Friday, October 22, 2010

Suggestions for an Allergy-Friendly Halloween

Just like many other moms, I am working overtime this week getting ready to celebrate Halloween.  We are picking pumpkins to carve, roasting seeds to share, and trying on costumes.  But, as we get ready for the fun, I am also thinking through the upcoming events to make sure that we are prepared for any allergic encounters.

I have had many people ask what they can to ensure that my angel gets to enjoy this fall fun.  I always tell them the same thing.  Give treats that aren't food.  There are so many reasonably priced goodies that we can give and so many reasons other than food allergies to give something other than candy. You can read more about that on my blog: Fall is here - Halloween is coming! 

But, the challenge of foods and Halloween only begins with the candy.  I have to think about the dyes used in costumes (soy), the foods served at parties (corn, wheat, egg, cinnamon), and activities at school (bob for apples, painting icing on cookies, baking muffins).  Navigating these things takes lots of creativity and time.  I am always thankful to trusted friends and teachers who help me come up with ideas and take the initiative to provide safe activities for my angel.

One of my favorite places to look for ideas is Kids with Food Allergies.  They have pages full of ideas and forums where parents can share ideas.  Here are some posts that you might find helpful:
Whatever you do to enjoy this fun season, be prepared - have alternate treats for those who visit, carry medicines when out at parties, and educate your children.  Let's all have a great holiday full of ghosts and giggles!


  1. AND, one of my all-time favorite ways to participate in Halloween is allergy-friendly, too, I think. Dress up and go around to houses. When someone answers the door say, "Trick or Can!" or "Trick or Non-perishable Food Item." My friends and I did this in college, and instead of collecting candy, we collected canned goods and non-perishable items for a local food pantry. We collected over two trunks full of food. It was a lot of fun and for a good cause.

  2. That is a great way to celebrate the holiday. In fact, the Food Allergy and Anaphalaxis Network have trick or treating for donations this Halloween. For more details, see