I still remember the first church egg hunt we attended. My son was able to pick up as many eggs as he could find and stuffed them in his cute little basket! But all he got to keep was the plastic eggs. It was anyone’s best guess what kinds of candies were inside those eggs and what the ingredients were, so they were off-limits. It took a little of the fun out of the whole experience to see so many other kiddos ooohing and ahhhing over their treasures while my son had to wait until we could get home and I could switch out the “bad candy” for allergy-friendly candy.
What is a mom to do? If you don’t like the situation, change the variables!
The next year, I served on the egg hunt committee for our church along with our entire Sunday School class. Because my family and one other family in the class had children with food allergies, we added a new component to the egg hunt that year. And it went a little something like this…
Every child who came to the egg hunt was asked to bring a dozen stuffed eggs to contribute for the hunt. The families of our Sunday School class only brought two dozen non-food stuffed eggs each and they were set aside in a special bin at the “Official Egg Trading Booth.” When it was time for the begin hunt to begin, the kids ran wild and started hoarding eggs! After the hunt was over, children with food allergies were invited to come to the egg trading booth to trade their candy-filled eggs for some special non-food stuffed eggs.
I’ll admit, I think we knew the kids with food allergies would LOVE that they got to go home with real egg hunt treats, but we had no idea the children without food allergies would want in on the action too! Everyone wanted the non-food eggs because of the stickers, erasers, tattoos, and other cool stuff inside.
Last year, even several of the community egg hunts followed suit and either had an egg trading station or used only non-food stuffed eggs.
Get involved in your neighborhood, church, or community egg hunt this year and spearhead the effort to include an egg trading station or use only non-food stuffed eggs. Yes, it is another thing to add to your to do list, but the inclusiveness your children will feel and the happiness they will bring home from the event is the real treasure!