Having allergies doesn't mean you can't enjoy Halloween. There are lots of ways you can host a fun Halloween night without endangering children and adults with food allergies. The best part of Halloween is dressing up and the second best part is getting candy. For many children going door to door and participating in traditional trick or treating can be a problem because they can easily come into contact with something in which they are allergic. By hosting a Halloween event in your home, you can control the allergens that will be present and still have a great time.
How to Have Allergy Safe "Trick or Treating"
- Set up a scavenger hunt around your home. If space and weather permit, you can include the back or front yard as well. Give the kids participating clues and have them find their treats.
- Place small candies, stickers, or other small toys inside balloons and have the kids sit on them to pop them. If the kids are small you can have adults help them pop the balloons to get everyone involved.
- Borrow a tradition from Easter, but change the theme. Hide small pumpkins or even construction paper cut-outs that look like pumpkins, throughout the yard and whoever finds the most pumpkins wins a prize and of course everyone wins candy.
Think outside the box! Going door to door is fun, but it isn't the only way you can enjoy getting candy this Halloween. The biggest key to choosing allergy safe candy is to talk to the people you invite. Ask them if anyone in their family that will be attending the party has an allergy. Find out what the allergy is and then ask them which candy is safe for them. You can even ask that they bring a bag or two of candy to the party. Once you have asked everyone about their allergies you can take the information and make a master list of allergies. The master list then can be emailed to those you invite. This will help everyone be on the same page. The way to make sure the candy you choose for Halloween is safe is to read the label. If the bag says it is packaged in a plant that handles peanuts, choose another candy. For many people, even eating something without nuts, but it touched a bowl that held nuts is enough to cause a problem.
I won't provide a definitive list of "allergy free" candy because recipes change and sometimes a candy that was deemed safe starts being made in a plant that processes peanuts. However, I will give you a list of candy that is a great place to start. Always check the label carefully before purchasing! Don't forget to ask your guests for specific allergy concerns.
Candy to Check Out When Shopping for Allergy Safe Treats:
- Mike and Ike
- Jelly Belly
- Sour Patch Kids
- Jolly Ranchers
- Ring Pop
- Dum Dum suckers
- Nuts from trees (hazelnuts, walnuts, almonds, and Brazil nuts)
- Peanuts (groundnuts)
- Shellfish (including shrimps, mussels, and crab)
Halloween Fun that Doesn't Involve CandyGlow Necklace Pumpkin Ring Toss
This is a fun game to play outside or with the lights off, place pumpkins at different distances from the thrower. Have the thrower toss a light up necklace and try and get the necklace around the stem of the pumpkin. The kids can keep the necklace and wear it at the party.
Needed - Pumpkins with stems, light up necklaces
Team up the party participants and have them race to wrap each other with toilet paper to make themselves look like mummies. This is a great photo opportunity, have the kids pose in their new "costumes" and snap a picture.
Needed - toilet paper and willing people to be mummies :)
Carve Pumpkins - Best for older kids and requires adult supervision. The mess and being able to carve and cut is the best part.
Paint Pumpkins - Best for any age and requires adult supervision. Kids of almost any age can hold a paintbrush and paint a pumpkin. Paint faces, smiles, eyes, or just have fun and paint the whole pumpkin different colors. There is no "right" way to paint a pumpkin!
Color Pumpkin Coloring Sheets - Any age that can hold a crayon and only requires minimum adult supervision. This is a great choice if space and/or budget are limited. Make it even more fun by hanging up the colored pumpkins and having a "Halloween Art Gallery" kids and adults love to show off their creative work!
The best part of having a Halloween party that is allergy friendly is no one is excluded from the fun. Kids who aren't allergic to peanuts may miss out on some peanut butter cups, but they still get candy and everyone gets to be with friends. A successful party requires planning, that is all it takes to have an allergy-friendly party. Just a little extra preparation and some careful label reading. Remember, not all allergic reactions are caused by food, for many people allergies are seasonal. This time of year is wheezing season and that can mean respiratory distress. If you have a bonfire, make sure you let guests know ahead of time, in case it will be a concern for someone. I hope this helps everyone have a wonderful and spooky time with friends and family and for even more Halloween fun, check out Express Medical Supply's online sweepstakes contest! Check each day for new hints and more chances to win, good luck and happy trick or treating!