Monthly Archives: February 2015

Monday Musings: No-Candy Valentine’s Day

As I promoted my “No Sweets” post on Instagram, an interesting comment thread ensued.  In it, a discussion about how a grandchild requested a candy-free Valentine’s Day because he wants to pursue a healthier lifestyle, and a grandmother who was greatly offended and who intends to ignore/refuse his request.

It got me thinking…how would I honor this request if one of our children asked for this? In fact, how could we do a low-sweet, non-commercial candy (chemical sh**storm) Valentine’s Day?

So here is our plan:

1.  We are going to purchase fruits that can be cut with heart-shaped cookie cutters.  So far, we are up to kiwis, mango, pineapple, melons, bananas, and apples.  HERE is a way we have prepared apples before.  We may bake those, and do the rest raw…although I have heard that grilling pineapple is delicious, too.

2. For the ones that are prone to discoloration (bananas for sure, maybe the raw apples), we are going to roll them in organic cocoa powder.  THIS is the one we used for Christmas that we plan on using again (no affiliate links in this post – feel free to click).

3.  We are going to make our own chocolate dipped strawberries and kiwi pops – jury is still out on which organic chocolate I have the heart to melt – definitely NOT my Wei of Chocolate stash.  I’ll probably go with the Enjoy Life brand if I don’t find anything else.  HERE is a great how-to video on coating fruit with chocolate.  We use Spectrum Palm Shortening instead of coconut oil because coconut is another food we avoid due to allergies for the Sweet Pea Kids.

BLOG ww140514 spf.44. Last on our list, we are going to make a gluten-free, more natural version of THIS brownie recipe from the book Deceptively Delicious by Jessica Seinfeld.  The recipe calls for adding in carrot and spinach purees along with the chocolate and sugar…YUM.  Besides replacing the flour with my favorite GF blend from Bob’s Red Mill, we do not use cooking sprays or margarine in our home.  We’ll adjust as needed and bake from there!

Deceptively Delicious by Jessica Seinfeld

Deceptively Delicious by Jessica Seinfeld

So while it isn’t going to be a no-sweet or chocolate-free for us, I appreciate the comment thread because it got me thinking about how we can have a gluten-free, non-commercial candy celebration.  It isn’t convenient, that is for sure, however, some of these things can be made ahead and frozen (kiwi pops, brownies) so that the work is spread out over a few days instead of one big day and night of preparation the day before St. Valentine’s Day.

Happy Valentine’s Day!  Find us over on Instagram (SPF handle) throughout the week – Puma or I will post pictures of our progress through these ideas 🙂

Tuesday Tips: Kindly Saying No

It is one of our great privileges to be an ongoing resource to our Bradley Method® students.  Here is a question that came my way that I wanted to share today:

Hi Krystyna! Help! I’m in need of some advice.  We live in a small town where everyone knows everybody and it’s been great for so many reasons. The problem I’m having is keeping people from giving my kids candy. It happens daily. Sometimes several times a day. At church yesterday I happened to walk up just as my two year old was choking on a piece of hard candy. There are a million old ladies at church with hard candy in their purses. In fact, after a very scary 10 seconds, I was able to get the candy out of his little throat just as another old lady is handing our other son a piece of gum. I just about dropped the F-word right there. How do I, very nicely, tell these sweet old ladies to stay away from my children. Our older son is always asking for candy too, so that doesn’t help. He knows he can get it anywhere. It’s driving me crazy. The lady at the post office today handed them both a lollipop as I was getting the mail. I’m at the end of my rope. Any advice? Thanks!

When faced with situations like this, my first line of defense is humor.  I struggle with seething rage when I perceive a threat to our children, so I have had to learn to laugh first, then respond.

There are a couple of things you can say with a smile:

  • “Oh, you can’t give him that candy unless you are planning on taking him home with you….you know how sugar makes them fly off the chandeliers!”
  • “Stop right there  (Hands up where I can see them, etc.), or I’ll have to call the granny police!  Candy before lunch and he’ll be going to toddler jail!”

The other approach is just a matter of fact if you can pull it off without an angry face:

  • “Oh thank you, we can’t accept that right now – we are on our way to have lunch/snack/dinner and I do not want to ruin their appetite”

My last suggestion is to tell well-meaning gifters that your children are allergic to the ingredients in the candy. Read over this information, and you can probably make a good case that your children are allergic to the dyes in the candy:

It is a tough place to be when people want to be kind.  I try to remember that they are operating from a place of love, especially in the situation like our student was facing.  By remembering to respond to their love with my own love, it makes it easier to replace my angry face with a smile.

How have you kindly said no to people who are giving your children unsolicited food or treats?