Wanna hear something scary for kids with peanut allergies (like my daughter)? The most popular Halloween candy is Reese’s peanut butter cups. That right there could be the fear of every food allergy parent! But thankfully it doesn’t have to be! I’ve rounded up Halloween Food Allergy Safety Tips to help our kids out. We want them to trick or treat, have fun and stay safe!
Halloween Food Allergy Safety Tips
These are the tips I’ve used with my daughter who is allergic to peanuts, tree nuts and dairy. As always, this is not medical advise, it’s just from one mom to another. Please contact your allergist or pediatrician for more safety tips. We want all our food allergy loved ones safe, while we enjoy all those Halloween treats!
1. Plunder first, then enjoy
Ok, technically we’re not encouraging kids to steal candy from the neighbors by force (that’s actual plundering!) lol! No, what I mean is, trick or treat your heart out, fill your bag or bucket as much as possible and take it ALL home! After we’re done “plundering,” we’ll dump all the “treasure” on the kitchen or dining table and sort all the food allergy safe treats! (Daddy can eat the rest!) Haha!
2. Sorry, no homemade treats
Unless you were at grandma’s house or the neighbor’s kitchen when they made those cute homemade spider roll ups, it’s better safe than sorry with homemade treats. We just say “no.” And my 9 year old daughter is pretty good about asking if something has nuts or dairy. But sometimes people say, oh, this doesn’t have any “nuts” … only to realize later it was made with almond flour or almond milk. YIKES! Homemade treats are just not worth the risk.
3. Enjoy Food-Free Fun
I love this tip from HealthyChildren.org. It doesn’t all have to be about Halloween candy. What about those funny fake vampire teeth? Or rubber spiders? One orthodontist was known for giving out toothbrushes in my friend Joey’s neighborhood! If you can, share with your neighborhood or child’s school and encourage them to add non-food treats to their halloween stash, specifically for food-allergy kids to enjoy!
4. “Don’t Keep Others in the Dark”
That same website, Healthy Children, also reminded me to make sure that the grown ups around our kids are well aware of our kids’ food allergy needs. Our family moved to Florida earlier this year, so this will be our first Halloween here! That means there will be new neighbors to chat with and let them know that our daughter always carries an epi pen, just in case. I try to never assume that people know. It’s just safer to be vocal, to advocate and “not keep others in the dark!”
And to wrap up our Halloween Food Allergy Safety Tips:
5. A Trick or Treating Checklist!
The Kids with Food Allergies website is one of my go-tos for safety tips & more! They have a Trick or Treating Checklist that is a great one to go over right before heading out to get some treats! It includes reminders to go out with friends (not alone) and to have at least one grown up in charge. Don’t forget the epi pens, even if you’re just going “down the street and back.” They even encourage bright costumes that help kids remain visible, and no masks that could hinder their own vision.
Most of all, have a fun Halloween!
Thankfully, we’ve enjoyed my daughter’s 9 years of trick-or-treating so far with no issues (other than that 1 really scary house that she hated!) My son, who is 13, has enjoyed the fun, too, of course! Although last year he was a bit too old to trick or treat so he played basketball with our neighbor’s son. And they did hand out candy to the younger trick-or-treaters!
I hope you have a great time & your family stays food allergy safe! 🙂
And yes, this is still part of the 101 Days till Christmas Countdown! Halloween is just one of the holidays we enjoy along the way, as we continue to get ready for the MOST Wonderful Time of the Year! I can’t wait!
Laughing thru life,