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Digital Subscriptions > Gluten-Free Heaven > Gluten-Free Heaven February 2019 > VALENTINE’S DAY for all the family

VALENTINE’S DAY for all the family

It’s always nice to celebrate, whatever the occasion. Here are some of Claire Latham’s suggestions to make Valentine’s Day a gluten-free family celebration. Find out more at www.glutenfreekids.co.uk

At the start of the year, I decided to make a few resolutions. In last month’s article you will have seen how I was trying to encourage the family to eat more healthily, and this seems to be going well so far. In fact, I’m not entirely sure that my nearest and dearest have actually even noticed, which in our house is a win! But another change I wanted to make was to have more fun as a family, and this included celebrating more and embracing events together. I thought it would be fun to create a few traditions as a family and, with Valentine’s Day approaching, I felt that I might as well put this new promise through its paces and turn this traditionally adults’ event into a family affair. After a bit of research, I’m pleased to say that this should be easier than I thought. Especially because my kids like any excuse to have a party, make some decorations, craft and of course bake and cook. So, after scouring the internet and Pinterest for ideas, here’s how we will be spending our day…

BREAKFAST

There are some fantastic recipes out there for Valentine’s Day and we will be starting our day with a bit of a treat breakfast, which will more than likely be pancakes. The Netmums website has a great recipe that I always follow and, by simply replacing the flour for a gluten-free version, you can have a fun breakfast ready in minutes. If you are strapped for time, make the batter the night before and give it a quick stir in the morning before cooking in batches. We top ours with fruit and plain yoghurt, but be as inventive as you like!

For those of you who fancy a more savoury start, why not try toast cut into shapes, decorated egg cups (you could even decorate your own hardboiled eggs) or cook your eggs in a heartshaped mould. You can spend as much or as little as you like!

LUNCH

I think it would be lovely to send my children in with a fun lunch for the day, but I’m conscious not to embarrass them now that they are getting a bit older. My favourite website/blog that I always turn to for lunchbox inspiration is Eats Amazing, where you can find a huge variety of Valentine’s Day ideas that can be adapted for younger and older children. If you are a keen baker, why not get the kids to create some heart-shaped cupcakes, or get smaller children to decorate their cake in a Valentine’s Day theme? If baking isn’t your thing, pop some heart-shaped chocolates into your child’s lunchbox (but don’t forget to check the ingredients before you do!).

FAMILY MEAL

Perhaps my favourite idea though is to get the kids to plan a family meal that we can all enjoy. This can be as elaborate or as small as you want, and it might be an idea to have a few suggestions to hand in case you don’t want chaos to reign in your kitchen. Try things like a melon dish to start (or finish) or even something like tomato soup to fit in with the red theme. If your children are older, they will probably love to help with the cooking. If they are younger, get them helping in other ways, such as arranging chopped vegetables on a plate, making a dip, or helping to whisk up a dessert. If you search for ‘Kids Cooking Recipes’, The BBC Good Food website has some fantastic recipes for children to follow, and getting them involved might just help if you are keen for them to try something new. Planning and preparing the food themselves is a fantastic way to help children understand the importance of food and allows fussy eaters to feel more in control of their food choices.

Think table decorations, paperchains and some table confetti, all of which are easy to make and easy on the purse strings

CRAFTS

Now, while I always tend to think about food for occasions, there are lots of ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day without it. Both Pinterest and the internet are excellent resources for ideas for things to make, cut and stick. Again, I especially like to use Netmums as a source of inspiration and don’t forget your local library, who will not only have a number of craft books which often cover children’s Valentine’s Day crafts, but might also be hosting an event of their own – a real lifesaver if you have pre-school aged children.

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About Gluten-Free Heaven

Welcome to the latest issue of Gluten-Free Heaven. We know January can be a tough and long month financially and the purse strings may have been tightened a little, so we have your February covered with delicious midweek meals that don't cost the earth and can keep your 2019 on track. We also look at how to perfect your pasty skills, delve into food alchemy, learn how to eliminate free sugars from your diet, and discover that those gluten dishes you may be craving for, might not be as great as you remembered them. It's February, so of course it's Valentine's Day, which means love, cuddles and of course CHOCOLATE! We have a whole host of ideas to create simple yet decadent recipes to surprise your loved ones, and a special feature on how to make that special day work for the whole family! We hope you enjoy this issue s much as we've enjoyed trying some of the recipes!