It’s hard to believe that it is getting so close to Christmas already. We love the holiday season in our family. For us it means summer, long school holidays, and enjoying time with family and friends. And with children in the house, they get pretty excited about the idea of presents under the tree too.
As soon as 1 December arrives, it’s time to get out the Advent calendar and count down to the big day. With multiple food allergies, we have to give it a little bit more thought than just picking up a chocolate Advent calendar with the weekly grocery shopping. Getting hold of some allergy-friendly Advent Calendar options can be tricky if you leave it too late.
Here are some great allergy-friendly Advent calendar ideas that you organise in plenty of time for Christmas.
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Dairy free, gluten free and vegan chocolate Advent calendars
If you still want to have a chocolate filled calendar, there are quite a few different allergy-friendly Advent calendars on the market now. Moo Free Chocolate and Plamil both make dairy free chocolate Advent calendars.
Moo Free make absolutely delicious chocolate, but their products aren’t guaranteed to be nut free. We take the “may contain” risk in certain circumstances, but that may not be suitable for you. Plamil is a good alternative for a nut free advent calendar.
Make sure to check the ingredient and allergen labelling for these products carefully to ensure that they are suitable for your allergies before purchasing.
Kids with allergies shouldn’t need to miss out on the traditional chocolate advent calendar. Each window of this delicious Moos Free original chocolate advent calendar has a delicious allergy friendly chocolate treat inside: Moo Free 70g Original Chocolate Advent Calendar – Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Soya Free, Vegetarian & Vegan.
Plamil So Free Organic Advent Calendars
Plamil So free also make vegan and allergy-friendly chocolate Advent calendars in traditional chocolate, white chocolate alternative and salted caramel flavours. These great calendars are gluten free, dairy free, nut free, vegan and organic. You can find Plamil products online, often from specialty vegan and allergy-friendly retailers.
In Australia you can find allergy friendly chocolate brands like Plamil, Moo Free and more at Happy Tummies.
Non food Advent calendar ideas
Advent calendars don’t have to be about food. These ready to use allergy friendly Advent calendars options come filled with favourite toys instead. As a family we’ve really enjoyed LEGO Advent calendars, creating a little Christmas scene in the lead up to Christmas. We take it in turns opening a door each day, hoping to be the one to open up the main Christmas themed minifigure! Our family favourite is Star Wars, but LEGO have a huge range of advent calendar themes from LEGO City to LEGO Friends.
LEGO Star Wars Advent Calendar
The LEGO Star Wars Advent Calendar is our favourite. Count down to Christmas with a new Star Wars kit each day. Includes exclusive minifigures and miniature characters and ships to build. Once assembled, you can use the figures to create your own Christmas scene on the fold down lid.
We have been buying Star Wars Christmas advent calendars for years. Apparently some of the minifigures are now quite collectible!
LEGO Harry Potter Advent Calendar
Love a Hogwart’s Christmas? This Harry Potter themed LEGO Advent Calendar has all the favourite Harry Potter characters. You can use them to create scenes from your favourite Harry Potter movies.
Make it a family tradition and each year you can add to your Harry Potter collection.
We’ve only tried (and loved) the LEGO calendars, but you can also find Advent calendars featuring many of your child’s favourite toy brands on Amazon.
Choose your own allergy-friendly treats with reusable advent calenders
Instead of a buying a pre-filled calendar, why not choose a reusable Advent calendar? Not only do you control exactly what goes in the calendar so that you can manage food allergy risks, you can use these again and again.
You might prefer to choose non food treats. This can be a great option even if you don’t have food allergies in the family. One idea is to include a small Christmas decoration for each day to hang on the calendar or on your tree.
If you are particular crafty, you can build your own calendar.
Etsy has dozens of beautiful handmade advent calendars to choose from. Wooden, quilted, individual hanging burlap bags. Or you can even buy files for laser cutting or printing your own Advent calendar at home.
Here are some lovely alternatives if you prefer to buy ready made.
What On Earth LED Santa’s Workshop Wooden Advent Calendar
I love the look of this light up Santa’s workshop calendar, with 24 drawers for your chosen allergy safe treats or surprises. This would be a lovely piece to have every year as part of the Christmas traditions with your children.
Christmas House Advent Calendar
Invest a little more in this Christmas House with 24 drawers, which is sure to become a family tradition for many years to come. This lovely wooden advent house is 22 inches (about 56cm) high and the little drawers come in different sizes, so you can hide a variety of food or non food treats inside.
Treat free Advent calendars
A simple wooden Advent calendar without any treats at all is another lovely way to build the excitement in the lead up to Christmas. This Melissa & Doug Countdown to Christmas wooden Advent Calendar is a lovely idea for younger children.
For families who prefer to focus on the Nativity at Christmas, this delightful Nativity Fabric Advent Calendar has a different participant in the Nativity scene to place with velcro every day in the lead up to Christmas.
Other allergy-friendly Advent calendar ideas
Another really lovely Advent calendar idea I have seen is a “calendar” of favourite children’s Christmas books. Unwrap a different Christmas story each day to read with your child, and enjoy them every year as a Christmas tradition. Make sure you include The Night Before Christmas for December 24th!
There are also lots of Advent calendar ideas for adults now. I’ve seen everything from ornaments or beauty products to gin and beer ‘calendars’.
I’m not really sure that we adults need them, but I do like the look of this English Tea Shop Advent calendar from Amazon – not for me, but for my multiple food allergic child, who loves his tea!
Which allergy-friendly advent calendars we chose
At home we currently have a a beautiful quilted fabric Advent calendar in the shape of a Christmas Tree, with little love heart pockets. It was handmade and gifted to us by someone very thoughtful, even before we had food allergies in the family. Each year I fill it with with sweet treats that are free from our family’s allergens. And as I mentioned earlier, for many years we’ve also bought a Lego Advent calendar (usually Star Wars) too. Just one to share. Best of both worlds for us!
There are so many options that you should be able to find something safe and inclusive for your food allergy family.
While you are in the Christmas shopping mood, don’t forget to have a look at our list of allergy books that make perfect gifts for all ages or our suggestions for allergy friendly gift ideas for all ages and occasions.
Or try some of our easy allergy friendly Christmas treat recipes, which also make great gifts.
And don’t forget to subscribe for more practical allergy tips for Christmas and all through the year.