This post is to provide you with different ideas to help your child participate in Halloween fun even with food allergies. Halloween is generally centered around candies loaded with soy and dairy. Whether your kid has food allergies or other dietary restrictions, they don’t need to be left out of the Halloween fun. Here are some fun ways to celebrate Halloween in a safe way.
In a kid’s eyes Halloween means one thing, candy. They hear their classmates talk all about trick or treating and gathering bags of candy. Then going home and gobbling it all up. Kids with food allergies or other dietary restrictions can easily feel left out of the traditional Halloween fun. Luckily, there are ways your kid can enjoy Halloween and still avoid eating anything they are allergic to. With a little creativity and planning, you can put a smile on your child’s face this Halloween.
7 Ways Kids with Food Allergies can Enjoy Halloween
Having a kid with food allergies generally means you have to do a bit more planning as a parent. Luckily when it comes to participating in Halloween, there are a variety of ways to help your child stay involved. Here are 7 Ways Your Child with Food Allergies can Participate in Halloween.
Obviously, every child with allergies or dietary restrictions has different needs. Maybe all 7 of these ideas will not work for your child or your family, but I’m hoping you can find one that will. If you have your own way of involving your child with food allergies in Halloween fun, leave a comment down below. Not only will it be useful for me, but it will be useful for anyone else coming to this post.
1. Find a Teal Pumpkin House
Parents and children rejoice because the Teal Pumpkin Project is a great thing. I’m sure most parents with food allergies are already somewhat aware of the Teal Pumpkin Project. Put simply, it is a way of providing non-food treats to kids who can not have traditional candy.
Putting a teal pumpkin on your doorstep means you have non-food treats available, such as glow sticks or small toys. This simple act promotes inclusion for trick-or-treaters with food allergies or other conditions. – Found at FoodAllergy.org
The best way to find a house participating in the Teal Pumpkin Project is to use the Teal Pumpkin Project Map found on FoodAllergy.org. Simply put in your zip code and you’ll find houses participating in the Teal Pumpkin Project. You may have to drive to a different neighborhood, but for many kids, it’s well worth it.
2. Trick or Treat and Donate
If you can’t find any Teal Pumpkin houses to trick or treat at, your kid doesn’t have to miss out entirely. Let them have the fun of trick or treating on Halloween and then donate any candy they can’t eat (or you don’t want them eating). If you still want them to enjoy some allergy-friendly candy upon coming home, see suggestion 4 & 5 below.
There are many charities that want the candy your child can’t have. You can always check with your local food pantry, homeless shelter, woman’s center, or nursing homes. If they are not interested or have no need for it, you can donate to any of the charities listed below.
Run by Soldier’s Angels, this program allows you to send sweets to soldiers.
For deployed troops and first responders while they are working hard, far away from home.
They distribute candy on Halloween, Christmas and Easter to troops that are missing the festivities while away from home.
Run by Operation Stars and Stripes, you can sponsor a drive in your community to collect excess candy for our troops.
Call your local chapter to find out rules on bringing your unopened Halloween candy for severely sick children and their families to enjoy.
-Information found on Today.com
3. Host an Allergy-Free Halloween Party
If you know other parents that have kids with food allergies or dietary restrictions, skip trick or treating all together and have an Allergy-Free Halloween Party. Your kids can dress up, play games or watch Halloween movies, and enjoy treats that you and the other parent’s provide. For ideas on allergy-friendly treats see ideas 4 & 5 below.
If you have young kids and have not met any other families with food allergies, this could be a great opportunity to meet new people. There are some great websites to help people connect with like interests in their own community. Nextdoor is a great community website that allows you to post questions, concerns, requests, and much more. It could be a great way to ask if any other parents have kids with food allergies in the area. Other similar sites include Peanut (which is specifically for Mom’s) or Meetup. It’s also worth it to see if your community has any local groups on Facebook for kids and families with food allergies.
4. Make Your Own Candy
This a great option whether or not you send your kids trick or treating. If your kids do plan on going trick or treating they can donate the candy they can’t have (as mentioned in idea 2 above). When they get home they can enjoy allergy-free treats you made. Some kids don’t mind missing out on trick or treating and would be happy to stay home and help you pass out candy. Make it a fun event and get them to join you in the kitchen. Together you and your kiddos can create some tasty safe treats to enjoy. Having allergy-friendly treats for them to enjoy makes passing out candy a fun event, especially for young kids.
Homemade Treats for your kids with food allergies
All of the following are gluten free, dairy free, soy free, and egg free. All are peanut free and some options are entirely nut free
- Vegan Black and White Almond Butter Cups
- Vegan Black and White Chocolate Bark
- Vegan 3 Musketeers Bars
- Dairy Free Heath Bar Brittle
- Marshmallow Cereal Treat
- Oreo Marshmallow Bars
- Mini Pumpkin Pies
- Egg Free Meringue Cookies
- Almond Butter Cereal Bars
5. Buy your Own Candy
Similar to step 4 listed above, your child can decide if they want to trick or treat or would like to stay home and pass out candy. No matter their decision, buying allergy-friendly candy is a great way to help them partake in Halloween fun. There a few great brands I’d suggest buying your own allergy-free candy.
Companies with Allergy Friendly Candies
- No Whey Foods – Produces chocolates and candy that is 100% Milk Free, Peanut Free, Tree Nut Free, Gluten Free, Egg Free, Soy Free. No Artificial Colors and Flavors, Free of the common eight allergens, Vegan and Kosher.
- Enjoy Life Foods – Produces bite-sized chocolates for Halloween that are top 8 free, certified vegan, and verified non-GMO.
- Black Forest – Produces gummies free of artificial colors, that contain organic ingredients, and are gluten free.
- Free2B – Produces SunCup minis that are top 12 allergens free.
- Yum Earth – Produces candy like lollipops and gummies using real fruit juice and organic ingredients, generally free of top 8 allergens. Currently, have limited time Halloween candy options like spooky gummies and candy corn.
6. Educate your Child on Safe Options
If your child is able to eat some traditional candy but not all, educate them on their safe options. Many families give out more than one type of candy. Teach your child which candy is safe so they can grab the correct ones when trick or treating. Growing up I knew most gummies and sugary candies were a safe bet. If I saw a bowl full of chocolate bars and some Nerds, I would grab the Nerds. I knew the traditional chocolate candies would contain dairy so that’s why I instead grabbed the sugary candy options. See the last idea, number 7 for ways they can get rid of the candy they can’t eat.
7. Have a Candy Trading Party
If you do send your child trick or treating and they are able to eat some of the candy, a trading party can be a fun option. When I was young my brother and I would lay out all our candy when we got home and make trades. I was able to give him the things I couldn’t eat in exchange for candy I could eat.
If you only have one child you can always invite their friends over to have a candy trading party. Kids love talking about their candy, laying it out, sort it. Trading parties can be a really fun way to keep the Halloween fun going.
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