5 Easy Steps to Be A PAL-entine
For children, Valentine’s Day means school parties, cards for their classmates, and, often, treats such as chocolates, candies, and baked goods. Children with food allergies can feel excluded from the fun. FARE believes every child should have the opportunity to have a safe, inclusive holiday. This Valentine’s Day, you can Be A PAL and help children learn how to be a good friend to kids with food allergies at the same time with these five steps.
1. Provide Non-Food Treats for Your Valentine
Treats don’t have to be food. There are many creative ideas for non-candy Valentine’s Day treats. Pencils, crayons, markers, erasers, glow sticks, bubbles, mini-slinkies, bookmarks, and stickers are just a few possibilities. Keep in mind that some non-food items still contain food allergens, such as some brands of moldable clay, which may contain wheat. Additionally, try to choose latex-free items, as there are children who have latex allergies. You can purchase these items at a local discount store or order them online and have them shipped right to your home or office. Download other free activities to add to the fun of the holiday from our website.
2. Create or Purchase a Valentine’s Day Kit
Another idea is to create a special Valentine’s Day Kit with non-food treats and cards for your Valentine. No time to create your own? Order an official FARE Be A PAL Valentine’s Day Pack which includes Be A PAL pencils, stickers, Valentine’s Day cards, and a premium poster. Plus proceeds from each purchase go to help fund food allergy research. Order by February 6 to be sure to receive your pack by February 14!
3. Hand Out Valentines to Classmates
Cards are a Valentine’s Day tradition for many families and classrooms. Participate in the fun of the holiday by handing out personalized or homemade cards, or remind children to be a good friend to kids with food allergies with these fun Be A PAL Valentine’s Day cards. Cards are an easy and safe way to show classmates and friends you are thinking about them.
4. Display a Be a PAL Poster
Be A PAL posters are available in 8.5x11 format as a free download in English or Spanish. These posters can be printed and posted in schools, community centers, libraries, and classrooms to help reinforce the message of how to be a good friend to kids with food allergies. You can also use one as part of a Valentine’s Day presentation to teach the whole class how to Be A PAL.
5. Check the label
A child with food allergies may receive treats that contain his or her allergen from classmates or friends. It is important to reemphasize to that child that these sweets shouldn’t be eaten unless a trusted adult has read the labels and said it is okay. If there is no label, don’t take chances. Don’t eat the treat. Read more about checking labels at Valentine’s Day.
Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be a stressful occasion for children with food allergies. With these five steps, you can help to make Valentine’s Day, safe, inclusive, and fun for all children!
What to Read Next
Label-reading, while vitally important every day, becomes even more critical at holiday times. By keeping these tips in mind, you can help keep your child safe this Valentine’s Day!