2020 Has been a time of rethinking and reinvention, which is what food allergy families excel at. In fact, as we think about how to minimize risk of germs, some of these food allergy tips are perfect for a “Social Distanc-een Halloween”. Besides most of the candy melts in Florida anyway ; )
Here are some tips for a safe trick-or-treating experience:
- Enforce a “no eating while trick-or-treating” rule, so that you have time to review all food labels, (and you guessed it) wash your hands.
- Keep the emphasis on the fun, rather than the candy.
- Consider skipping trick-or-treating, and have a Halloween “party” instead with your immediate family, featuring safe and delicious treats. Or, skip the treats altogether by replacing them with other fun Halloween toys, or games. At the Ly household, we do a Halloween Egg Hunt.
Here are tips for our special food allergy families:
- Stock up on safe treats or inexpensive trinkets/toys to trade for any unsafe candies your child might receive while trick-or-treating. You can also use sorting through your child's candy as an opportunity to teach him or her about hidden allergens and reading labels.
- Avoid candy and treats that do not have an ingredient label.
Always have an epinephrine auto-injector available, if prescribed.
- Keep in mind that the mini-size, fun-size, or bite-size version of candy may contain different ingredients than their full-size counterparts. Make no assumptions, and read all labels carefully.
- Consider starting a tradition by allowing their kids to leave their unsafe candies out for the “Good Witch” to collect and leave behind small gifts and safe treats.
- Consider making small and safe “goody bags” for neighbors to give to your child. Deliver the bags in advance and describe your child’s costume to your neighbors. Encourage your child to trick-or-treat at the houses in which you’ve delivered the bags.
- Remember that a candy that has been safe for your child in the past may now have different ingredients. Read the label, every time.