When you’re an allergy parent, you’re often looked at to handle the class parties at school. And if you’re like me, you wouldn’t have it any other way! I find it easier to plan the party activities and food myself, rather than worry about what someone else will be sending in, or trying to send out a list of safe treat alternatives.
My daughter is in fourth grade this year, and we (the school staff, other parents and myself) have kind of fallen into this easy routine of knowing that I’ll handle the food in her class. It wasn’t always that easy, though. In her second year at the school, I had to pick her up early one day because of a surprise, non-safe food-related party in her classroom. After that incident, which upset me more than it did her (although she knew her class was about to have a party without her), I decided to be more vocal about my desire to handle the food.
And I do think it has worked out well. Especially since I have another food allergy parent in the class with me each year to help! Between the two of us, no party is forgotten! Or unsafe! (I have to say, our girls are pretty lucky.)
Our school has a policy against bringing in homemade baked goods. Everything has to be store-bought with a label on it. This helps protect kiddos with allergies like ours, because we all need to know exactly what is in the food they are eating. I do support this rule, however, it means I can’t just make a batch of Jillian-safe mini muffins and bring them for the whole class.
Store-bought baked goods are out of the question for Jillian and her allergy buddy, so we have to be a little more creative.
Luckily, if you throw baked goods out the window, you tend to get a bit healthier in the process!
Enter fruits and veggies!
If you dress them up a bit, fruits and veggies are perfect for class parties!
And for Valentine’s Day, you can’t get much sweeter than heart-shaped strawberries!
They’re so simple, too. If you’ve read any of my other food & recipe posts you’ll notice one thing… if it’s not simple, I’m not making it. Period. I ain’t got time for that!
How do you make strawberries into hearts, you ask? Well, they’re practically heart-shaped anyway, aren’t they? You just have to give them a little nudge.
When you’re cutting off the tops, cut them in a V-shape, like this…
Then vertically slice them, and you have strawberry hearts!
Ta-daaaaaaa! I love it when a project is this easy!
Just to add a little touch of something extra special, I like to throw in some mini marshmallows for fun. The kids think they’re getting a super creative and delicious dessert, and all you did was slice up some strawberries and open a bag of marshmallows. That’s a win-win, folks.
Throw in some red juice (V8 makes some yummy Strawberry Banana V-Fusion without the dreaded red dye!), and you’ve got yourself a party! And this is a party that won’t add much to the sugar overload they’ll get when they start digging into those Valentine goody bags later.
Just look how happy they are!
Happy Valentine’s Day!