• Easter Baskets and Childhood Allergies

    Spring can be hard on allergy sufferers. The most common allergens that affect people this time of year include tree pollen, grass, and mold. Common symptoms of seasonal allergies include congestion, sneezing, runny nose, and itchy, watery eyes.

    For children with food allergies, spring brings more unique challenges. Even a seemingly innocent Easter basket can be a hazard. However, being allergic to eggs, nuts, or artificial food coloring doesn’t have to take all the fun out of Easter. On the contrary, with a little ingenuity, you can make exciting new traditions for your family! Here’s how to put together an allergy-free Easter basket for children with food allergies.

    Use Artificial Eggs

    Eggs are among the most common food allergies. Thankfully, this doesn’t mean you have to skip the tradition of decorating Easter eggs—you simply need to get creative about what kind of eggs you use. Here are some options:

    • Wooden eggs – To rival the experience of dyeing real eggs without exposing your child to allergens, consider using wooden eggs. You can submerge them in dye or paint them by hand. Since they never go bad, feel free to brighten your Easter decorations with the same wooden eggs year after year!
    • Plastic decorating eggs – These dyeable craft eggs are made from 100% recyclable plastic. Each egg is a blank canvas for your child’s creativity to shine! This particular kit comes with four non-toxic dyes in red, green, yellow, and blue.
    • Papier-mâché eggs – Skip the dyeing altogether with this unique idea from Not Martha. First, inflate water balloons to achieve an egg shape. Then, wrap the balloons with tissue paper and brush with liquid laundry starch. Once dry, pop the balloon and fill the papier-mâché shell with goodies. This creates a delicate, yet delightfully heavy object—much like a real egg—for you to place in your child’s Easter basket.

    Keep Candy to a Minimum

    While it’s nice to get treats for the holidays, these special times don’t need to revolve around candy. Plus, most children with food allergies don’t crave sweets as much as kids who don’t, especially if ingredients in the candy make them feel sick or develop a rash. Fortunately, there are plenty of non-food prizes you can include in an Easter basket instead of candy:

    • Small toys or stuffed animals
    • Temporary tattoos
    • Markers, crayons, or colored pencils
    • Coloring books, sticker books, or craft kits
    • Water bottles or plastic tumblers
    • Flower seed packets
    • Frisbees
    • Gift cards to stores or movie theaters
    • Decks of cards
    • Small puzzles
    • Travel-size games
    • Hot Wheels cars
    • Nail polish or makeup
    • Chapstick or lip gloss
    • Headphones
    • Kid’s baking kits or cookbooks
    • Tie-dye shirt kits
    • Jewelry-making kits

    When looking for non-food Easter basket ideas for children with food allergies, the Dollar Store is a great place to check out! You’ll find all sorts of fun, small toys to fill an Easter basket without risking exposure to a dangerous food allergy.

    Include a Few Edibles

    Just because you want to avoid allergens doesn’t mean you can’t include anything edible in your child’s Easter basket. Feel free to add a few of their favorite treats, being sure to read labels for any signs of peanuts, tree nuts, dairy, eggs, or anything else your child is allergic to. Here are some ideas that may be safe to include:

    Print Allergy Labels

    If your child is participating in an event where someone else fills their Easter basket, it’s a great idea to affix a label indicating their specific food allergies. You can find cute printable allergy labels online, which you can customize for your child’s needs.

    For more help with childhood food allergies, please call Allergy & Asthma SpecialistsSM at 610-825-5800 and set up an appointment at one of eight convenient office locations in the Philadelphia area.