valentine's Day guide candy treats

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, Gene and I decided to hit up our local Target to see what allergy-friendly treats they had in store. We even brought along our best buddies to help us!

Below you will find a simple list of top 8 allergy-friendly candies & snacks and a few other treats that are allerGene-friendly (meaning they’re free of peanuts, eggs, and wheat).

These lists aren’t even close to all of the options available at Target and other stores, but they’re a start!


DumDums Heart Pops

DumDums Lollipop Bouquets

Fun Dip Valentine

Ring Pop Cupid Packs

Skittles Valentine Exchange

Sour Patch Conversation Hearts

Sour Patch Kids Lollipop


Swedish Fish

YumEarth Organic Giggles

YumEarth Organic Pops

YumEarth Organic Sour Beans

allergy-friendly Valentine's Day guide candy treats
allergy-friendly Valentine's Day guide candy treats
allergy-friendly Valentine's Day guide candy treats
allergy-friendly Valentine's Day guide candy treats
allergy-friendly Valentine's Day guide candy treats
allergy-friendly Valentine's Day guide candy treats
allergy-friendly Valentine's Day guide candy treats


Boom Chicka Pop Kettle Corn

Fruit by the Foot Mini Feet

Sensible Portions Veggie Chips Mini Hearts

Made Good Chocolate Chip Mini Granola Bars

Welch’s Fruit Snacks Hearts

Annie’s Organic Bunny Fruit Snacks

YumEarth Organic Sugarcoated Gummy Fruits

allergy-friendly Valentine's Day guide candy treats
allergy-friendly Valentine's Day guide candy treats
allergy-friendly Valentine's Day guide candy treats
allergy-friendly Valentine's Day guide candy treats


While all of the items above are free from the top 8 allergens, we still have a few favorites that contain other allergens such as milk. If you’re looking for strictly peanut free or gluten free foods, the following would be great options along with those already listed:

Pirate’s Booty

Rice Krispy Treats

Utz Valentine Mini Cheese Balls

allergy-friendly Valentine's Day guide candy treats
allergy-friendly Valentine's Day guide candy treats

As always, if you’re looking for products that are made in dedicated facilities (like YumEarth), be sure to check out Spokin’s list of verified brands here.

allergy-friendly Valentine's Day guide candy treats

3 WAYS TO MAKE Valentine's Day FUN FOR ALL

If your goal is to make Valentine’s Day inclusive for all kids, here are my three suggestions:

  1. Only pass out candy & snacks that are free of the top allergens
  2. Pass out non-food treats such as pencils, temporary tattoos, stamps, stickers, bubbles, etc.
  3. Pass out the old-fashioned store-bought valentine’s cards or have your child make personalized valentine’s cards for their classmates
allergy-friendly Valentine's Day guide
allergy-friendly Valentine's Day guide
Pirate's Booty Rice Krispy Treats Utz Valentine Mini Cheese Balls

happy Valentine's Day!

-xoxo Gene & Rachel




target halloween allergy-friendly candy

REAL TALK: Halloween is a holiday for the kids. The whole point is for kids to dress up in a costume of their choice and walk around getting endless amounts of free candy. FREE and UNLIMITED CANDY! I mean how cool is that?

But if you’re a child with food allergies, Halloween can be full of all tricks and no treats. To give all kids the true Halloween experience, you need to re-think your treats.

To put it simply, you’re going to have to ditch the mindset of the classic chocolate treats like Reese’s, Snickers, and Twix.

Instead, think sugar. Picture those massive Pixie Stix that should probably be illegal for children to consume. Sugar is your new mindset! Are you with me?

We visited our local Target to show you just how many allergy-friendly options there are readily available. Below is a list of “normal” candy that we found in the Halloween aisles. They’re all free of the Top 8 allergens (peanuts, milk, eggs, fish, shellfish, tree nuts, wheat, and soy).

Top 8 allergy-friendly candy

Charms Pops


Dum Dums

Fun Dip



Sour Patch Kids


Swedish Fish

target halloween allergy-friendly candy
target halloween allergy-friendly candy

If you’re looking to pass out something that’s more snack-like, these items are also readily available:

Top 8 allergy-friendly halloween snacks

Garden Veggie Chips Ghosts & Bats

GoGo Squeez Applesauce Pouches

Good Health Monster Shaped Veggie Chips

Made Good Chocolate Chip Granola Mini Bars


target halloween allergy-friendly candy
target halloween allergy-friendly candy
target halloween allergy-friendly candy

Since we only keep peanut, egg, and wheat out of our household, we still love to eat treats like Rice Krispy Treats and Pirate’s Booty that contain dairy. Is it okay for us to pass these out on Halloween? Absolutely! Naturally, you might be wondering then if it’s okay for you to still pass out your traditional Milky Way or 3 Musketeers.

The answer is, yes!

3 ways to make halloween fun for all

If your goal is to make Halloween inclusive for all kids, here are my three suggestions:

  1. Only pass out items that are free of the top allergens.
  2. Have two separate candy bowls. One would be for allergy-friendly treats and the other would be for your typical candy. This way, kids can choose which bucket fits their specific needs and wants.
  3. Pass out non-food treats like stickers, pencils, bubbles, etc.
Happy Halloween!
When in doubt, be like Buzz and read the ingredients.

Now that you know how easy it is to create a Halloween night full of treats, I hope you’ll consider doing so. For a larger list of allergy-friendly candy, check out Spokin’s Halloween Candy Guide.

target halloween allergy-friendly candy

If you do choose to participate and are looking for a way to let allergy-kids know you have treats for them, simply place a teal-colored pumpkin out (The Teal Pumpkin Project). Teal is the color for food allergies and a teal pumpkin is a symbol they’ll instantly recognize!

target halloween allergy-friendly candy

Happy Halloween from Woody, Bo Peep, Jessie, & Buzz!


Cooking for Someone with Food Allergies

A How-To

Cooking for someone with food allergies involves a lot of thought and attention to detail if your kitchen is not typically an allergy-free zone. These three categories can guide you step-by-step as you prepare an allergy-friendly meal for someone you love.

How To Cook for Someone with Food Allergies

STEP 1: Cleaning

They say cleanliness is next to Godliness, and when dealing with food allergies, there has never been a truer statement. Clean, clean, clean! Clean your countertops with a disinfectant spray and a clean washcloth or a disposable paper towel. Clean your pots, pans, measuring cups, utensils and any other tools you’ll be using during the process. All of these supplies should be washed with hot water and soap and then dried with a clean dish towel. You could also run these items through the dishwasher instead of hand-washing and drying.

How To Cook for Someone with Food Allergies

STEP 2: Ingredients

When looking at recipes and making your grocery list, you might think that you have the majority of the ingredients you need. Think again! Cross-contamination can cause allergic reactions, so it is important to use brand new ingredients, even if you already have them!

When purchasing foods, it is important to read the nutrition label thoroughly and check the ingredients. Once you’ve done that, do it again! Double-checking is key. Before you begin cooking, have another set of eyes check the ingredients (preferably the person with the allergies or their guardian).

Taking a photo of the nutrition label or saving the actual wrapper is a must! Those with allergies need to see with their own eyes that the ingredients are safe.

How To Cook for Someone with Food Allergies

STEP 3: Serving

Serving the meal is the easiest part of the process, but it is still important to do your due diligence! Often times, there will be a full meal served with a salad, entree, sides, etc. and not all of these courses will be allergy-friendly. Be sure to clearly label which items are allergy-friendly and include each of these items with its own serving utensils.

Be mindful of cross-contamination, specifically when serving appetizers. For example, if you are creating a cheese and cracker plate, do not put the gluten-free crackers on the same tray as the regular wheat crackers. If you have a fruit and vegetable tray, place the dips on a separate tray, as they may have allergens in them.

How To Cook for Someone with Food Allergies

Cooking for someone with food allergies does not have to be stressful. Effective cleaning practices and clear communication are all you need to keep everyone safe, full, and happy!

Photo Credit: Lauren Leigh Photography

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how to cook for someone with food allergies

Classroom Birthday Celebrations


When you’re in pre-school, classroom birthday celebrations are everything! However, when you’re a preschooler with food allergies, classroom birthday celebrations are…different. Whether you’re the parent of the child with allergies, the parent providing the birthday treats, or the teacher, you can expect to experience these three types of celebrations: the included, the excluded, and the compromise.

classroom birthday celebrations with food allergies


These are, naturally, best-case scenarios! These celebrations typically happen when you have a personal relationship with the family of the birthday boy or girl. These people have seen your struggles and genuinely love your child. It means more to them (and their kids) that everyone is able to participate than it does for their kid to have the exact dessert that they want. Plus, at this age, not many kids complain when given one form of sugar over another. The joy and excitement of seeing everyone enjoying the festivities is something to be truly giddy about!


In this scenario, a classmate brings his birthday treat and it is not allergy-friendly. In my personal opinion, this is completely acceptable. The parents are not intentionally trying to exclude your child, they’re simply trying to make the day extra special for their own. I mean, after all, if it’s your birthday, you should be able to eat what you want, right? Sadly, this does mean that your child will be excluded from the festivities.


In our third type of celebration, the birthday treat is, once again, not allergy-friendly. Most of the students will enjoy the birthday dessert, while your child will enjoy a special treat of his own that you’ve provided specifically for this purpose.

classroom birthday celebrations with food allergies


In order for “The Compromise” scenario to play out, allergy parents must be on top of their game, which should come as no surprise considering that’s our every-day lives. I suggest one of two things. Keep a stash of goodies in your child’s backpack or lunch box, OR ask the teacher if a stash can be stored in a cabinet in the classroom. This way, when your child cannot eat the treat that was brought, he can still enjoy something special.

Be sure to put some thought into these treats and make sure they are special. For example, if your child eats fruit snacks on a regular basis, don’t make that his dessert for birthday celebrations. Consider something different such as cookies, Rice Krispy Treats, etc. so he knows it’s truly a special occasion and feels just as much excitement as the other students!


Stress not! This is actually easier than you think! If you want to include all of the students, reach out to the allergy child’s parents and ask what their kid can eat. They will give you more recommendations than you could ever want! They’re used to talking about their child’s allergies and will be so thankful that you took the time to ask and learn.

PLEASE DO NOT try and bring something homemade! Stick to store-bought! Chances are if you cook it in your home, they probably won’t feel comfortable with their child eating it due to cross-contamination risks. Don’t be offended by this. Be thankful that this extra pressure isn’t added to your plate.

If your child insists on having his treat be something that is not allergy-friendly, that is okay! There are still easy and cost-effective ways to include everyone. Preschoolers love themed plates and napkins and treasure party-favor trinkets such as stickers or bracelets. Including something like these along with the choice of treat will still include all students.


If you’re the teacher and have allergy-students in your classroom, your job is super important, but also just as easy! The key is making sure you communicate with the allergy parents!

  • Let them know in advance when classroom birthdays will be celebrated.
  • Ask parents ahead of time what dessert they’ll be bringing and for a list of ingredients. Share this with the allergy parent. This will take the stress off of you and leave the decision-making to them. They’ll be able to tell you instantly if their child can eat the snack or not.
  • Ask the allergy parent if they have a special snack they’d like you to store in the classroom for their child. If not, ask where they’ll be storing treats, so you can easily find them in a backpack or lunch box during celebrations.
classroom birthday celebrations with food allergies


As we have navigated food allergies with pre-school birthday celebrations, I have learned a lot. Much of it is shared above and is beneficial for all of those involved. However, regardless of which type of celebration Gene experienced that day, regardless of the effort or lack of effort that was put into including him, and regardless of my efforts of planning ahead, I have learned that my little boy is resilient.

Gene gives me a play-by-play on the way home from preschool and you can bet that if a classmate’s birthday was celebrated, I’m going to hear about it! He will excitedly tell me who’s birthday it was, and then say something very matter of fact along the lines of, “They brought cupcakes, but they have nuts, eggs, and wheat in them, so I had cookies from my backpack.”

I always let that sink in for a moment (as another piece of my momma heart breaks) and then hesitantly ask, “Bud, does it make you feel sad that everyone else ate cupcakes and you had to eat something different?”

His answer is always the same, “No.”

These car conversations have never upset him, never even phased him in fact, but it has taken me some time to come to terms with them. Gene will always be different and he will always be excluded in some way when it comes to food. However, Gene has a quality of selflessness that is something to be admired. He is HAPPY to celebrate others, even if it means he doesn’t get anything out of it.

To all of my fellow allergy parents out there, know that your child will see the light even when you see darkness. The light is all that they see because it is all that they know, and that is something that cannot be taught. Be proud.