On St Nicholas’ Day, children find small presents in their shoes or in their Christmas calendar that leave behind happy, chocolate-smeared faces. But when a child in the family has a food restriction, things get a little complicated. For little ones with food allergies, Christmas can be an especially difficult time. While friends and siblings munch on biscuits, children with nut, milk, wheat or chicken egg allergies have to do without. Now you can get every child into the holiday spirit with this list of alternative gift ideas we have put together for you. They are suitable not just for the winter holidays but for any time of the year, such as on children’s birthdays or when visiting friends.
- Jewellery: bracelets or necklaces (nickel free)
- Writing tools: pencils, pens, coloured or glitter pens, erasers, pencil toppers
- Craft materials: stickers, stencils or stamps, construction paper, children’s scissors
- Toys: bubble bottles, rainbow spring toys, superballs, mini puzzles or Rubik’s cubes, jump bands, finger puppets, wooden cars, balls, Sudoku booklets, small rubber animals, wheat-free play clay, ropes, sand moulds
- Noisemakers (check with the parents first): whistles, kazoos, horns
- Reading: mini storybooks; bookmarks or mini notepads, Christmas storybooks, audio books
- Bath and grooming: hair elastics, hair clips, kids’ bubble bath, bath toys (e.g. robotic swimming fish), animal washcloths
- Accessories: piggy banks, wallets, DIY monster spray (perfume free), glow-in-the-dark stars, keychains, scarves
Check with the parents whether there are any suitable edible gifts you can give. If not, or if there is not enough time, the stick with the above tips to be on the safe side. The advantage of non-food gifts is that they have no expiry date, so you can always have something appropriate on hand for different age groups.
You can still give sweets to kids who don’t have any food allergies. When receiving a gift – which is actually a positive situation – it is nicer for the child with the food allergy not to be reminded of his restrictions. Giving all the kids at least one non-food gift lets them have fun and, at the same time, a worry-free moment of pleasure.