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Before You Celebrate Valentine's Day


Mother and daughter making Valentine's cookies
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Valentine's Day can be a sugar-powered swirl of unsafe edibles, confusing feelings and school exclusion for a child with special needs -- and one that makes parents feel overwhelmed and lost a little, too. These articles will help you make the holiday safer, happier, and a whole lot sweeter for everyone close to your heart.

Scout out safe sweet treats.

Finding sweets for your sweetie can be tricky if a restricted diet puts a lot of traditional treats off limits. These articles can help you find or make goodies that won't be bad for your little Valentine.


Bake with love.

They say nothing says lovin' like something from the oven. Prove that true with a batch of brownies made from a recipe that's sensitive to your child's special dietary needs.


Supply school party snacks.

Send in allergy-safe cookies for your child's school Valentine party that he or she can eat without worry, or shape a diabetic "sugar" cookie into a sweet Valentine heart for the occasion.


Give gifts from the heart.

Not all Valentine gifts have to be edible. Give your child a coupon good for time-out release or a story read together; slip a band with a cause she cares about on her wrist; or wrap up a T-shirt, mug, or other gift item that benefits research and awareness of your child's disability.


Plan for more cuddle time.

Use this season of love as an excuse to give your child more hugs and squeezes, to play games that bring you closer together, and to orchestrate some quiet times to help you both relax and enjoy each other.


Help your child love responsibly.

As images of cupids and kissin' and romance fill the airwaves, it might be a good time to discuss physical expressions of love with your growing child. The idea may be terrifying for you, Mom and Dad, but these books will help you through.


Be your own valentine.

Take care of your own heart with positive messages about your parenting powers, a book about strengthening your romantic relationship, and more reading material to inform and inspire you.


Make Valentine's last all year.

Surprise your child all year 'round with little tokens of your affection, and keep the good feelings going and going.


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