What’s scarier than goblins, ghouls and witches on Halloween night? Trick or treating with a child who has a food allergy. Parents want to include their children in the fun Halloween traditions but also know the very real dangers a seemingly harmless candy bar can pose. Fear not, there are plenty of ways to enjoy the holiday while avoiding allergens.
Do your research: Many companies outsource or use different ingredients to manufacture fun size or holiday candy. Always, always read the label to check for allergens, even on previously safe products. If it doesn’t have a label (which many don’t) it isn’t safe to eat.
Make a plan before you go: Talk with your child about how to select or accept candy that may include their allergen. Make a rule that candy cannot be eaten while trick or treating. Have your child’s injectable epinephrine and a cell phone readily available while you trick or treat.
Be prepared to swap: Stock up on safe candy and treats before your child goes trick or treating. When you get home, sort through the candy together and trade unsafe options for treats that can be safely enjoyed.
Keep ALL kids safe: Halloween isn’t just tricky for families with food allergies. Children with diabetes, Celiac Disease, and other medical conditions also have to avoid specific offerings. Participate in the Teal Pumpkin Project, a national campaign by FARE (Food Allergy Research and Education) to include every child in the tradition of trick or treat. It’s simple!
- Place a teal pumpkin in front of your home to indicate that your home has non-food treats available.
- Offer non-food treats (inexpensive items such as stickers, glow sticks, vampire teeth, etc.) as a candy alternative.
For more information visit: foodallergy.org/teal-pumpkin-project or
“Findlay Teal Pumpkin Project” on Facebook