Academy, Nutrition

Vegan and Dye Free Valentines Day

Holidays that center around food are a person’s nightmare if they have an alternative diet like being vegan and or dye free, or if they have food allergies! “Normies” don’t get it or just think you’re being ridiculous and difficult.

Candies and things are fun for the holidays, but I think it really can set up kiddos especially for unhealthy relationships with candies and sweets, and also just being hopped up on sugar isn’t anything we want.

If your kiddo is in public school it can be even harder having a different diet as quite often schools are giving lunches, snacks, party days full of treats that might not be compliant with your choices.

Valentines day is one of those days!

I remember loving valentines day at school. I loved making a valentines mail box, I loved picking out valentines day cards from CVS and writing everyone’s name on them, and I loved opening my valentines day mail box at the end of the party to see what kind of cards and, of course, candy I got!

Those are some great core memories for me!

Now, as an adult and parent, I’m much more conscious of what I and my children are ingesting and I want it to be safe. Not to mention both kiddos have FPIES (a type of food allergy). We’re vegan, dye free, and have food allergies. We’ve dealt with this lifestyle for 6 years now, and honestly it’s A LOT easier than people think! Especially since both markets (vegan and dye free) are becoming more and more common.

So let’s look at some alternatives for Valentines day that doesn’t involve animals or dyes!

Chocolates and Candies

My favourite chocolate company is called NoWhey. They have, quite possibly the best chocolate in the world. They have normal chocolate bars like No Tricks (a Twix replacement), Pea Not Cups (Reece’s replacement), No Whey! (Snickers replacement) Crunchy bars, chocolate bars, white chocolate bars.. The list goes on and on and on! Check them out!!

For Valentines day specifically they have an entire selection of goodies!

Strawberry ganache filled chocolate sweet hearts

Loveable No No’s in a heart top tube (Choco no no’s are like M&Ms)

Strawberry Love Bites

Chocolate truffles

Chocolate box assortment

Valentines Truffle Collection 24 and 15 pcs

Signature Truffle Collection 24 and 15 pcs

I Love You chocolate bar

Heart Chocolate lolli

Heart Eyes Chocolate lolli

I love you Chocolate lolli

Lolli Collection

Use code LOVE10 at checkout! I encourage you all to grab something from NoWhey!

Another, generally safe, company is YumEarth. They’re definitely dye free, but vegans, double check products. I’ve seen one that has gelatin in it, though MOST of their products are vegan!

Along with their normal assortment of goodies like Giggles (Skittles), Lollipops, Choco Yums (M&Ms), Chewys (Starburst). They also have a valentines day assortment of goodies! All of the valentines day options are vegan.


Gummy fruits


V Day assortment box

Unreal is another delicious mostly vegan and dye free chocolate brand! Their peanut nougat bars and milk chocolate “gems” are not vegan.

I personally love their Coconut bars!

They also have peanut butter cups

Almond butter cups

Peanut Gems

Crispy Quinoa Gems

Enjoy Life is the final vegan chocolate company that I have personally tried and enjoyed!
Their chocolate bars are so delish, the kids love them! You can get them at some stores like Walmart or online at Amazon. Unfortunately you can’t buy them on their website.

Ricemilk bar

Ricemilk crunch

Dark chocolate


If you’re into making cakes and treats there are still options for you! Enjoy Life also has baking chocolate! We get ours at Publix! They have tons of variety for the chocolate chips!

Semi Sweet

Semi sweet mega chunks

Dark Chocolate Morsels

Rice chocolate morsels

White Chocolate mini chips

For dye free and vegan cake mix options:

For delicious chocolate cakes we use Betty Crocker Devils Food (Gluten Free). We do the flax and water replacement for eggs (3:1 water to flax ratio per egg needed) and it works out every time!

For yellow cake mix we use the Betty Crocker Yellow cake mix (Gluten free) and the same flax egg replacement. I couldn’t find an online option smaller than a pack of 6, but usually you can find this mix at Walmart or Publix, maybe even Target.

To top those cakes with frosting, you can either make your own if that’s how you roll, or buy an already made one. There are vegan pre packaged options like Miss Jones. I personally haven’t had great luck with these, but maybe I used them wrong, who knows. I’m no baker! For vanilla, I always reach for Pillsbury Supreme Vanilla. Grab this at any grocery store, as it’s cheaper in person than online for sure!! And for Chocolate I go for Betty Crocker Rich and Creamy Chocolate.

Need to dye vanilla frosting? I’ve had good luck with Watkins food colouring. Though I’ve seen others who have had issues. Apparently heat changes the colour as does time. I personally have never had that issue. I’ve dyed frosting night before and it was fine.

What about sprinkles? You can make your own by making and dyeing royal icing and then piping lines on parchment paper, letting it dry and breaking them OR you can buy some! I’ve never used these but have wanted to! Supernatural Kitchen offers SO many options when it comes to sprinkles!
Rainbow stars and Dino set
Pink Pop nonpareils — perfect for Valentines day!

Unicorn tracks and rainbow pop set — Unicorn tracks could also work for valentines day

Starfetti and rainbow pop set
Chocolate softies
Hot pink twinkles

Rainbow softies
Watkins also has some dye free options. Perfect for Valentines day is there Red Decorating Sugar, they also have rainbow sprinkles (ball shaped) (log shaped).

For cookies we do Betty Crocker Gluten free chocolate chip mix or Sweet Loren’s. We buy Sweet Loren’s at Publix, but have also found them at Winn Dixie. In person will be your best option unless you want a pack of 6! Which if you’re baking for a party, might be the way to go! Sweet Loren’s has Chocolate chunk, Fudgy Brownie, Sugar cookies, oatmeal cranberry, Chocolate mint (during the holidays), Pumpkin Spice (during the holidays), and Gingerbread (during the holidays).


If you’re not into sweets or want to give a different option when everyone else will be giving sweets, let’s look at some themed snacks!

Natures Bakery Raspberry Bars. Add it to a festive heart themed goodie bag or wrap a cute festive ribbon around it!

Made Good Strawberry Crispy squares

Garden Veggie Mini Heart chips

Bear Fruit minis

Simple Mills has yummy cookie crackers like cinnamon and honey, mint chocolate, and chocolate. You can sometimes find these in the gluten free area of grocery stores. I’d add these to a cute festive valentines day snack bag (below)

You could also get Snyders Pretzels (we get gluten free due to allergies) and dip them in some dyed white chocolate and add some sprinkles to them!

Of course a favourite in my house is just plain old fruit and veg! My kids would rather eat raw fruit and veg than anything cooked or seasoned! Basically anything I spend time on to make it look cute or festive, they refuse to eat.

Grab these heart shaped cookie cutters and use the smaller ones to cut out hearts out of red bell peppers, watermelon, beets etc. You could also cut strawberries into slabs for similar heart shapped vibes! Grab other red fruits (raspberries, pomegranate, cherries, etc and make a fruit plate in the shape of a heart.

You can also use the larger heart shaped cutters to make heart shaped sandwiches, pancakes and vegan eggs (use the smaller ones to cut out heart shapes out of Beyond Sausage), and even heart shaped pizza!

You can use any size of them to make heart shaped Jello (make it with agar powder and fruit juice)


I wasn’t going to include this, but if you’re like me, you like themed anything and not so surprisingly, finding red or pink drinks without colouring in them is surprisingly hard to do.

My all time favourite fizzy drink is Izze. They make delicious fruit drinks and have red coloured drinks you can add to your kiddos lunch (maybe not lunch box, unless you got the cans) or dinner!
For red, go for Blackberry, Pomegranate, Strawberry, or Cherry Lime. You can also get the grapefruit one which is more of a peach tone, or the peach, apple or mango flavours and add those to a fruit juice to make a custom punch!

Use fruit and fruit juices to make fancy ice cubes for your VDay party punches or mocktails!

You can use fruit juices like, my fave, cranberry juice (make sure it doesnt have dyes. Ocean Spray cranberry doesn’t have dyes) or grape juice. A lot of fruit juices have dyes, so double check the ingredients before you grab one from the shelves. If you have time on your hands you could also make your own fresh squeezed juices from blueberries, pomegranates, cherries, raspberries, strawberries, watermelon, apple, orange, blackberries, whatever you want (I’d sneak in some veg too ;)). Mix these fruit juices, with sparkling water, or something like Izze, or lemonade, even herbal teas would mix in nicely! Make your kiddos fancy fruit juices or if you’re having the girls over, make some mocktails!

Non-Food related goodies

I’m not a big fan of giving candy and food as gifts, especially to my kids. I’d rather give them a goodie bag versus a bag of candy and treats that are generally full of sugar and then they relate holidays or showings of love to food.

Some fun non food items would be books, puzzles, homemade playdoh (dyed with those food colourings above), a sensory bin (dyed with those food colourings above), stuffed animal, stickers, stamps, bubbles, activity books, fun valentines day crafts like the ones mentioned on my Valentines Day Crafts blog

Cute Valentines Books:
These are our Valentines Day books that I set out every year for the kids (at the end of the month I take them up and put them away then put out “Snake Day” books)! Check your local library for some of these cute books! It would be a fun day date with the kiddos or a nice surprise for when they get home from school!

The Berenstain Bears’ Valentine Blessings

Tiny T Rex and the perfect Valentine

Arthur’s Valentine

Where is Baby’s Valentine?

Happy Valentine’s Day Mouse

The Berenstain Bears’ Valentine Party

The Littlest Valentine

A Village Full of Valentines

I Spy Little Hearts

I Love You So…

Valentine Mice

Little Blue Truck’s Valentine

For puzzles, I found these two on Amazon, one for littles (well its actually 4 puzzles) and one for older kids to do with you!


Older Kids

Stickers. These are some festive Vday ones, but it might also be a great gift to get stickers of something your kiddos enjoy!

Stamps! These are so fun for Valentine’s day cards! Depending on your level of hesitation with dyes, you might want to make sure your kiddos are only using these on paper versus their skin.

Love Day Stamps

Something else to keep in mind is what do they enjoy on a normal basis? Both of my kids love Lego, so after the holidays I went to Target and grabbed two of those small bags of Lego for them. Maybe your kid’s like colouring, grab them a box of crayons or markers. Maybe they have a doll that could do with a new outfit, grab a new outfit. Think about you and receiving gifts… You’d want to get something you actually enjoyed, so grab them something they’d like.


These little valentine’s day zip lock baggies are so cute and so festive! They would be perfect for your pretzels or cookies like the Simple Mills cookies listed above! And it’s a relatively small amount of bags perfect for a classroom, though I did find a set of 400 baggies for cheaper!

If you’re making goodie bags I love these love heart bags!

Or if you wanted to be extra, these boxes are adorable!

If your kiddo goes to public school grab these heart toothpicks and add them to your kiddos lunch box (think fancy bento box moms)!

Other Options

Valentines day doesn’t have to include gifts or sweets. It can include quality time.

Try a “yes day.” A yes day is where your kids make the decisions. Set some ground rules for your yes day, but keep it fun! Be willing to do things you wouldn’t normally do. When I say set ground rules, I mean things like “no shopping sprees,” “no sky diving.” Not “no pancakes for breakfast, because its a lot of work and I don’t want to do that.”

Take them on a date. Go to the park, have a picnic. If its not picnic weather, have an indoor picnic.

Go play mini golf if that’s an option.

Buy them flowers or a plant– boys and girls. Continuing with that thought, if you guys love gardening buy them some plant seeds for the upcoming planting season!

Have a movie night, let them pick their fave movie, make some popcorn, bring the blankets and pillows into the living room and watch the movie (or have the movie night in bed).

Make dinner together, set the table, get dressed up, make it fancy.

Your valentines day doesn’t have to look a certain way. It doesn’t have to be expensive. Your kids don’t know how much things cost. The important thing is making core memories with them, for them, and for you.

It’s about love. Showing love, being selfless, having fun, spending quality time with each other. Do that.

I hope your Valentines Day is so magical! And I hope this blog post showed that you can have just as much fun as your non vegan/dye free friends!

Share all of your Valentines day fun with me on social media by tagging me in your posts and make sure to follow all of the Oakborn branches that interest you!

With Love,



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Author Kaylan Cordell

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