Valentine's Day/Single's Awareness Day (or whatever you want to call it) is swiftly approaching! Gone are the days when this was a simple day to share the love. Diets, allergies, food intolerances, and personal belief systems have made this day a lot more complicated than it used to be. (I'm thinking of those elementary school days with cheesy cards and way too much candy.) So below are some ideas on how to survive Valentine's Day in this day and age. Feel free to share your ideas in the comments!
For the Kids:
Healthy Heart-Shaped Gummies
As a teacher and a mom, I know it's really hard these days to send your kids to school with food to share. This is why I try to opt for homemade treats wrapped up with ingredient lists. Concerned parents can read the list and decide if their child can eat it, but your child doesn't feel like they aren't allowed to be generous because dietary restrictions. This recipe avoids several of the most common food allergies and can be made in a variety of shapes for those kids who have a thing against anything heart shaped ;)
For those on a Special Diet: Show Your Support
Maybe your loved one is vegan/paleo/gluten-free/meatatarian and you aren't. We may not be on the same diet, but we can show them we love them through our support. This Valentine's Day why not try cooking them a meal, or taking them to a new restaurant, or going to a cooking class together? You may just find a new food to love in the name of love.
For the Ethically Minded:
Fair Trade/Handmade Items
Does your loved one have a sweet tooth or food they enjoy as a treat? Look for the fair trade option. You'll find plenty of options in large supermarkets, health food stores, and gourmet food stores. However, if your loved one is ethically minded and very diet conscious, opt for a handmade or fair trade gift. Etsy is great for finding handmade items if you have something specific in mind. If not, a lot of town and cities feature fair trade stores, and local designers/shop owners would be better able to tell you how their ingredients or products are sourced. Also, you could just make something yourself!
For the Charitable:
Make it an Event
If your loved one puts very little value in material things, why not do something charitable? Make a date to volunteer together for a cause they support. Make a donation in their name. Take them to a fundraising event or charity ball. These "gifts" are fun and good for the soul!
Game Bundle or Subscription
Did you know you could get your gamer a subscription to games and support a good cause? HumbleBundle.com sends part of every sale to a featured charity that changes on a regular basis. If you're purchasing a special game bundle you get to choose how much goes to which charity and to the store itself. They've also recently launched a monthly subscription option if you're feeling especially generous this year!