Gluten-Free Valentine's Day Gift guide

It’s the season of love and you need a gluten-free Valentine’s day gift for your celiac loved one. But how do you find something both safe and enjoyable to give? By following the simple tips in this guide, you will easily be able to find amazing gluten-free Valentine’s day gifts to give your celiac loved one.

Written by Jan Wasmuth (nutrition intern), revised by Tayler Silfverduk, RDN

Table of Contents

gluten-free Valentine's day gift - Tayler Silfverduk, Celiac Dietitian

Remember the Purpose of Valentine’s Day

It can be easy to get sucked in to the gift side of Valentine’s day, making it overwhelming to find the perfect gluten-free gift for your loved one. While the gift of giving is a tradition of Valentine’s day, it’s not the real meaning of the day.

In fact, focusing on the food and gift aspects of the holiday can make those with celiac feel left out, since gluten plays a role in many Valentine’s Day traditions.

On the other hand, if we remember the purpose of Valentine’s Day, it becomes even more special and the ones we love become the focus, rather than all the traditions that are meant to enhance this day of love.

Valentine’s Day is all about telling our partners or loved ones how much they mean to us and well, how much we love them!

As cheesy as it sounds, the heart is what counts. It’s the memories made, the love expressed, and the moments spent together that are the true gifts of Valentine’s day.

gluten-free Valentine's day gift (Gifts that could contain gluten) - Tayler Silfverduk, Celiac Dietitian

Valentine’s Day Gifts That May Contain Gluten

Although there are many gluten-free Valentine’s Day gift items, there are also many that contain gluten. In order to have a safe holiday, it’s important to know what to avoid.

A common gift on Valentine’s day is candy. While there are various gluten-free candies available, there are also a number of candies that contain gluten.

If you know the key ingredients to watch for, checking for gluten in candy is easy. Often gluten is found in candy in the form of: graham flour, malt flavoring, malted milk, malted barley, barley malt extract, barley malt, enriched wheat flour, and wheat flour. Check out my blog post on “How to Check a Food Label for Gluten” for more help!

You should also look for suspicious ingredients that may contain gluten if the candy is not certified gluten-free. In Valentine’s Day candy, some of the suspicious ingredients to look out for include yeast extract, brown rice syrup, fermented grain extract, oats, caramel color, dextrin, and natural flavors.

Another issue is cross-contact. Some candies that are traditionally gluten-free can contain gluten in their holiday versions. This is because during these busy times of year in candy production, products may be made in different plants or on shared equipment. One example is heart-shaped Reese. Although normal Reese cups are gluten-free, the Valentine’s Day specialty shapes are not gluten-free.

There are some other commonly gifted Valentine’s Day candies that contain gluten which include:

  • Dove dark chocolate truffle hearts
  • Hershey’s Hugs
  • Ghirradelli boxed chocolates
  • Lindt Lindor truffles
  • Russel Stover boxed chocolates
  • Brach’s and Mayfair conversation hearts
  • Sweetarts
  • Heart-shaped Butterfingers
  • York heart-shaped peppermint patties
  • Heart-shaped Reese cups

Other Valentine’s day gifts that may contain gluten include non-food items like hand lotions and hand sanitizers. Depending on your gluten-free loved one, they may need gluten-free beauty products so be sure to check the label.

In these products, some ingredients to look out for are any ingredient that contains wheat, rye, barely, oats, or malt.

Gluten-Free Valentine's Day Gifts - Gluten-Free Valentine's Day Candy - Gluten-Free Valentine's Day Chocolate - Tayler Silfverduk, Celiac Dietitian

Gluten-Free Valentine’s Day Gifts

Although the list of what to avoid when getting gluten-free Valentine’s day gifts can seem daunting, there are plenty of gluten-free gifts to give or receive on Valentine’s Day.

Yes, there are gluten-free alternatives for candies and body care products. However, there are also other forms of gifts that can easily be made gluten-free and come from the heart.

These include special experiences like dates and handmade gifts like homemade gluten-free valentines treats and desserts.

By making the effort to find gluten-free Valentine’s, your loved one will not only be celiac-safe, but will know that you took the time to research what was safe for you to give. This kind of gluten-free lifestyle support goes a long way.

Gluten-Free Valentines Day Candy

Now that you know what Valentine’s Day candy is not gluten-free (and what to look for on the package), let’s look at some gluten-free Valentine’s day candy and chocolates! The following candies are gluten-free and safe to enjoy:

  • Dove milk chocolate and dark chocolate hearts
  • Hershey’s pink and red foil wrapped kisses and cherry cordial kisses
  • Heart-shaped Junior Mints
  • Pink and Red M&M’s and Sweet Sayings M&M’s
  • Just Born brand Valentine’s Marshmallow Peeps
  • Valentine’s Tootsie roll and Charms pops
  • Necco conversation hearts

There are also gluten-free candies that are available year-round but are still great for Valentine’s Day gifts:

  • Original Butterfinger bar
  • Original Almond Joy bar
  • Health bar
  • Hershey’s milk chocolate kisses
  • Hershey milk chocolate bar (1.55 oz) and milk chocolate with almonds bar (1.45 oz)
  • Original Reese cups
  • Original size York peppermint patties
  • All Justin’s nut butter cups
  • Original Andes mints
Gluten-Free Valentine's Day Desserts - Tayler Silfverduk, Celiac Dietitian

Gluten-Free Valentines Day Desserts

You don’t have to just purchase treats from a store… homemade gluten-free Valentine’s desserts are a great option! These can be made and gifted, or you can bake with your loved one for a special memory-making experience that yields sweet results for both your relationship and your taste buds! Here are some easy homemade gluten-free Valentine’s day dessert recipes to try this year:

Gluten-Free Valentine's Day Dinner Date Ideas

Making dinner for your partner is another romantic way to share your love. Since you are choosing the recipes and doing the cooking, you can be sure that all the food is gluten-free. A meal shows a heart-felt effort to make a special time for your loved one and enjoying the dinner together gives you time to talk and spend time with one another. Here are some ideas for gluten-free homemade dinners:

  • Heart-Shaped Pizzas (be sure to use gluten-free pre-made dough or an easy homemade gluten-free crust) with a Side Salad (lettuce, carrot, tomato, onion, parmesan cheese, raspberry vinaigrette dressing) – a perfect meal to show your love with a food that’s close to many people’s hearts!
  • Spaghetti Bolognese, steamed vegetables, and garlic knots – another classic food with a sauce color-themed for Valentine’s Day.
  • Meatloaf, Steamed Carrots, and Roasted Red Potatoes – comfort food that is filled with the colors of the celebration.
  • Breakfast for Dinner: Heart-Shaped Pancakes (be sure to use gluten-free pancake mix or gluten-free homemade pancake batter), scrambled eggs, and Valentine’s Berries (raspberries and sliced strawberries) – How sweet… literally!
  • Baked Lemon Garlic Butter Salmon, Vegetable Fried Rice (be sure to use gluten-free soy sauce and add red bell peppers for a Valentine’s Day touch), Strawberry Applesauce (serve warm for a special twist) – pink and red, sweet and savory, this meal has it all!

Other Gluten-Free Valentine's Day Tips

You can personalize your Valentine’s Day celebration by adding even more special touches! For example:

  • For a popcorn bar, use heart-shaped bowls.
  • For dinner, decorate with red and pink streamers and light candles.
  • While baking with your partner, play romantic music.
  • Use Valentine’s Day wrapping paper for gifts.

Be creative and show your loved one how much you care!

gluten-free Valentine's day gift - Tayler Silfverduk, Celiac Dietitian

Have a Gluten-Free Valentine's Day!

Although you may at first be apprehensive about giving a gluten-free Valentine’s day gift, remember gifts come in many forms.

If you or someone you love has celiac, the holiday can actually be safe, relaxing, and enjoyable! Give gluten-free candy and self-care items as gifts, make a gluten-free homemade dinner, bake gluten-free dessert for or with your partner, or have a gluten-free popcorn bar with a romantic movie.

No matter if you or your partner has celiac, with some thought and heart-felt sentiments, you can make this Valentine’s day safe, special, and memorable for you and your loved one!