Do you struggle to find a suitable gift for birthdays, valentines day or Christmas for your allergic loved ones? Look no further than my list of the best allergy friendly gift ideas.
If you or your loved one has allergies how about doing something a bit different. Here are just a few ideas…
- Cook a tasty freefrom favourite meal – Eating out can be stressful and costly on this particular day of the year, so how about making a real effort, getting out the allergy cookery books or google for inspiration. This year we’re cooking (or rather I will be ;o) one of my favourites which is Lemon Chicken. The joy of this is that you’re in control. You know what you’re cooking so there is absolutely no worry and no need to phone ahead and check, remind waiters and inspect your food surreptitiously as mistakes often do happen.
- Free from chocolate always goes down a treat – Visit your local health food store or supermarket and ask for assistance if you’re not sure. Make sure you get the right brand, and check the ingredients to make sure it’s completely free from the allergens in question. My particular favourites are Plamil – and Kinnerton’s dark chocolate bar [hint hint]. There are many new brands on the market though so check them all out and pick something that sounds really tasty. Some are dairy free but not nut free so make sure you read the small print. Look out for Booja Booja and Moo Free but these may contain traces of nuts so may not be suitable. Also Creative Nature, Cocoa Libre and there are many more. https://www.creativenaturesuperfoods.co.uk/ – Use my promo code WHATALLERGY10 for 10% off everything from Gnawbles to cake mixes at Creative Nature – free from the top 14 allergens.
- Lazy Days Millionaires shortbread is also a real treat. They have a delicious shortbread base spread with a thick, smooth layer of golden caramel. Topping the product off is a crisp layer of Belgian dark chocolate. These delicious millionaires shortbreads are free from egg, dairy, gluten, hydrogenated fats and wheat. They are suitable for vegans. http://www.lazydayfoods.com
- Try out a veg and fruit box scheme – If you don’t already have an organic vegetable and fruit box delivered this could be a novel option, as most fruit and vegetables should be OK and you can usually specify particular varieties you don’t want to buy. Order a trial box for your valentine as a more healthy gift and then you don’t have to worry about allergies! Unless they are allergic to any fruit and veg, in which case, make sure you request that these aren’t included. I’m trying Oddbox at the moment, they send you stuff that’s too big, too small, looks wonky or they have too much of it and it would go to waste. If you’d like to try a box with a £10 off voucher, register and give them my email address ruth at whatallergy dot com. They smallest fruit and veg box is just £12.50 so you could try it for just £2.50.
- Say it with flowers – Some of the best allergy-friendly flowers are daffodils, hydrangeas, garden lilies, tulips, dahlias, peonies, irises, lilies and roses. The theory is that the larger the bouquet and variety, the more pollen the flower has and more likely it is to shed pollen. Steer clear of flowers if flower pollen and fragrances are a real problem but if you stick to the above listed you should be OK. Or why not buy a house plant, or outdoor plant instead? It doesn’t wilt and die (not so quickly anyway) and is better for the environment. You could also try artificial plants, I’m just trialling houseplants and bouquets from Faux La Fleur.
- Do something together – If you’re like me and quality time ranks up there in importance, find something fun to do together that doesn’t involve food. An experience, country walk, Escape room, visit an art gallery, think about their hobbies and do some research. Show you care by arranging something to do with your partner.
- It’s the simple things… – Breakfast and tea/coffee in bed is simple and easy to arrange. Organise their favourite breakfast, whether that’s porridge and blueberries, toast and marmalade, croissants or fresh fruit and yogurt. It always tastes so much better if it’s made and delivered by someone else – and don’t forget the rose! Remember to text, email and/or phone just to say, “I love you!” We don’t say it enough in our busy lifestyles so stop and smell the roses for a second and let them know you care.
- Don’t give someone a peanut kiss – If you or your partner are allergic, especially peanuts which can still leave traces of the allergenic protein in saliva for hours after eating, don’t kiss if your partner has been eating them. If you know your other half is allergic to peanuts, don’t eat them at all if you’re planning a romantic rendezvous later that day.
- Condoms beware – Latex allergy is the obvious problem here and if that’s the case, make sure you’ve bought some latex free ones which are available now from most chemists and work really well. Consider also that condoms can contain dairy in the powder that covers them so think twice with a dairy allergy too. Latex free condoms are free from dairy and also Condomi or Glyde condoms, which are vegan so would also contain no dairy.
- Go for a meal out – Be sure to check out Allergy Companions for reviewed recommended safe places that can cater for allergies.
- Order cake – check out Frownies Brownies celebration cakes – free from the top 14 allergens.
- Snack boxes – Treat yourself to a mini, medium or large snack box, packed with a sample of delicious free from goodies, all free from the top 14 allergens, from the Healthy Nibbles Company.
I’d love to hear what you have planned for Valentines day. Do you go in for all the romance? or can’t wait for it to be over? If you don’t have a loved one to treat or be treated by on this sometimes most lonely day of the year, treat yourself anyway. You’re special, especially if you have allergies, and it’ll all be over by the 15th!
You may also find the following interesting
- The Trip Advisor for allergy people
- We need to talk about my Gnawbles habit
- Check out my two books: Anaphylaxis the Essential guide and The Shape of skin eczema poems
- Check out the Free From Food Awards for loads of tasty free from treats, gift and snacking ideas.