When Eva was first diagnosed with severe allergies to peanuts and tree nuts, I felt like our lives had been turned upside down. It seemed like she was going to miss out on a huge list of experiences that I wanted for her and that every benign little treat, like a trip to the ice cream parlor or a plate of cookies at a birthday party, suddenly became a deadly threat. I could not see how we’d ever learn to live with her food allergies.
It’s been about 14 months since Eva was diagnosed and I will say that we’ve learned to live with it surprisingly well. Giving up nuts in the house has been a challenge, but once they were out we quickly found that we could indeed deal with their absence. Eva has been (mostly) incident free for just about a year and I will happily trade in any of those treats if it means that we can keep her out of the E.R.
That being said, there is something sort of sad about not being able to replicate things that I loved when I was little. One of those things has been holiday candy. When I was little, Valentine’s Day, Easter, and (of course) Christmas all brought foil-wrapped treats, shaped chocolates, and other sweet surprises. Unfortunately, Eva can’t usually eat any of that stuff because even chocolates that don’t have nuts in them are usually made on equipment that has touched nuts and that’s enough to set off an allergic reaction in our toddler.
We’ve bought Eva gummies and suckers and boxes of raisins to make up for the fact that she can’t have chocolate, but all of you chocolate-lovers out there know it isn’t really the same. (Does anyone remember the first time I gave her a candy cane? Fail.)
So, you can imagine how thrilled I was when Vermont Nut Free Chocolates offered to send us some Christmas candy for Eva. I wasn’t sure how the quality would be, since the chocolate holiday kid stuff is sometimes waxy and cheap. No worries – these chocolates are delicious, delightful little gourmet items. They’re everything I remember fondly about my stockings on Christmas morning!
I’ve spent a ton of time on the Vermont Nut Free Chocolates website since we got these treats. They have so many things! Some of it is made with sunflower oil, which is still on Eva’s bad list, but the vast majority are things that Eva can eat. I’ve got big plans for Valentine’s Day and Easter but there are also a lot of little yummy things that I can have around the house for an occasional indulgence. I suppose I shouldn’t be planning on sugaring up my toddler, but after a year of raisins for dessert I won’t mind if she develops a sweet tooth.
Speaking of which, I couldn’t wait until Christmas so I gave Eva her chocolate Santa early. The Santa in my stocking was always my favorite part…so satisfying…like getting a doll you could eat. I almost got a little choked up when I gave it to her, since it’s just one more thing you always imagine you’ll do for your kids once you’re a mom.
She loved it.
Disclaimer: I got all of the candy in this post at no cost from Vermont Nut Free Chocolates for review purposes. I received no further compensation for this post. The thoughts and opinions above are my own.