With Valentine’s Day on the horizon here are some safety reminders for parents with food allergic kids, plus an egg-nut-dairy free sweetheart of a brownie recipe.

Valentine’s Day Safety: 3 Tips

  1. Because a variety of candies and other treats are in abundance around Valentine’s Day, now is a great time to remind your child not to taste any food, baked good, or candy unless a trusted adult has checked the label or recipe ingredients and said the treat is okay.
  2. Keep in mind that manufacturers often change the shape or packaging of their candies around holidays. Peanut butter cups, for instance, may be heart shaped and wrapped in red foil. Manufacturing practices sometimes change for special holiday items as well, so the ingredients list and allergen advisory labeling might be different from the same item’s non-holiday packaging. To be safe, never assume anything and read every label—no exceptions. If there is no label, skip the treat.
  3. In lieu of candy, inexpensive toys, jewelry, or school supplies make great Valentine goodie-bag fillers. For more non-food inspiration, try searching “Valentine party ideas” on Pinterest.

Dairy, Egg, and Nut Free Chocolate Chip Brownies

“All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt. ~ Charles M. Schulz

Cut these scrumptious brownies into squares, or create little chocolate hearts using a two-inch heart cookie cutter.

You will need:

  • 1/2 cup dairy free shortening
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup silken tofu
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2/3 cup unbleached all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cocoa
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup dairy free mini chocolate chips


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees; coat an 8 inch square baking pan with dairy-free baking spray.
  2. In the bowl of a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, thoroughly combine the shortening, sugar, tofu, and vanilla.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt.
  4. Add the dry ingredients to the shortening mixture and mix until just combined; use a rubber spatula to stir in the chocolate chips.
  5. Spread batter into the prepared pan. Bake 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. When the brownies have completely cooled, dust with confectioner’s sugar.

TIP: Line the baking pan with aluminum foil and spray the foil with dairy free baking spray. Then, after cooling, you can lift out the entire pan of brownies for easy cutting or shaping.

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