Boo! Halloween is upon us once again. Every Halloween, thousands of children with food allergies go trick-or-treating knowing that there is very limited candy or chocolate that they will actually be able to eat. That's why making your home allergy-friendly is all the more important! Here are three tips for how you can make your house allergy-friendly this Halloween.
#1: The Teal Pumpkin Project
Every year, the Food Allergy Research and Education organization, or FARE, creates a Teal Pumpkin map families can add their allergy-friendly homes to. For those who may not know, the Teal Pumpkin is a food allergy symbol signifying that a house is allergy-friendly. Just place a teal pumpkin in front of your house on Halloween, and every food allergy child and family will know that your house is safe. If you want to add your house to the hundreds of other homes on FARE’s map, follow this link. This is a quick and easy way to get involved in your local community and support families with food allergies.
#2: Allergy-Safe Treats
The hardest part about Halloween is finding snacks that are allergy-friendly. Here are some good brands to add to your Halloween shopping list this year.
Enjoy Life: Enjoy Life has many food allergy-friendly Halloween treats to add to your baskets this year. Their products are free from the fourteen most common allergens, as well as gluten. This includes wheat, peanuts, tree nuts, dairy, soy, egg, sesame, casein, sulfites, lupin, mustard, fish, shellfish, and crustaceans. Not to mention, their snacks are delicious!
MadeGood: MadeGood makes allergy-friendly granola bars that come in specialized mini bars for Halloween goodies! These treats are organic, vegan, gluten-free, non-GMO, and completely free from peanuts, tree nuts, soy, dairy, eggs, fish, shellfish, and sesame. These bars make an excellent Halloween treat!
Utz: If you've gone trick-or-treating recently, you know that Utz pretzels are extremely popular! These pretzels are my personal favorite Halloween treat, and they are made in a dedicated facility free of peanuts and tree nuts. They have also begun selling mini cheese balls! However, it is important to note that these snacks are not free from dairy and wheat allergens.
Regular candies, instead of chocolates, are also a great alternative if you want to hand out delicious treats. Most candies avoid the main allergens, but it is always important to read every label as ingredients and warnings can vary from product to product. But what if you want to avoid food all together? Well, that leads me into Tip 3: Non-Food Related Goodies.
#3: Non-Food Related Goodies
Non-food related goodies are yet another great alternative if you want to avoid handing out snacks that may be unsafe. This includes any treat typically found in a child’s “goody bag,” such as stamps, small packs of crayons, keychains, bubbles, etc. They don’t have to be expensive at all! Most of these goodies can be found in a local dollar store and are always a big hit, even with kids who don’t have allergies! It also gives a good break from all the sugar kids will be consuming that night.
Halloween is often a very stressful holiday for kids and families with food allergies. In the past, there were very limited options for people like me, who have food allergies, to properly enjoy the celebrations. Trust me, making Halloween a fun, safe, and allergy-friendly holiday is one of the best things you could do to be a food allergy ally and support those in your community. I hope these tips help you to be the most allergy-friendly house in the neighborhood. I wish you a spooky, allergy-friendly Halloween!