Halloween is a little over a week away. While the food allergy ghosts and goblins might be excited, most food allergy parents are more than a little nervous. In fact, many food allergic kids do not participate in trick or treating at all. However, this year can be different.
With a little planning, you and your child can enjoy all the festivities Halloween has to offer.
The biggest issue is the candy. What is safe? What isn't? Is the risk even worth it?
The great thing is that there are SO many safe candy options available today. Right here at peanutallergy.com you can buy Vermont Nut Free Chocolates (currently at a 10% discount!).
Enjoy Life Brands also makes chocolate bars free from the top 8 allergens (peanut, tree nut, egg, soy, wheat, dairy, fish and shellfish).
Surf Sweets makes a great line of allergy friendly jelly beans, gummy worms, bears and more.
Gimbal's brands makes many allergy friendly candies as well.
There are many brand name products made in Canada that are allergy friendly. Mars bars, kit kat and more are made in peanut and tree nut free facilities.
Now that you know there are many safe candy options available, the key is to lay out the rules. In our home we allow no eating of any candy from trick or treating unless:
1. Mom or Dad can check out the candy, read the label, and make sure it's safe, etc.
2. Mom or Dad bring safe candy along to dole out while trick or treating. (After all - all kids want a treat while burning all those calories.) And we do tag along with our kids who are 7 and 6.
3. In the absence of 1. and 2. - candy gets swapped out at home with per bought safe candy. Some parents donate the candy and give their kids coins. This is great for money motivated kids.
Older kids can trick or treat alone so long as you trust them to know the rules and make the right choices. This depends largely on the age of the child and how responsible they are.
Some Tips: If you are worried about skin contact or cross contamination, you can have your child wear gloves.
Always bring a cell phone and EpiPens.
Have a flash light on hand not only for safety but to check out your child's eyes and face for signs of a reaction if he or she does eat something.
If you are still worried about trick or treating - throw a great Halloween party at home where you can control the food.
No matter what you decide to do, you and your child can still enjoy the holiday and the treats.