How to Be Friendly to Food Allergies on Halloween
The weather is starting to turn, the decorations are going up, and we can feel that Halloween is fast approaching! As you consider what to dress your little ones up as I would also urge you to consider some non-candy treats to hand out.
We know all the reasons why sugar is bad for us, but that is not why I am urging you to offer alternatives. There has been such an increase in children with food allergies and sensitivities that it has become harder for many to enjoy the treats they are receiving when they go out Trick-or-Treating. A lot of the manufacturers now make nut-free and guarantee nut free facilities, but kids can have allergies to eggs, gluten, dairy, soy, and food dyes (among other things… the list goes on!).
There is also diabetics to consider – there really is no treat that is safe for all.
My 5-year-old daughter has become gluten and dairy-free, and I am amazed at how many items include gluten! She knows she can’t eat certain things and will ask, but it is also very hard for her to see her friends enjoying treats and she can’t have them.
This Halloween we will need to go through all her treats to see which ones she can enjoy and which ones she can’t. For parents with children who have life and death allergies, Halloween must be a frightening holiday! Kids want to participate with their friends and don’t like feeling different or being excluded.
There are some great alternatives out there for you to offer the little ones – Halloween tattoos, pencils, Play-doh, stickers, miniature toys, coloring pages, glow sticks, just to name a few.
So maybe this year consider having something available for those kids who can’t eat the candies! And if you decide to provide some safe, allergy-friendly treats, why not put out a teal pumpkin this year? A teal pumpkin sitting on your doorstep lets Trick-or-Treaters with food allergies and dietary sensitives know that you’ve got a safe alternative for them.
- Purchase non-food treats to hand out for all, or…
- If you still want to have candy, have another bowl available with non-food items. And set out the teal pumpkin!
- If you’re a parent of those with allergies, have some safe treats at home that you can swap out for your child. The Switch Witch has a cute poem about swapping to make it fun for your child as well.
Allison Madigan is a holistic nutritionist. She has a strong belief in the power of food and proper nutrition to keep us in our best health and prevent disease. Allison’s goal is to empower people to make healthy and mindful decisions for themselves and their families to achieve optimal health. She has a keen interest in food sensitivities and allergies and helping families navigate this as she has gone through this with her own daughter.