Don’t Let Allergies SPOOK You This Halloween!

This is a guest post by registered dietitian Brooke Schantz. She blogs at Bitchin’ Nutrition about nutrition and healthy eating.

Dan's Jack-O-Lantern
Creative Commons License photo credit: shawncampbell

With Halloween coming up, many parents may feel stress and pressure with all the allergen-laden treats that are given out during this time of year.  It can be hard around Halloween because part of the celebration revolves around food and treats.   Making a game plan before Halloween during trick-or-treating, parties, and school events can help relieve stress!

Here are a few tips to help your children with food allergies enjoy Halloween:

At Home

Don’t buy your trick-or-treat candy at the last minute.  Shop for your candy early, so you will have enough time to read the ingredient lists on your family’s favorite candies and decide what is okay to buy.

Plan your trick-or-treat route days before Halloween.  Take some of your child’s favorite treats to the neighbors ahead of time.  Your child will still get to enjoy the experience and you will feel relieved knowing that the treats they will receive are safe to eat.

Trick-or-Treat for the United Nation International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF).  This will teach your children about helping others and you can still give them their favorite treats when they get home as a thank you.

At Parties

Host a party at your house!  You will be able to control the environment and still provide delicious treats your child can eat.

Have your child eat before they attend a party.  Talk with the host ahead of time and let them know what food allergies your child has, so they can prepare at least one treat that everyone can enjoy.

Take your own appetizers or treats to a party.  This way the buffet or dessert table won’t spook you, because you know what foods can be safely consumed.

At School

Speak with your child’s teacher before any fall party to remind him or her of your child’s food allergies.

Encourage other parents of children in the class to provide non-candy gifts during the school party.  Handout Halloween gifts like: pencils, stickers, or plastic pumpkin baskets.

See if you can volunteer to help out during the party. You can also let the teacher know that you are willing to be in charge of the snacks.

Always pack an allergen–free snack for your child to enjoy just in case there are no other safe options.

Review with your child what foods are safe for him or her to eat and what foods should be avoided.  Teach your children to ask questions about foods and/or treats at parties prior to consumption.