I’m here to share some food allergy gift ideas for kids. Let me start by saying, these gifts have nothing to do with food allergies. These items will work for just about any kid. For one reason or another, I’ve found the following items helpful to our life as it relates to food allergies. I’m here to tell you about that.
I don’t want you to think Christmas should be about food allergies. It should be the complete opposite. I want Ollie to feel like every other child and be reminded of his allergies as little as possible. I’m also always a practical gift giver. Sorry, kid. That’s where these food allergy gift ideas come in. They’ve made life easier, more fun, or have helped us indirectly teach Ollie something as it relates to food allergies at some point.
food allergy gift ideas for kids:
I’m starting with the heavy hitter here. We were really lucky to have a friend pass an old iPad on to us. I’m not one for a lot of screen time, but long trips and even longer appointments are my exceptions. Ollie is currently obsessed with Curious George: A Very Monkey Christmas. That’s all he requests whenever he sees the iPad come out for a trip. As he gets older, I plan to add educational games and apps as well.
A tablet is definitely an expensive gift, but if you travel or attend a lot of appointments, it could be very worth it. We bring toys and activities with us to every food challenge, but when appointments stretch to over six hours as our often do, those only last so long. I grow impatient and uneasy and I’m not the one being poked, prodded, and in Ollie’s case, feeling pretty awful after reacting. If cuddling up with a movie helps pass the time during a food challenge, that’s worth it to me.
At one point or another, every child I know likes playing doctor. Ollie is no different. When he plays doctor, he doesn’t often talk about his allergies directly. Sometimes, he pokes our back or gives us a shot. More often than not, he just reenacts a lot of the things his pediatrician does during a regular check-up. Giving a child a doctor kit gives them the power and control to act things out via dramatic play. You might learn something they are fearful of if they “doctor” a favorite stuffed animal and have that friend express fear, pain, or concern. This gift is a great way to help a child get or stay comfortable with appointments.
This one is along the same lines as the doctor kit. There are plenty of food allergy specific books. We keep the ones we have on the shelf with all of Ollie’s other books and follow his lead about when he may want to read them. We gave him Mangos for Max for Halloween last year along with some freeze-dried mangoes and he was thrilled. If you’re in search of a food allergy specific book, check out my list here.
For Christmas, I’m again thinking of doctor, hospital, and body themed books. As a former Usborne Books & More consultant, we already have quite the collection. The long-running favorite is Shine A Light: At the Hospital. We also really enjoy Billie’s Animal Hospital Adventure. These have nothing to do with allergies, and we don’t force any conversation, but I’d like to think they help keep Ollie comfortable with doctors and hospitals.
Does your child have a favorite show or character? See if they have a health-related book. Chances are they do! Given the Curious George kick Ollie is on, I immediately thought of that character and was able to find multiple options. If vehicles are the top interest, a trip to the repair shop can be related to a trip to the doctor. Whatever works!
small activity sets
Just about everyone drives somewhere at some point, right? Small activity sets are key to surviving travel with children. When you bring food allergies into the mix, they also help at appointments. If you’re bringing an activity set to a food challenge, just make sure it is a washable one. You don’t want a favorite game contaminated if the challenge doesn’t go well. For that reason, one of the things I always bring to these appointments is some flashcards from Dollar Tree. I usually even split the deck. I don’t feel so bad recycling .50 worth of cards covered with baked egg or baked milk (yes, that’s happened twice already).
Some of our favorite activity sets or activities include Melissa & Doug water wow books, Magna-Tiles (these provide hours of fun in the car paired with a baking sheet), magnetic activity tins, and sticker books!
At the moment, our play kitchen, along with whatever real tools Ollie can reach in our kitchen drawers, gets a lot of use. He’s commandeered a whisk, a few small cutting boards, and a spatula semi-permanently. I managed to steal the garlic press back during nap! All joking aside, I think anything you can do to introduce your child to cooking is great. For anyone with food allergies, cooking is going to be a large part of their life. A play kitchen is a great way to introduce this. Also, I’ve never met a kid who didn’t enjoy one in some capacity. You can find ANYTHING in terms of accessories these days. We already have quite a collection of food, wooden dishes, and metal pans. I had to restrain myself from adding this fabulous mixer to Ollie’s pile under the tree.
We have a Little Partners Learning Tower at the end of our island. A learning tower is honestly another great food allergy gift idea! It goes right along with the play kitchen in terms of introducing your child to cooking. The learning tower lets Ollie be as involved as he’d like to be when we’re cooking. Sometimes, he’s really into it. Other times, he just empties a cabinet or two on his own and sets up shop somewhere. As long as everyone is safe and happy, whatever works to get the meal ready! Little Partners also offers some really cool accessories. Someday, I would LOVE to add the Learn and Share Easel to our tower. We shall see!
PS. This is not a sponsored post. These are products we truly know and love that I’m sharing with you as food allergy gift ideas. I hope you found it helpful!