When Sophia was diagnosed with a dairy allergy at the age of 3, I literally thought it was going to be the hardest thing for her. Luckily, I was totally wrong and she’s been thriving with no dairy for 2.5 years now! I quickly learned the way to deal with food allergies is to not think of it as a huge deal. We’ve learned how to find dairy alternatives to just about everything!
Holidays can be a bit more challenging since there are so many “Holiday Favorites” that aren’t exactly dairy free. One of those favorites happens to be store-bought Gingerbread Houses. Not only are they usually not dairy free, but honestly, they’re just not very tasty! It’s hard to spend money on an activity that I know is supposed to be edible, but usually just isn’t… and is full of sugary candies that I would just rather skip in this house!
That’s when I got the idea to have the girls make their own! Not only would they be dairy free, they could both make smaller houses completely decorated by them!
While shopping at Walmart last week, I decided to pick up some supplies for our graham cracker houses. I decided to use Honey Maid Graham Crackers for our houses – they’re dairy free and delicious, and the perfect color and size for our DIY Gingerbread Houses! If you have a child with food allergies or are just looking for a more fun, delicious way to make your own Gingerbread Houses, I’ve got the tutorial for you!
Create Your Toppings Tray
While your at Walmart, be sure to pick up your favorite toppings while you’re buying Honey Maid Graham Crackers. Since we’re trying to stick to less candy choices, we chose Dairy Free Mini Chocolate Chips, Pretzel Sticks [for our door!], Dried Cranberries and Blueberries, Chex Cereal [for our roofs!], and Freeze Dried Strawberry. Just because you’re ditching candy doesn’t mean you have to ditch color – dried fruits are the perfect way to bring in color to your Gingerbread Houses!
Get the Kids Involved
Yes, I was tempted to construct the Gingerbread Houses myself. I admit, I’m a bit of a control parent when it comes to crafts and activities, but where’s the fun in that?! The girls loved trying to figure out how to construct their Honey Maid Graham Cracker Houses.
In the beginning we tried using Marshmallow Creme as an alternative to icing, but our houses tended to slide and not stand up very well. We ended up using peanut butter more successfully to hold the graham crackers together more sturdily. If you have a child with a peanut allergy, you’ll want to use an alternative nut butter.
Although the Marshmallow Creme did tend to slide a little, we had to use it because it looked so pretty and “snow like”, especially for the roof! While I was walking through the cereal aisle, I knew we had to use those little rice cereal squares for our roof – they looked perfect!
Last Step in Making Graham Cracker Houses?
What’s the last step of DIY Gingerbread Houses? Eating them, of course! This is where our Graham Cracker House differs from store bought Gingerbread Houses – they’re actually edible… and delicious! I think the girls like destructing their houses as much as they liked building them!