Food Intolerances

Prepping for a Food Allergy Halloween

Monday October 17, 2016

There’s nothing like Halloween and birthday parties to get a food allergy/intolerance parent’s heart racing. Will my kid notice this year that she can’t eat anything her friends are eating? Will she feel left out? Will she accidentally eat something she shouldn’t have? The issues range from a kid’s instinctive desire for fairness and fitting in, to potentially an evening in the ER, all because of what’s supposed to be a fun, joyous party.

For the past couple years, we’ve been experimenting with a Halloween Strategy to handle Bean’s intolerances to dairy and eggs with grace, ease, and fun. The lesson here isn’t to “suck it up, kid” but to take part in Halloween as much as we can and that different can be just as much fun. (….right? That seems like a very mom thing to say…)



1. Figure out which Halloween candy your kid can eat.

God bless the people who post online lists of allergen-safe Halloween candy.

Peanut and tree-nut free Halloween Candy

Gluten Free Candy

Dairy Free Halloween Candy

Egg Free Halloween Candy

And here is a list of every Halloween candy with listed allergens in each.



2. Stock up on dollar Halloween trinkets

Halloween tattoos, notepads, bracelets, pencils, etc. We raid a Walgreens in early October looking for party favors. The $1 bins at Target also have really good stuff, as well as any dollar store in the city. Shop early though, because they will run out.



3. An hour before trick or treating, hand out trinkets to neighbors that know you and your kid

Last year, we limited this to our apartment building, which was very easy. This works well in two ways — your kid gets to trick or treat, and neighbors who might not be prepared for trick-or-treaters (say because they’re 20 years old and live on the 4th floor of an apartment building) get something to hand out. Win-win.


Last year, Bean was so enamored by the trinkets that even after we went trick-or-treating in the neighborhood and she racked up all the candy, she didn’t really care because OH MY GOD PUMPKIN EYEGLASSES. That’s the goal — to give them such a worthwhile alternative to the candy that they won’t notice when three quarters of it disappears the next day.

Actually. This technique might work well for all parents who aren’t too excited about the sugar highs to come.


Other food allergy/intolerance parents, what do you do for Halloween?

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