Surviving Halloween when you have food allergies
Halloween is the one time of year where it’s socially acceptable to give in to your candy cravings and let your children give into theirs. However, when you or your child has allergies or dietary restrictions, navigating Halloween can be tricky.
When candy is being offered at every store, party, school, etc. it can be hard to know what’s ok for your or your little one to eat, and what you need to steer clear of. There are several tricks of the trade you can employ when trying to keep the unsafe candy away.
- Have a serious discussion with your little one about what they need to be on the lookout for. Make it as fun as possible by offering substitutes for each type of candy they need to avoid. If, for example, your daughter is allergic to peanuts, she can’t have traditional candy corn, but she can have YumEarth organic candy corn that’s made in a peanut free facility.
- Talk to neighbors ahead of trick-or-treating. If you plan to take you children out in your neighborhood, it’s definitely worth speaking with a few neighbors ahead of Halloween so they can both be aware, and prepared, for when your little goblin rings their doorbell.
- Preempt the Halloween candy hand out at school by making sure teachers have a bag of allergy safe candy so your little one doesn’t have to miss out on classroom treats. YumEarth lollipops or snack packs are perfect for this because in addition to being organic and free from major allergens, they are sure to put smiles on the student’s faces.
- Check out some of the great allergy apps iOS and Android offer now. Many allow you to put in ingredients you need to be careful of and then scan the label to see if it’s safe or not. This will certainly come in healthy when you’re sorting through mountains of Halloween candy.
- Make a game out of it with your little one. Anytime you’re in a store with him, have him point out foods and candies that are safe for him to consumer. If he picks up a certain number of approved foods, maybe he can get a little gift at the end of the trip.
- Understand for yourself (and anyone who regularly purchases food for you little one) exactly what ingredients to look for. For example, just because your daughter has Celiac’s disease, doesn’t mean gluten is the only ingredient to keep an eye out for. Everyone needs to understand any and all ingredients that might cause a negative reaction.
- Introduce the Switch Witch – The legend of the Switch Witch says every Halloween, children leave their candy at the foot of their bed and after they fall asleep, the Switch Witch replaces the candy with a toy or two. This will save any hassle of having to go through tons of candy.
- Lastly, but probably most importantly, always have a stash of safe treats and candy on hand. Whether it’s a fruit snack snack pack in your purse, a few lollipops in the car, or some licorice hidden away for you (of course), having safe treats on hand stops any perceived unfairness if candy is being handed out anywhere.
The more that children don’t feel left out, the more they will feel included and not like an outcast and with Halloween being all about smiles, it’s worth going the extra mile to ensure everyone is safe.