There’s a lot to consider if you have a friend or family member with food allergies when it comes to gift giving. You’ll find most of these ideas are relevant all year round, even for Easter and birthdays. I think it’s not only important to consider what to give them, but also what not to give as a gift when there are food allergies to consider. Often people with food allergies have eczema and environmental allergies and these should be considered as well.
Homemade food whilst lovely to give is best saved for your friends who can eat everything (unless you are an experienced allergy free cook too :) ). People with food allergies need to worry about cross-contamination and even if you have been very vigilant, they don’t know that and will be unlikely to eat it.
I also wouldn’t give a person with food allergies any personal care products like bubble baths, creams, lotions etc. Often these type of products have allergens in them and unless you know all of the things to look for you might miss something. Not only that, if they have eczema they will probably be using a very simple regime to avoid any flare ups.
Finally I wouldn’t not give people with food allergies any scented candles, oils or anything scented. If the recipient has any environmental allergies they may not be able to use these either.
So what can you give?
I’ve got a few ideas for simple gifts that show you care:
1. There are heaps of quality allergy friendly food treats available now. Most are free of major allergens such as gluten, dairy, egg and nuts. You could even put together a hamper. A gourmet hamper of luxury items makes a lovely gift for an adult. If you’re not sure what the person’s allergies are I would still avoid food treats.
2. Cookbooks. There are heaps of beautiful cookbooks made for allergy free cooking now and families with allergies do tend to cook more and appreciate variety. Just make sure the book covers all of the allergies required.
3. Children’s picture books make a lovely gift for a young child. There is a wide range of books available that teach kids with allergies about safety in a gentle and lovely way.
4. Toys are great for kids of course – no allergens! I would however avoid stuffed toys that could be filled with unsafe material and of course some kids with asthma can’t have stuffed toys. No fake food that has their allergens either! You’ll also need to check with parents before buying play doh, paints or crayons because these may contain allergens.
Of course you can steer away from allergies all together. These are some of the gifts I like to give:
- A great novel or story book – books are my favourite presents to give!
- Movie tickets or DVDs
- Fun kitchen gadgets or something you know they’ll use like a spiraliser for veggies, a nut bag or a funky plate
- A magazine subscription
- Accessories like a hat, scarf, wallet or jewellery
I would love to hear your favourite gift ideas. Pop them in the comments below so we can all help each other make Christmas gifts fun and easy!