Non-Candy Treats to Make Halloween Fun for Kids with Food Allergies
What does Halloween look like for your family?
How great would it be if when we post Halloween pictures on Facebook or Instagram this year we hashtag it with the number of times somebody got mad or sad, the number of attempts it took to get this picture, and the number of times you said “no more candy?”
Halloween is so funny to me sometimes.
So much back and forth about what you want to dress up as, ways to adapt the costume if it happens to be freezing cold, and counting down the days until they get to go up to random people and ask them for candy. Parents constantly reminding the kids to “use their manners.”
The kids are tired from the activities of the day and, by golly, why does it have to get dark so early? It feels like we are walking around at midnight even when we start heading out the minute trick or treating hours begin.
It’s all part of the memories.
The kids may not remember the specifics of these moments but they will all go into the little memory pot in their brains and play a part in shaping their lives.
Was Halloween fun when I was little? My kids’ answer will most likely be: “Yes, it was fun until my dad started dressing like a banana and people saw him.” Maybe they will remember the tradition of chili in the crockpot after we all get back home.
Our kids are getting older. They will be 8, 10, and 12 this Halloween. There will still be a fair share of drama due to exhaustion and excitement but it gets easier as they get older.
Last year, our oldest went around with a friend and our middle son went with a neighbor family. My husband and I just went around with our youngest. He had a blast.
Is it still fun if you can’t Eat the Treat?
Our youngest son has some diet restrictions (gluten, dairy, soy, dyes, oats) so every time he goes trick or treating and is given a piece of candy, he usually can’t eat it.
He is the most grateful person I know.
He gets so excited and even takes his time picking out the perfect treat. Then he puts the candy in his bag and skips along to the next house and the same routine occurs.
Can you imagine being so thankful for a piece of candy you wouldn’t even get to eat?
What to do on Halloween when your kid has allergies?
2 Tricks to help make Halloween a Treat for kids with Food Allergies:
1.We discovered the Teal Pumpkin Project and started participating in it about four years ago.
So what’s the deal with the teal pumpkin? This website provides a database for those families with food allergies to look for houses on Halloween that will be providing non-food items or allergy-free candy.
Those houses are marked by a teal pumpkin. Can you offer non-food treats and not have a teal pumpkin? Absolutely! The database is more for families who will strictly take their children to places on the map and that is all.
I think last year there were just a few houses in our town that had registered for the teal pumpkin project. Our boys have fun offering non-food treats for Halloween. Each year we register our house in the database, get non-food halloween treats, and put out our teal pumpkin so people know our house is safe.
The most common allergens are soy, wheat, milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, shellfish, fish, and sesame. Several families we know limit dyes for their children because it plays a big impact on how they feel, which in turn plays an impact in how they act.
Want to participate in the Teal Pumpkin Project?
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- Register your house in the database and learn more info. about this awesome movement here.
- You can paint a pumpkin teal, grab a plastic one from Walmart, or display this free printable on your porch so everyone will know that your home has non-food treats available! Get yours now.
- Grab some non-food items for The Big Day! Here are links to some of our favorites:
2.We have started keeping “allergy free” candy on hand and will trade our son so he gets some candy that he can actually eat.
We usually buy the majority of our allergy-free candy on iherb because it’s more cost efficient. We love the brand YumEarth because they are free of so many allergens and dyes. Amazon also carries several YumEarth products. We found some Halloween-themed ones to really make it feel inclusive!
- Enjoy Life is another great brand that works hard to produce items with no allergens. I will say they aren’t cheap, though. It is sometimes really tough for me to pay close to $5 for a pack of chocolate chips so I can make cookies, but they are a special treat and appreciated greatly.
- We also really enjoy the Cocomels Coconut Milk Caramels. Please note, these items do have sugar. They are not sugar-free. They make regular, sea salt, and vanilla caramels out of coconut milk. (You can choose your flavor through the link.)
So, why do we participate in the Teal Pumpkin Project?
Halloween is supposed to be fun.
I’m sure it’s extra stressful for parents of kids with extreme allergies who have to carry an epipen every place they go. I couldn’t imagine. You guys are superheros.
We have friends who have special allergy-free treats set aside for our youngest son and it is so awesome to say, “Yes, you can eat those raisins and Larabars!” or “Yep, those are safe!”
It would be great to know for sure that there are other houses we can go to on Halloween that will have allergy-free candy or non-candy items.
Please participate in and share the Teal Pumpkin Project with your friends and neighbors. Let’s give every kid a chance to get something they can eat or use on Halloween!
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