There is so much excitement for little ones around the Halloween season. From dressing up as their favourite superhero or animal to getting lots of free treats, it’s a wonderful adventure. Halloween can be a challenging time of year for those with food allergies or food intolerances. Use this Halloween allergy survival guide to help you learn the basics of celebrating safely with as minimal an impact as possible. There are all sorts of tricks, including staying snack-aware and signing up for complete body testing. You can also learn how to plan your Halloween adventures with allergies in mind. Take a look at the treats below!
Mini or snack-sized treats sometimes contain different ingredients than their full-size companions. Sometimes, they are processed in a different facility or on machinery that also processes allergen-containing candy. Check the ingredients, and read the labels for everything in your child’s trick-or-treat bag. Remove treats from your child’s stash if necessary. It’s always better to be safe rather than sorry!
Do this with every candy choice you are considering. Then, list the ones that are and are not safe. You can give that list to your child, their teacher, and other caretakers. This will help them know the risks, too!
If you know your child will bring home allergen-containing treats, make it into a game. Explain that there are allergens in their treats, and these need to be picked out. Then, put the “bad” treats into a bag to give to a friend, family member, or the mysterious “treat fairy”. You’ll swap these for “good” treats.
If you make this a planned part of the Halloween celebration, your children will never feel cheated. It will just be part of the fun!
Below, we’ll cover how to trick-or-treat with food allergies or food intolerances. But first, take a moment to remember that Halloween comes with more than candy. It also comes with face paint, masks, and other changes to a child’s wardrobe. But, these temporary changes could contain non-food allergens or intolerances (e.g., latex).
Not sure if those will cause an issue for your child? Complete body testing can give you a full profile of problem areas. Once you have those results, carefully check your costume and food details. This way, Halloween stays safe and fun! Plus, that information will be valuable all year long.
Tips for a safe Halloween season
Now, carefully plan an evening of safe trick-or-treating! Use this Halloween allergy survival guide to help prepare and execute the perfect spooky night!
One of the best ways to ensure your little one doesn’t have an allergic reaction is to prevent them from snacking while they’re out. If the rule is to wait until they get home, you can safely oversee ingredient checking and be prepared to help if they do react to something.
This should be the rule whether at a party, on their trick-or-treating route, or even at home after the fact. Since they can contain many possible allergens, it’s always best to avoid them. Your little one can learn how to decline homemade treats at parties. Plus, you can swap out homemade treats at home for allergen-friendly goodies instead.
Before Halloween night, plan your trick-or-treating route as a family and try to focus on homes/stops that serve allergen-friendly options alongside classic ones. Since more and more children have issues with food, this has become a lot more common. You can even have a neighbourhood online group where each house specifies what they put out so everyone can plan routes.
One of the most important details is to ensure that your trick-or-treater has someone with them who is aware of their allergies and will keep an eye on them when they are out. This includes watching for a reaction and knowing what to do if one were to occur. Remember that sometimes a severe allergy can be triggered by your child coming into contact with another child who has eaten something with their allergen. It is no one’s fault, but it must still be managed quickly and calmly.
If someone has food allergies, intolerances, or even non-food allergies, preparation is vital. Before you pick a costume or buy snacks, consider complete body testing for every household member so that you know exactly what is safe and for whom. A safe Halloween starts with accurate information, after all!
Are you ready to unmask the truly scary part of Halloween? You’re now ready to start preparing for a fun, healthy holiday! This Halloween allergy survival guide will give you the support you need and deserve so that everyone is included in your special plans!