If you haven’t already got one it’s not too late and actually, this year there are quite a few on the market to help you count down the days to Christmas, though it does depend on which foods you have to avoid.
I normally stick to the old fashioned kind, with no chocolate behind the door, just a picture each day. Who needs chocolate for breakfast anyway?
This way no one loses out or fights over the chocolate and no one has to watch as others eat the chocolate they can’t have.
Choosing an allergen friendly advent calendar
Things have improved so much over the years and you can now choose from quite a few options. Here are some that I could find:
- Plamil Advent Calendar This calendar is well worth the effort. The chocolate is thick and big pieces, which seems naughty at breakfast. The best thing about it is that it tastes so good the whole family would love it, if you were going to share it. It’s sweetened with xylitol which I have been reliably informed is one of the safer sweeteners out there and means these are also sugar free. Ingredients: sugar (35%), cocoa butter, rice powder (rice syrup powder, rice starch, rice flour), cocoa mass, emulsifier – sunflower lecithin. Total cocoa solids (cocoa butter and mass) 42%. I was a bit disappointed that once the door is open it’s a bit dull. If you look really hard you can just about make out the shape in the clear plastic of a bauble or a stocking, but no colour pictures. Maybe they could have had a colour background underneath to jazz it up a bit? On the whole though I’m really chuffed.
- Moo Free are doing a dairy free advent calendar. These are made with rice milk but are not suitable for anyone with a nut allergy, probably because they also produce other chocolate products containing nuts. Ingredients: Organic sugar, organic cocoa butter, organic rice powder, organic cocoa mass, emulsifier (sunflower lecithin) & natural flavouring. Contains cocoa solids 42% minimum. Made with fair trade sugar & cocoa. Allergy advice: May contain traces of nuts and soya, dairy free, lactose free, gluten free, wheat free, egg free, casein free, vegetarian, vegan.
- Kinnerton – Do a range of different advent calendars for kids with a nut allergy, available in Hello Kitty, Marvel Heroes, Minnie Mouse, Peppa Pig & The Simpsons. Advent Calendar containing Milk Chocolate Shapes, a Decorated Milk Chocolate Bar, 2 Milk Chocolates with a soft Chocolate flavoured centre and 2 Surprise Gifts. These are all free from all nuts, artificial colours & flavours. These should be available in Asda, Ocado, Sainsbury’s and Tesco. They don’t do a dairy free one, though I’m sure they used to do them to order; they had problems with the chocolates all falling to the bottom of the box in transit. Do they still do the dairy free one anyone?
- Celtic Chocolates – Celtic chocolates have produced a Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Wheat Free and Egg Free calendar with a grinch on the front. Made with rice, a delicious alternative to milk chocolate. Ingredients: Allergen Advice: contains soya. No nuts used in the factory by the manufacturer. Sugar, Cocoa Butter, Cocoa Mass, Rice Powder (rice syrup, rice starch, rice flour) Inulin, Coconut Oil, Natural Flavourings, Emulsifier (soya lecithin).
- So Free (Plamil)
Old fashioned card advent calendars
Remember these? We used to have one that was rolled out every year and we still enjoyed opening the door and fought about whose turn it was. They have a proper Christmassy picture behind each door and I still have one of these to this day. I see it as part of my xmas decorations. They can often be found in your local Post Office or WHSmiths. They last for years too so no waste.
DIY advent calendars
Some people buy those huge things with boxes that you can buy individual small gifts to package inside each window. This obviously involves extra cost, but once you have bought one you can use it every year. And you could collect small gifts throughout the year to help spread the cost. It could be anything, from a fun shaped eraser to a little bookmark. Anything your kid might enjoy. It doesn’t have to be something expensive.
For adults you could go down the Gin, Prosecco or Book advent calendar that these are expensive!
Free From Christmas tree decorations and chocolate money
I’m on the lookout! Any suggestions? I plan to update this section in time for Christmas but would love to hear if you have found any! I think Tesco and Asda do them.
Can we have a luxury high cocoa content advent calendar for adults please?
A plea to all you chocolate advent calendar suppliers out there. Can we have a luxury adult version which is nut, soya AND dairy free please with a higher cocoa content and less sugar? I’ve found that my taste buds are moving more towards darker chocolate with less sugar and all the products out there are very sweet and decadent… but don’t forget us dark chocolate lovers!
What’s your favourite advent calendar?
What’s your favourite free from advent calendar? I’d love to hear which one you got. Please share in the comments below. What do you do? Old fashioned card ones? Chocolate ones? or those special fancy ones? Or do you avoid them altogether?