Whether you’re buying a Valentine’s Day gift for a friend, significant other, or someone else important to you, there are always options when buying a Valentine’s Day treat for someone with allergies. But, if you’re new to being friends or new to the relationship, things can be confusing, especially if you’re not sure what to look out for. So, if you need assistance, you’ve come to the right article! Here are the top 10 gifts to get for people with any kind of allergy, both food and non-food-related. Stick around to the end of the list to find out what gifts like these are important, coming from someone who has allergies herself.
And when I say “safe” in this article, I mean top 8 allergen-safe, as well as oats and chia. Always be sure to read the label and speak to the recepient with allergies beforehand to ensure that safety is prioritized!
Flowers have always been a tried and true option to get someone for Valentine’s Day, and I’m sure there’s a reason for it. They smell nice, they’re beautiful and they light up a room that may be drab otherwise. But they’re also good for someone with food allergies since they most likely won’t be eating them. The only thing you should look out for is if the person you’re gifting them to is allergic to flowers or any specific variety.
Another cool option is to get a bouquet of socks – I know it sounds crazy, but my dad got it for my mom one year and it’s very practical, while also being incredibly unique. You can DIY it or purchase one at certain stores. Just make sure that if you’re DIY’ing it, the socks aren’t moisturizing socks, as the moisturizing agent can sometimes contain almond oil or shea butter.
If you want to get the traditional truffle for your Valentine, there aren’t many options – the only one I am aware of is No Whey Foods, but when shopping for a food gift, always be aware of what your Valentine is allergic to (at the end of the article, I have a little guide on reading ingredient labels).
No Whey Foods
No Whey Foods offers lots of great treats, but for Valentine’s Day specifically, they have heart-shaped boxes filled with their normal truffles. You can get a small box of assorted truffles for $32.95 CAD in the following flavours: “Milk” Fudge, Raspberry, Coffee, Grand Marnier, and Salted Caramel.
You can also get a box of “Everything Good Heart” truffles for $32.95 CAD, in these possible flavours: “Milk” Fudge Ganache, Raspberry Ganache, Grand Mariner Ganache, Salted Caramel Ganache, Coffee Ganache Truffle, Lemon Ganache Truffle Heart, Mint Cream, Semisweet Dipped Salted Caramel, Heavenly Fudge Square, Milkless coated Nougat Square, and a Polar Dream White-Coated Brownie Bite. You can also get these boxes in a rectangle instead of a heart. The prices range from $29.50 – $49.95 CAD.
3. Gift Card Or Bookstore Date
I get it, sometimes gift cards seem impersonal, but if your Valentine loves to read, they’ll use it. However, a fun idea that you could do instead is if you know your Valentine likes books, go on a bookstore date. Go to a bookstore and tell them to pick two books or however many you can afford – offer a price range and tell them to go find whatever they want. Then, watch in awe as their eyes light up at the prospect of buying books and watch as they jump between aisles trying to find what they want. But be prepared for bargaining – they may want more than what you can buy.
4. Chocolate Bars
Chocolate is always complicated to buy for people with food allergies because so much chocolate is made in a facility that comes into contact with peanuts and tree nuts, or it has dairy in it. But there are always options with chocolate unlike truffles because truffles have fillings that usually have lots of allergens in them.
However, there are a few brands that I will mention and link:
The first was mentioned above previously and is No Whey – they have three different types of chocolate: dark, white and “milk.” Their “milk” chocolate during Valentine’s Day sometimes comes with an “I love you” message printed on it. They also have chocolate lollipops that say, “I love you,” either shaped as a heart or the heart-eyes emoji.
The second is ChocoSol Traders. For Valentine’s Day, they have dark chocolate (perfect for your Valentine who loves their chocolate a little bitter and less sweet) that has dried cherries embedded in it called Mon Cherry D’Amour. I’ve had this in the past and it is SO GOOD.
The third is another dark chocolate producer, GiddyYoYo. They have a wide array of dark chocolate bars, for which you can tell how bitter they are by how much cacao they have in them. Someone who likes their chocolate a little sweeter but still slightly bitter would probably like their Vanilla Salt 82% chocolate bar or their Sweet Vanilla 71% chocolate bar. For someone who likes their chocolate very bitter, the XDark 89% chocolate bar would be the way to go.
Okay, so I know you might be thinking, “How is jewellery something you have to look out for with food allergies?” It’s not really, but you do want to make sure your Valentine isn’t allergic to certain metals – some of the fake jewellery you can buy at certain stores does react well with people’s skin. This is why you’d maybe prefer to buy jewellery on Etsy or somewhere else where you can check the metal that it is made in.
6. Epi-Pen Carrying Case
Now, this one I’ll admit is a little nerdy, but it is a good option. Sometimes you want something to carry your Epi-pens in that isn’t just your purse because sometimes, it might get lost, which you DO NOT WANT. Or you just want something to carry it in so you can walk around like an average person and not have to bring your bag everywhere with you.
Here it gets a little trickier because, for these, you have to read labels. It’s not as terrifying as it sounds – trust me. If you want to just go out and find some, you can, but it might be a while until you find one that does have a “may contain” label with the allergens you’re avoiding on it. So, to avoid endless searching, here are some good brands to buy from: Maynards, Twizzlers, Mike & Ikes, Starbursts, Skittles, Dots, Lifesavers, Laffy Taffy (some varieties should have the label double-checked), and Hot Tamales.
As always, READ THE LABEL. What you’re looking for is that it doesn’t say “may contain” (given the allergen/allergens of Valentine). And if it doesn’t have such a label, email them – it’s a surefire way to make sure it’s safe for your Valentine and it’s relatively simple. Also, if you aren’t sure what exactly your Valentine is allergic to, ask them. It won’t ruin the surprise or anything – they’ll be glad you cared enough to ask and made sure whatever you’re getting them is safe.
Candles are easy because usually, the scent doesn’t have the allergen in it, it’s just the smell. However, I would personally avoid any candles that are scented like nuts. On the other hand, if your Valentine is allergic to dairy and you want to get them a hot chocolate candle, everything should be fine. My favourite candles to buy are from a company called Campy because their scents are always spot on.
9. Stuffed Animals
Always a good gift. They’re so cute and fluffy or even angry if you get the Tik Tok-viral mad/happy octopus or Fiesty Pets plushies. Never any allergy fears here! And who doesn’t love a good stuffy?
Like with carrying cases, as mentioned above, we love having a lot of bags to carry our stuff in. We might even have a bag we love, but someone accidentally spills coffee on it or something, leading us to try and wash it, but that ends up being risky, so we will most likely throw it out. *Poof* the need for a new bag emerges!
Why is This important?
It’s extremely important to get your loved one with food allergies a gift that is safe for them. I know this because as someone with food allergies, there are two options if someone gives you something you can not have and both of them are not good options.
Number one, you can accept the gift and give it to someone else, which doesn’t help your friend or partner understand what your food allergies are, which they should know if they are friends with you, and they should definitely know if you are in a romantic relationship with them.
Number two, you could reject it and have to face that slightly confused and hurt expression everyone gives you which always tugs at your heartstrings. And of course, there’s always the other option, where someone gives you a card and says, “I would have gotten you a ‘real’ gift but you’re just too hard to buy for.” Which for obvious reasons, is not the nicest one by far.
As people with food allergies, we’re always left out of multiple holidays and events because of our allergies, and this shouldn’t be the case. We should be included in events, not excluded from them. As you could probably guess, being the only one left out all the time, eventually it starts to hurt, but you get used to it.
So, I created this list to help people get their loved ones something for Valentine’s Day that won’t cause them harm, so we (people with food allergies) are not left out of another holiday.