Trick or Treating Safely with Food Allergies

By staff

Your child has a food allergy and all year long you carefully monitor what he eats. He’s careful about checking labels and asking questions about food if he’s not sure. Now it’s October and one of the biggest candy holidays is right around the corner, Halloween. How can you make sure that your child has fun and at the same time is staying safe with all of the candy around? Here are some valuable tips to aid you through the holiday.

• Review with your child all of the precautions you both normally take throughout the year. With all the excitement, it may be easy for your child to forget.
• Remind teachers/room moms/friends of your child’s allergy.
• Provide safe snacks for your child if he is having a Halloween party at school or at a friend’s house.
• Make sure she knows not to eat any candy while trick or treating until she checks with you.
• You may wish to buy extra candy that your child can have and then do a “trade in” when you get home from trick or treating. Take any doubtful candy and give him the safe candy instead.
• You can order candy online from places like www.amandasown.com, www.nutfreecandy.com, www.nothinnutty.com or many other sources to find nut free, dairy free, egg free candy  (good sources throughout the year as well).
• Have your child collect coins instead for a non-profit organization. It can be food allergy related like FAAN (which provides collection boxes) or anything your child feels strongly about like a local humane society, library, shelter, or any non-profit cause. Just make sure your child is able to explain where the money will go.
• Donate the candy your child receives to a local shelter, retirement home or hospital. It will help your child become see the benefits of doing something altruistic and helping others.
• Let your child give out a non food treat at school or at your house like pencils or spider rings to not only promote food allergy awareness, but also health during a sugar filled holiday.

Just make sure your child can still keep the fun of Halloween even if she can’t have the candy. She can dress up and go trick or treating with friends while still being allergy safe and enjoying the holiday at the same time. It’s important not to make your child feel different just because of a food allergy, and these are all some ideas that you can incorporate into your holiday, whether you use some or all of them.

Happy haunting!

- Heather Legg

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