Celebrating Halloween With Food Allergies

It’s October! Where did the summer go? If you have kids that only means one thing…time to do some Halloween prepping. Time to ask daily what costume your child wants to wear because if they are anything like mine that answer will change 200 times before Halloween. Once the decision is made, you have to figure out if you are making or buying a costume.

One year I decided to make costumes for the girls because my youngest wanted to be Marshall from Paw Patrol and I wanted to give her a girly spin on the costume. Never again! (Except for when she asks to be very obscure characters like this years request to be Gil from Disney Descendants 2. Gil, really?) It took me so long to make those costumes but it did save hundreds of dollars compared to buying them from Etsy.

Skye and Marshall from Paw Patrol - Halloween 2016

Skye and Marshall from Paw Patrol - Halloween 2016

As a kid, nothing is better than getting to dress up in your favorite character and go house to house collecting free candy. FREE CANDY! You just show up at people’s houses and they GIVE you candy.

However, if you have food allergies or have a child with food allergies it can be a stressful event. The good news is there are ways to put the fun back in to Halloween.

  • If you haven’t heard of the Teal Pumpkin Project you must check it out whether you know someone that has food allergies or not. If you see a teal pumpkin in front of someone’s house or a posted sign in their window that means they have allergy friendly treats. On the website, people participating can even mark their house so you can plan your allergy friendly route ahead of time.

  • Take some allergy friendly treats to friends, families, neighbor’s houses ahead of time so your child has something safe to get when they arrive.

  • Focus on the candies that are “safe” which are usually things like Skittles, Starbursts, Nerds, suckers and gummy candies. However, if there isn’t a label to indicate if they are safe then don’t take that chance. Make it exciting when they receive these candies instead of being bummed when they get another candy they can’t eat.

  • Remind your child throughout Trick or Treating what treats are safe for them to enjoy.

  • Make some special traditions of your own that focus on something other than the Trick or Treating candies such as decorating the house all out, visiting haunted houses, hay rides, painting and carving pumpkins, “boo”ing your neighbors, and don’t forget passing out candy and seeing all the other kids costumes is fun too!

  • Make dressing up extra special. Maybe go that extra mile on your child’s costume to really make them stand out. Get the whole family to dress up in the same costume theme.

  • At the end of the night, make two piles. One of treats that are safe to eat and the other of treats to get rid of. Get rid of treats by trading with siblings or other friends or my favorite is to donate them. There are several dentists in my area that take donated candy to send to the troops and in return you enter a raffle to win prizes. Here’s a link for an article on how to donate candy: https://www.today.com/parents/how-donate-halloween-candy-good-cause-t117994

Here are some ideas for allergy friendly items:

  • Glow sticks, wands, or jewelry. This is my favorite choice because it also makes it easier to keep track of your child in the dark.

  • Plastic spider rings, vampire teeth, slap bracelets

  • Coloring pages and crayons

  • Pens, pencils, erasers

  • Books. Seems odd to be on the list and costly but one year my kids got a tiny Charlie Brown book and they LOVED it.

  • Stickers or temporary tattoos

  • Snack bags of chips, crackers, fruit snacks

  • Bubbles

  • Play dough or slime

  • Slap bracelet

  • Check out treats from allergy friendly food companies such as Enjoy Life and Free2B. They both have individually wrapped Halloween treats perfect for Trick or Treaters.

Let me know what your favorite allergy friendly treats and Halloween traditions are.

Also, if you have any advise on a Gil costume this Mom could use some serious help!

Need more help or guidance living with food allergies?