If you’re scrambling for a last minute, easy, all store-bought food craft for your allergic child’s class to make on Valentine’s Day…then may I introduce you to the love bug? All love and no allergens! This fun craft is easy to assemble, only requires construction paper, scissors, glue, googly eyes, pipe cleaners and jello fruit cups.
This post contains affiliate links so you can find everything on Amazon for ease, but note I found a lot of the supplies at my local Wal-Mart.
Don’t worry! I’m not going to turn into a craft blog. If I did, it would look HORRIBLE. I’m not crafty. At all.
I have a friend who is crafty who often tries to explain “how easy” certain projects are. You just take your leftover felt, leftover glitter from some imaginary craft box that I guess all moms have, and then liquid starch and…and…and…my eyes start to glaze over.
I’ve never owned felt, or had leftover scraps of this and that. The only reason I have glue and scissors and construction paper is because my son likes to make brown paper bag puppets and he’s artsy. And that’s as artsy fartsy as we can in this house. And that’s OK. Good for mom’s who like to craft. And good for mom’s who’s hobbies lay elsewhere. We all have strengths and weaknesses. I have no problems admitting crafting is not one of mine.
So, to tell you how to do a craft is pretty laughable. BUT–if I know one thing, it’s that being an allergy mom all of the sudden makes you a nurse, school volunteer, label reader, chef and baker and a whole bunch of other things you might not have planned on doing.
So, even though I never thought I’d be volunteering for EVERY SINGLE holiday party for the food craft table, I do it because then I can control what is used and make sure that the food everyone is eating is something safe for my son.
I’ve shown a few things I’ve done for Halloween or Christmas parties and you all have said that you’d like to see more. So, I’ll try to start taking actual pictures (versus Insta-stories) so you can have something to look through and find easier.
Valentine’s day is one of those that typically have the kids frost heart-shaped sugar cookies–which are a big no-no for us. Dairy, wheat and eggs are all things my son is anaphylaxic to.
Don’t get me wrong, the actual Valentine’s my children bring in are the pre-boxed kind, either the Starburst, Skittle or Fun Dips are usually the ones they go for. I don’t put a lot of time and effort into the ones they actually hand out. It’s the food craft that the teacher wants for the party–you know, the thing they’ll all make together as a class as part of the celebration. That’s where things get tough–because they want it festive, they want it store bought, and I want it free of the top allergens.
I’d gladly bring in some of my own, homemade sugar cookies, but for better and worse, all of the schools my son has attended has a strict “store bought policy”. Since there are literally no bakeries within one hour driving distance of us that could bake something gluten-free, top 8 free for my son (not to mention the price would be exorbitant) I am stuck trying to assemble something that resembles the holiday from my local Wal-Mart.
Thank goodness for Pinterest and the ability to tweak things that other smart, crafty moms come up with. This idea is only slightly modified from the genius I Heart Naptime.
I hope this helps you if you’re stuck needing an allergy-friendly idea for nursery, day care, joy school or regular school so your allergic kid can have a safe and inclusive holiday. Plus, I love that this has chunks of fruit in the jello (but really, any kind or brand will do that’s red) so it’s not too much sugar, since they seem to get a lot of sugar from the Valentine’s they get from their classmates.
Be sure to also check out my list of top-8-free Valentine candies we enjoy.
Happy Valentine’s Day friends!
- Set the jello cups upside down, with the rounded bottom facing up.
- Draw a black line halfway through the rounded top with the permanent marker.
- Draw black circles all over the rounded top.
- Taking glue, or a hot glue gun, place two eye balls near the center.
- Taking the pipe cleaner, twist it and then stick it on top of the jello cup, securing it with glue or a hot glue gun.
- Taking construction paper, cut out two hearts for each of the cups for the ears and two smaller hearts for each of the feet.
- Glue one heart on top of each antenna (pipe cleaner).
- Taking the black construction paper, cut out two small rectangles for the legs. Fold them back and forth to create the crinkled look. Glue the legs to the bottom of your love bug, and glue the heart (feet) to the end of the legs.
- Allow the glue to dry before moving.
- Don't let the love bug bite you!
Looking for some Valentine treats? Check out these favorite allergy-friendly recipes:
Hi! I’m Megan, a mom to four kids, two with multiple food allergies & one with EOE. I’m a published cookbook author that constantly tweaks recipes to make them allergy friendly–it’s an addiction. I share every recipe & tip with you, to help you eat like you did before food allergies & dietary restrictions. You can still be awesome, even with food allergies!