Tips For An Allergy-Friendly Halloween

Trick-or-treating is a fun Halloween tradition for many children. However, for children with food allergies and their parents it can be challenging. The CDC reports that 4.2 million children in the U.S. have a food allergy.  Halloween is a fun time of year for many children. Dressing up in costumes and trick-or-treating is a fun tradition that many parents enjoy passing along to their children. Although, for children with food allergies this can be challenging. Exposure to an allergen can be life-threatening. Being able to participate in trick-or-treating and receive non-food items can be a relief for parents and their children. With all the crazy stories we unfortunately hear these days, we are confident that parents of children with food allergies are not the only ones who can appreciate their children receiving non-food items. 

Thanks to the efforts of FARE, the Teal Pumpkin Project was created as a way to promote allergy-friendly trick-or-treating. Placing a teal pumpkin outside your home is a symbol to allergy-conscious families that you have non-food items available to handout. These non-food alternatives can be in addition to or instead of traditional Halloween candy. There are many options for alternatives to candy such as Halloween pencils or erasers, silly straws, bubbles, small containers of PlayDoh, bouncy balls, noise makers, crayons, or glow in the dark bracelets or necklaces. There are so many choices!

Though this is not to say that candy is not welcome. If you plan on handing out candy and also want to be allergy-friendly, there are small things you can do. Have ingredient lists available of your candy for parents to review, if requested. Keep different candies in different containers to prevent cross-contamination. For example, keep candy with nuts in one bowl; allergen-friendly candy in a separate bowl; non-food options in another, etc.

Don’t want to have to overthink? Just want to know some options for allergy-friendly candy? Some examples of our favorite allergy-friendly candy options include: Skittles, Starburst, Lifesavers and Dum Dums Lollipops. But, keep in mind these should still be kept separate, some children are still allergic (e.g. Red 40 allergy).

Wishing everyone a safe and very happy Halloween!


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