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By: Gladys Marietti | AFAA Editorial Contributor & Education Specialist
Believe it or not, I'm allergic to chocolate! Cupid has not delivered a red heart-shaped box of Valentine's chocolates to my house for some years now.
Believe it or not, I’m allergic to chocolate! Cupid has not delivered a red heart-shaped box of Valentine’s chocolates to my house for some years now. For those of us with food allergies, holidays need to be celebrated a little differently. Whether you’re a child or an adult, who doesn’t love to get a treat for St. Valentine’s Day? The challenge for families, friends and sweethearts is what to get for those who have limited food choices. I like to switch the focus to non-food items. In anticipation of this holiday, I’ve been compiling a list of creative ideas for gifts to give and thoughtful things to do that don’t involve food. I’m happy to share these low-cost and no-cost ideas with you!  

These are fun ideas for kids and school classes “36 No-Candy Valentines”:  http://pluckymomo.blogspot.com/2014/01/32-no-candy-valentines.html
 
Did you know there are some festive ideas on our own AFAA page? Find them here: http://arizonafoodallergy.org/birthdays--holidays.html  

A cute heart bookmark made with a stamp pad and your fingerprints- could easily be turned into a card! http://www.crafts-for-all-seasons.com/thumbprint-heart-bookmark.html  

Who is old enough to remember the popular “fortune tellers” made of paper and controlled by your hands? Here’s one design so you can re-introduce them to your own children: http://www.designmom.com/2012/02/diy-valentine-fortune-tellers/  

Free printable mazes and word scrambles are a fun activity for any family member: http://www.printactivities.com/Seasonal_Activities/Valentine_Activities.html  

Mad Libs have been around since 1950’s. They are amusing word games where you fill in sentences with silly words: http://www.sisterssuitcaseblog.com/2013/01/valentines-day-mad-libs.html  

Man approved Valentine’s? Not pink and frilly ones? Yes, they do exist! http://www.thedatingdivas.com/holidays/valentines-day/man-approved-valentines/  

Very trendy “Open When” letters – easy to print and give from the heart: http://www.thedatingdivas.com/holidays/valentines-day/open-when-letters/  

“Love” Coupon Books are always appreciated. Here are three to print, cut and staple together:

http://unfortunatelyoh.blogspot.com/2012/02/printable-valentines-coupons.html

http://www.mommybydaycrafterbynight.com/2012/01/free-printable-valentine-coupon-book.html

http://www.iheartnaptime.net/printable-love-coupon-book/  

Who wouldn’t feel loved with one of my personal favorites – a gift of sentimental notes! Type up a bunch of your favorite moments, memories, trips, character traits or events you have shared over the years. Print them out, cut them into paper strips and fold them up. Place them in a glass jar or plastic container and add a heart shaped tag that says “I Love My Memories of You” or use one of these: http://junelily.com/free-printable-valentines-cards/