Parents want their kids to have a fun and safe Halloween; there is no doubt about that. However, sometimes it can be worrisome for parents of children with food allergies or even diabetes, since many candies contain things like nuts and tons of sugar. Well, don’t fret, moms and dads: here are some allergy-free candies that will ensure a safe and spooky Halloween 2016.
Ideas for a Safe and Allergy Free Halloween
Some families have children with complex medical issues, which can mean that Halloween is an especially challenging celebration since they still want their children to enjoy it with friends. Here are some suggestions for families:
- Talk to your neighbors and encourage them to stock up on non-food, or non-edible items like stickers, tattoos, glow bracelets, bouncy balls, and noise makers.
- Put a sticker on your child that says “non-food items only.” This is effective so that you don’t have to explain why your child can’t take candy at every door.
- You can place a sign on your door that states “non-food items available here.” You could also paint your pumpkin the color teal as The Food Allergy Research & Education group created “The Teal Pumpkin Project,” which represents that you are a food-allergy-friendly home and have non-food treats available.
- If you want to take candy to be polite, there are programs offered by local orthodontists, like the Halloween Candy Buy Back Program, which you can Google with your zip code.
- If your child has Celiac disease or gluten intolerance, consult with the school and ensure there are approved snacks for the teacher to give out if there is a cupcake day.
- Educate and inform teachers and parents about why your child cannot have gluten items and offer alternative solutions to them
- Educate and empower your child to understand what they can and cannot have and also encourage them to advocate for themselves.
Food-Allergy-Friendly Candies for Halloween 2016
Here is a list of Halloween goodies that are gluten-free and allergy-friendly. Please read the labels to ensure the ingredients haven’t changed! Many are free of the top eight allergens: milk, eggs, fish (bass, flounder, cod, etc.), crustacean shellfish (lobster, shrimp, crab, etc.), tree nuts, peanut, soybeans, and wheat.
- Mike and Ike: This bag is a combination of Mike and Ike chewy candies with non-edible items like erasers and crayons that are Halloween themed.
- Gimbal’s Beans: Allergen- and gluten-free jelly beans, anyone? Flavors range from ice cream cake to Tiramisu.
- Vermont Nut-Free: What’s Halloween without some chocolate? Available in milk or dark chocolate, these are all nut-free. There is also the Trick or Treat Skipper Pack that’s filled with 15 individually-wrapped packs of candy-coated chocolate pieces.
- Surf Sweets: These gummy bears are made with organic fruit juice and fortified vitamin C. They are free of the top eight allergens including sesame, sulfites, and gluten.
- Skinny Pop Treat Bags: These mini bags of organic popcorn are free of the top eight allergens plus are low in sodium and fat and a good source of fiber. Adults, you’ll probably like this one, too.
- Ring Pop Candy “Jewels”: A stylish treat that is allergen-free (top eight) and sesame-free.
A few others include:
- Dare Gummies
- YumEarth Organic Lolipops
- Life Savers
- Lay’s Classic Potato Chips
All of these can be found at your local supermarket, Halloween store, or online. Keep in mind that just because it’s Halloween doesn’t necessarily mean organic food is off limits. They might not love you for it, but organic foods like apples or tangerines are still an option to hand out for kids if you don’t want to go with the non-edible option. Happy Halloween!
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“Best Halloween Treat? Enjoying Allergy-Free Fun” News Wise; October, 3, 2016; http://www.newswise.com/articles/best-halloween-treat-enjoying-allergy-free-fun; last accessed October 20, 2016.
Special to AL.com., “Birmingham FARE Walk for food allergy” AL.COM; October, 10, 2016; http://blog.al.com/press-releases/2016/10/birmingham_fare_walk_for_food.html; last accessed October 20, 2016.