Let’s face it, for the vast majority of kids, Easter means chocolate. But the sweet milk chocolate beloved of children contains milk, so for a dairy-free kid, Easter can be really disappointing. We share our top tips for making sure that your dairy-free kid has as much fun as the next child.
Dairy-free Kid’s Easter Eggs
It is possible to find dairy-free Easer Eggs – Moo Free, Holland and Barrett, D and D Chocolate and Sainsbury’s all have some in this year. We love the white chocolate Choices egg with chocolate buttons (from Sainsbury’s). Apart from being relatively expensive (especially if you have to pay for delivery), the drawback of these eggs is that the packaging is not usually targeted at kids. This can be really disappointing for dairy-free kids who have seen the displays of kids Easter Eggs in the shops. Also, if your dairy-free little one has non-allergic brothers and sisters you may have ‘yours is better than mine’ issues. We get around this by either substituting a dairy-free egg in packaging from an ordinary kids Easter Egg or by getting both kids roughly the same sized egg and completely re-packaging them in a favourite character cup and cellophane. Top tip: If you go for the substitution approach – make sure that you match the contents as well as the egg!
If you can’t find a dairy-free egg in the shops you could make egg or bunny shaped biscuits. I have fond memories of the year that my mum made me an Easter Egg using a coconut pyramid mix, or you could use our allergy friendly Marshmallow Rice Krispy Cake recipe packed into hollow plastic Easter Eggs (ours came from Poundland).
Easter Egg hunts for Dairy-free Kids
For Easter Egg hunts, the problem with the dairy-free Easter eggs and treats is they are relatively expensive and tend to be large. This means that they are not ideal for the ‘free-for-all’ style Easter egg hunts, especially if only a small fraction of the kids are dairy-free.
Here are our tried and tested tips for fun dairy-free Easter Egg hunts:
- Use (dairy-free) sweets instead of mini chocolate eggs. Finding small, pre-wrapped non-chocolate sweets can be tricky. A number of supermarkets have dairy-free chocolate lollies and there are fun-sized packs of jelly sweets. But we have found that as these are quite large, they can change the focus of the hunt from running around to eating rather quickly. Another idea is to buy a pack of hollow plastic eggs to fill them with suitable sweets or treats (Poundland often have them). Do remember that young children can easily choke on boiled sweets.
- Use non-edible tokens to hide. You can buy pre-made kits with cardboard tokens but beads, balls, toy bricks or plastic eggs work just as well. These tokens can then be used to trade for a big egg (when enough have been found). This means that you can control who gets which Easter egg and police any ‘sharing’ with the dairy-free kids. Top tip: the Easter Eggs hunt kits usually only come with a few tokens to hide for each child so we buy extra kits to make the hunt last longer.
- Easter treasure hunt with clues – takes more organising but hugely popular in our house. We set up a trail of 5-10 clues for each child. The kids have to find all the clues to get their Easter Egg. This year, each clue will come with a piece of a jigsaw and they will need to complete the puzzle to get their Easter Egg. We colour code the clues to avoid mix ups between trails. The little ones have a trail of photo clues while the older ones have written clues (getting progressively more challenging with age). If you have a range of ages, this can be a great way to keep things fair. It also means that you can send the kids from one end of the garden to the other a fair number of times to earn their chocolate! Other the years the annual Easter Egg hunt has evolved into an escape room type puzzle with the eggs being locked away and the kids needing to crack the combination code.
Fingers crossed the weather is dry for this year’s Easter Egg hunt!
What are your top tips for an allergy-friendly Easter?
Here at ScratchSleeves we don’t just share our experiences of bringing up an eczema child (and favourite allergy friendly recipes), we also manufacturer and sell our unique stay-on scratch mitts and PJs for itchy babies, toddlers and children. We now stock sizes from 0-adult years in a range of colours. Visit our webshop for more information.