Tips for trick-or-treating with kids who have food allergies

September 14, 2015

Trick-or-treating can be a fun and exciting moment in a child's life. For parents of kids with food allergies, however, it can be an anxiety-inducing event that can put their health at risk if they consume a "dangerous" treat. Here's how parents can help make Halloween fun for their allergy-prone youngsters.

Tips for trick-or-treating with kids who have food allergies

Help spread the word

If you have a good relationship with your neighbours, talk to them about your child's food allergies as Halloween approaches.

  • Mention how helpful it is when neighbours offer non-food treats, and provide some examples of treats your youngster can safely enjoy. While you don't want to pressure your neighbours to offer a non-food treat, they might appreciate the guidance before they shop for Halloween candy or items.
  • You could even stock up on non-food items yourself and distribute them to your neighbourhood friends so that they can give them to your child. He or she will be delighted to find a treat that is both safe and fun on Halloween night.

Host a Halloween treasure hunt

Halloween isn't just about trick-or-treating. If going door-to-door will only heighten your anxiety and frustrate your child, skip it.

  • Replace traditional trick-or-treating with a scavenger hunt, where your child can hunt for treats throughout your home, yard or even neighbourhood.
  • Hide safe food treats and non-food items such as stickers, small balls, glow sticks and whistles throughout your space. Then, let your costumed child hunt around for allergy-safe goodies.

Paint a teal pumpkin

The Food Allergy Research & Education organization encourages families to paint pumpkins teal and leave them on their doorstep to indicate the home is safe for children with food allergies.

  • The Teal Pumpkin Project encourages individuals to provide non-food alternatives on Halloween, which can help children who have food allergies feel included.
  • Bubbles, crayons, stencils and spider rings are just some non-food treats encouraged by FARE and The Teal Pumpkin Project.

Trick-or-treating can be easily enjoyed by children with food allergies when their parents take some simple precautions. Encouraging – or even providing – non-food treats, as well as inspecting food items and eliminating any allergy triggers, will ensure that your child's Halloween memories will always be happy ones.

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