October 27, 2017

Trick-or-Treating With Food Allergies

By Cindy Gordon

Halloween can be terrifying for families with allergies, and not just because of the ghosts and mummies. For kids with food allergies, there are some very real bad-guys out there on Halloween night, and because of this, as a mom to kids with food allergies, I’ve been tempted to just skip this holiday all together. Unfortunately, skipping Halloween wouldn’t be any fun! I’ve learned over the years that it is possible to have a safe Halloween – all it takes is a little bit of creativity and preparation.

Here are five tips for keeping your kids safe from allergens this Halloween.

1. Pack A Bag
If you’re planning to head out to the sidewalks for trick or treating, make sure that you are prepared. Grab a backpack or a tote bag, and fill it with some safe snacks so that your child won’t be tempted to sample any unsafe treats. Along with snacks, pack any emergency medications you could possibly need. Just having those two things with me makes me much more comfortable letting my child participate in trick or treating.

2. Talk to Your Neighbors
It’s helpful if you take some time the week before Halloween to call or visit some of your trusted neighbors to ask for their help in keeping your child safe. Let them know about your child’s allergy, and ask them to have a safe treat available for him. Don’t expect your neighbors to go out shopping though – even though some of them totally will! Bring over your own safe treats for the neighbors to give to your child when they’re trick or treating. Consider non-food treats or prepackaged allergen free candy. I like to make large treat bags full of all of my kids’ favorites. I give a bag to each neighbor the day before Halloween and then the neighbors give them to my kids! They love having a huge bag of special things that is just for them.

3. Set Clear Rules
Make sure that everyone is on the same page regarding the rules for Halloween night. Your kids may know what the rules are for food on any other day, but Halloween can be so exciting that they might forget! Some good rules to have include, not eating anything until you get home and check it all, and not accepting any food that isn’t in a sealed package.

4. Trade Up
Let your child know that you will replace all the candy they get trick or treating with some non-food toy or treat that they really want. Make it more fun by setting a goal of how many pieces of candy they need to make the trade. This way nobody has to eat anything that might make them sick, but your child can still get excited about trick or treating!

5. Make New Traditions
Who says you need to go trick or treating? If the thought of all of those unknowns is too much for you, maybe consider staying home, and inviting your kids’ friends over for a fabulous allergy-free Halloween party! Stock up on allergy free treats, play some spooky games, and make your safe house the place to be on Halloween night.

However you decide to celebrate Halloween, I hope that you have a spooky, scary, and SAFE night!

Guest Blogger: Cindy Gordon of VegetarianMamma.com You can follow along Cindy’s food allergy recipes and travel journeys on her website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.