Allergy Free Easter

By Heather Legg

It struck me the other day that Easter is right around the corner. Stores are full of bright candy, baskets and bunnies. But what to do if your child is allergic to milk or nuts or peanut butter, things often found in chocolate. Even depending on the severity of the allergy, your child may have to stay away from candy that’s made in a factory with those things even if the candy does not contain any due to risk of cross contamination. And no one wants an allergy episode on Easter. But, just like anything else, you can work around it. Just be creative!

Here are some ideas for Easter basket goodies without the big allergens; instead of lots of chocolate, add these to your basket:

• a cross – there are some beautiful ones for kids in current colors, or go classic that your child can keep forever
• a stuffed bunny or chick instead of a chocolate one; a small one is very cute in a basket
• small seasonal toys: jump ropes bouncy balls, play doh, sidewalk chalk, bubbles
• Easter socks
• legos and action figures
• silly bands are very in – they come in religious themes
• Hair bows and accessories for girls
• a book (a Bible or the story of Easter; you can find Bibles specific to gender or age now)
• packs of flower seeds
• something activity related like goggles for a swimmer, leotard for a dancer

If you are going to an Easter egg hunt, you’ll probably encounter some candy that won’t work for your child, but here are some ideas for things besides candy to hide in eggs. If you’re having your own, hunt, try these:
• stickers
• pennies (or bigger money)
• Bible verses
• toy rings or necklaces
• silly bands
• temporary tattoos
• any goody bag item you can find at the party store or dollar store, especially religious or Easter themed
• make it a scavenger hunt with clues inside each egg for the next one
• have one big prize once they find a certain egg (like a golden one). You may want as many golden eggs and big prizes as children, though
• try making the fun about finding the eggs, not what is in them! Let the kids take turn hiding them for game after game fun.

Just like anything, there are lots of ways around allergies; it just takes a little thinking and out of the box (or basket) thinking.

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