CJ with "Dr. Love" t-shirt holding rose and hugging Miss E

Gluten-free Valentine’s Day Fun

Miss E is having her first Valentine’s Day since her diagnosis. Last year, we had a cute little Valentine’s Day party with our church playgroup, and the kids made heart-shaped, bread dough ornaments. (gasp!) All of the extras were painted by my kiddos and boxed away to be decorations for this Valentine’s Day. Great, who makes gluten-filled Valentine’s decorations?! This girl does:( Unfortunately, I had put the bread-dough decorations loose in the same container as all of the other Valentine’s decor and crafts. Back to the drawing board, as we get ready for our first gluten-free Valentine’s Day.

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Fortunately, between my crafty inspirations, Miss E’s preschool, CK’s kindergarten, and church, my house is covered with new (and gluten-free) pink and red decorations.
LOVE this Valentine from CK!

Gluten-free Valentine’s Treats

Let’s chat about the sweets! My husband’s specialty is chocolate-covered strawberries. I picked up fresh strawberries from our local farm, gluten-free white and milk chocolate chips (Nestle’s were labeled gluten-free for peace of mind), and he made these beauties.
Miss E and I pitched in and dipped gluten-free pretzels in chocolate. Yum! Tip: if you’re melting chocolate in the microwave, heat for 30 seconds, then stir. Continue to reheat in 10-20 second increments and stir each time. It goes from perfectly melted to clumpy uselessness fast.
I buy the Nestle chocolate chips and gluten-free pretzels via Amazon Fresh grocery delivery. Click on the preceding links to order. If you are using Amazon’s regular package delivery, you will likely find the prices higher than when you order on Amazon Fresh. Good news, though…these products are also readily available in most local grocery stores.
Here’s the spread for our friends… mixed berries, gluten-free pretzels,
chocolate dipped farm-fresh strawberries, and chocolate dipped gluten-free pretzels.

Update! We’ve come a long way since our first gluten-free Valentine’s Day. Check out our latest recipe for Valentine’s Day Chocolate-Covered Strawberries with several ideas to make beautiful, delicious, and gluten-free chocolate strawberries for your Valentine’s Day celebration. From pink chocolate strawberries to gluten-free mint Oreo topping, you will love your options!

Gluten-Free Valentines for and from Friends

Cute healthful & gf valentine!

I’ve never been a fan of candy valentines. Okay, that’s not entirely true. As a kid, I was a HUGE fan. As a mom, not so much. Please don’t judge my hypocrisy… This year, the kiddos picked out this naturally gluten-free valentine that we assembled for their school friends. The free template and inspiration were found on Crafting in the Rain.

What goes out of our house is the easy part. What about the goodies that come in from those same classmates? This Valentine’s Day Candy List from the Celiac Disease Foundation is so helpful. Miss E had just one offending treat, and she happily let me trade it out for a few chocolate chips. I also checked CK’s valentines. Although he eats gluten, our house is gluten-free. He eats his “gluten valentines” outside the home.

Gluten-free Miss E at her Valentine’s Day Party at Preschool

Looks like someone needs to lick
the frosting off her fingers!

Party day at Miss E’s school! She was so excited, not only was there a Valentine’s Party, but her favorite person would be there (that’s me, at least for now). I like volunteering for special events, so I can make sure Miss E can participate safely without putting extra work on the teachers.

We brought bananas and strawberries to share with the class. Other kiddos brought carrots, juice, heart-shaped sandwiches, and cupcakes. The latter two were not gluten-free. But Miss E had no complaints when she got a regular-sized chocolate cupcake with pink frosting, in place of the mini cupcakes the others had. I picked these up at Trader Joe’s.

Gluten-Free Cupcakes

The Trader Joe chocolate cupcakes aren’t my favorite, and I’ve noticed Miss E tends to just lick the frosting off of this one. Lucky Spoon gluten-free cupcakes taste more like traditional cupcakes, but in this case, the “valentines-y” pink frosting from Trader Joe’s won out. I get the Lucky Spoon cupcakes from Sprout’s or Amazon… click the image below to check them out on Amazon.

We discuss party substitutes in advance. Sometimes, Miss E picks the food that’s most like what’s being served, and other times she goes with another favorite treat. I always get her buy-in in advance, and so far, she’s been as happy as ever at parties.

Gluten-Free Valentine’s Day Meals

Tomorrow is the actual big day. I plan to make almond meal pancakes and build your own pizzas (both heart-shaped, of course). I gave away the heart cookie cutters in the Great Gluten Clean Out following our diagnoses, so I’ll probably skip heart sandwiches this year and opt for cucumbers and strawberries cut into hearts. Check out this blog post to see the heart-shaped meals we ate on our first gluten-free Valentine’s Day!
I’d love to hear your ideas. What are your favorite gluten-free Valentine’s Day ideas and traditions? Sign up for our Go Gluten Freely Newsletter to get more tips for managing gluten-free celebrations.

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