Allergy-Friendly Trick or Treat Options for Halloween
In a year full of tricks, Halloween treats are a bright spot in 2020. Halloween will look different this year with changes to classroom parties, festivals and trick-or-treating due to the coronavirus pandemic. But if you have children with food allergies, this time of year may be especially scary. We pulled together some tips to help your family make the most of the holiday while protecting your family from allergens.
Tips for Trick-or-Treating
Due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, we would encourage parents to exercise caution with regard to trick-or-treating, especially for children with asthma or other respiratory illnesses. If you decide to proceed, please follow appropriate social distancing protocol.
Give your kids a pep talk ahead of time and let them know that they can't eat their candy till you get home and have a chance to go through everything. You'll have a better chance of getting their attention in the quiet of your home rather than the mayhem on the street surrounded by kids on a sugar high. If your kids really want to be able to have a treat while trick-or-treating, keep some safe candies in your pocket and have them eat those. (Make sure to pack your EpiPens and Benadryl just in case.)
Keep an eye out for Teal Pumpkins
The Teal Pumpkin Project is a campaign launched by FARE (Food Allergy Research & Education) to promote inclusion for all trick-or-treaters. If you see a home with a teal-painted pumpkin on display, it means that they are offering nonfood treats too. There's a house in my neighborhood that hands out LED disco rings every year-and all of the kids look forward to it. For more info, visit foodallergy.org.
Read the labels carefully
Even if you know that a candy is safe for your child, some Halloween-specific candies are manufactured in different facilities and may have different ingredients or cross-contamination risks than their everyday counterparts. When in doubt, throw it out! If you can’t find the specific ingredients for a type of candy, it is best to just avoid giving it to your child altogether. Be sure you know all of these label reading "tricks" to make sure your "treats" are safe:
· Different varieties of the same candy may have different ingredients.
· Different sizes of the same candy may have different ingredients or advisory labeling.
· Individually-wrapped treats can be packaged in a larger bag - make sure the inner and outer labels match.
· Repackaged candy may have different labels than the candy made and sold directly by the company.
Be careful of products with general labels like "allergy free" or "Halloween safe." There is no such thing as an “allergy safe” or “allergy free” food because children can have allergies to any food. A food labeled "allergy free" may still include one of your child's food allergens.
Pass out non-food treats at home
Consider giving non-food treats, like stickers, pencils, erasers, necklaces, plastic vampire teeth, glow bracelets, small toys, etc. These are easily found online, at major chain stores or at your local dollar stores. Many kids love them as much as candy, and it helps you avoid food allergy reactions.
Halloween Candy Options
Flavors: Original and Tropical Sour Free from: Top 8 Allergens Contains: No Top 8 Allergens Precautionary Label: None Facility free from: Peanut, Tree Nut, Wheat/Gluten Allergen Statement
Flavors: All Flavors
Free from: Top 8 Allergens, Sesame, Mustard, Sulfites Contains: No Top 8 Allergens, or Sesame, Mustard or Sulfites. Precautionary Label: None Facility free from: Top 8 Allergens, Sesame, Mustard, and Sulfites Allergen Statement
Free from: Top 8 Allergens Contains: No Top 8 Allergens Precautionary Label: If the UPC number on the packaging begins with “0 11206”, you can be assured that the product was packaged in one of our manufacturing facilities, and the allergen information on this page applies to that product. Facility free from: Peanut Allergen Statement Certified: Gluten-free
Flavors: Sour Apple, Cherry, Grape + More Free from: Top 8 Allergens Contains: No Top 8 Allergens Precautionary Label: Milk and soy may be present. Facility free from: Peanut, Tree Nut, Egg, Wheat/Gluten Allergen Statement Certified: Kosher
Sour Patch Kids
Flavors: Lime, Lemon, Orange, Berry and Raspberry Free from: Top 8 Allergens Contains: No Top 8 Allergens Precautionary Label: None Facility free from: None Stated Allergen Statement
For more allergy-friendly Halloween candy ideas click here.
*You should always take precautions and use appropriate judgement to protect yourself and others under your care with regard to food allergies. Information contained in this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Please contact our office to make an appointment to review your specific allergy questions and concerns with one of our doctors.