How to Have a Red Dye #40-Free Valentine’s Day

Abigail Blank - The Upside Blog |

by | Updated: December 3rd, 2016 | Read time: 2 minutes

Any school event that encourages other people to give my kid disgusting chemical and dye filled candy is an event I loathe. Valentine’s Day seems to be the pinnacle of cheap, red dye 40-laden candy. Besides the fact that my kids are extremely sugar reactive and turn into little dictators when they’re on a sugar-high, I just can’t sit idly by while entire classrooms of little ones are pumped full of junk.

Take Initiative

Email, or call, your child’s teacher (or room mom, if your school works like ours) and ask for a meeting to discuss having a candy-free celebration. Teachers don’t want to deal with maniacal hyperactive kids any more than you do. Come prepared with ideas for activities, games, crafts, and healthy treats such as organic cheddar bunny snack packs and real fruit applesauce pouches (if food is allowed). You can take it a step further and get the topic of a candy-free Valentine’s Day celebration on the PTA meeting agenda. Armed with facts and friendly suggestions, you’ll be pleasantly surprised to learn how many of your fellow parents feel the same way.

The Not-So-Subtle

Fine, your room mom is waxing poetically about the “good “˜ole days” when kids could just have a party at school and thinks you’re being alarmist? No problem. Because you will strap a pouch of Annie’s Homegrown Organic Fruit Snacks, the phrases “no artificial colors” and “organic” emblazoned across their brightly colored packages, to each and every one of your child’s recycled paper Valentine’s cards. If you’re helping with the class party, even better. Volunteer to bring snacks and then show up with a huge haul of safe and tasty treats such as Earth’s Best organic applesauce cups, Envirokidz Cripsy Rice bars, Honest Kids Organic Juice Pouches.

The Switch-Out

If you just can’t win over your fellow mom this year, don’t give up! Keep trying! Continue showing up at meetings, follow up with other parents who share your passion for a chemical-free life to get a campaign going, and attend the school board meetings if you have to. With a little perseverance and a lot of patience you will create a healthier environment in your child’s school. In the meantime, have organic candy and treats such as Yummy Earth Organic lollipops and Surf Sweets Organic Jelly Beans at home to swap out the bad stuff when your kids come running in with that construction paper heart covered bag of friendly adoration.