If your child has food allergies events like Halloween and trick-or-treating can be scarier than the neighborhood haunted house. Sorting through candy favorites has become at least a chore or at most fraught with life-threatening danger. If you’re looking to be sensitive to your friends and neighbors or keeping your own home allergy free for the holiday here are some guidelines and alternatives that will keep your friends and family allergy free.
Feeling Left Out of Trick or Treating with Allergies
Incidence of childhood allergies to nuts, milk, wheat, soy, and eggs has doubled in the past twenty years. With so many children developing food allergies, chances are that your child will know one or two kids with an allergy in their class. Perhaps your own child has an allergy and they don’t quite understand why they can’t have the same treats as everyone else.
There are some great books out there that explain allergic reactions in kid-friendly ways as well as describing how to handle those feelings of being left out when treats are given in class and not understanding needing special treatment. “Food Allergies and Me” and “Allie the Allergic Elephant” are good choices for the preschool set.
The Teal Pumpkin Project
One of the neatest solutions to the trick or treating with allergies problem to come out is the Teal Pumpkin Project. Displaying a teal pumpkin (or one of their handy printable signs) alongside your regular jack-o-lantern signifies your household is allergy friendly, making navigating the neighborhood much less frightening. Teal Pumpkin houses offer non-food treats like bubbles, glow sticks, spider rings, bouncy balls, cute erasers and pencils, temporary tattoos and stickers as a way to include everyone.
Whether you’re an allergy household or not, getting your kids involved in being allergy friendly for Halloween can add to the fun. Painting pumpkins teal is a great way to spend a crisp fall afternoon and you can burn time on a rainy day picking out non-food treats from the 10 cent or dollar bins at your local party supply store. Letting your child choose which safe treats to give out will make them proud to be involved and means these choices are already kid-approved.
Pro Tip: It is mandatory that you make your child aware of his allergy and teach them always to ask, “are there nuts ” in any food that they are offered. Even little one get the concept and understand the consequences that may follow from eating the wrong thing.
Do you live in an allergy household? How do you handle the Halloween season and trick or treating with allergies?