In just a few days, you will have a little Elsa knocking at your door. She’ll be wearing a blue dress with a braid and yelling, “Trick or treat!” In all likelihood, there will more than just one Elsa, plus a few nunchuk-weilding turtles, Spiderman, Batman, a few zombies, and some witches, too. You’ll love bringing joy to their little faces as you hand out treats!
Take a moment during your Halloween preparations to consider that not all of these little super heroes and powerful princesses can enjoy the classic candies due to food allergies and sensitivities. You might think it’s a rare thing, but about eight of every ten of those little kids at your door this Friday will have some form of food allergy, from mild to deadly. Just to make it especially tough, most food allergies involve these foods: milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, soy, and wheat. Doesn’t that look just like the main ingredients for a candy bar, minus sugar and chocolate?
So what can you do to help Elsa from getting hives and Batman from having a tummy ache? Relax, the answer is not to throw out all your favorite candies in lieu of rice crackers. Consider instead having a second bowl of non-food treats to offer as a choice. For example, temporary tattoos, bouncy balls, stickers, glow sticks, or spooky jewelry (Remember those plastic spider rings? They still sell those!). You might even find that you are the “cool” house as a little zombie yells to a passing ghost, “Hey! They have TOYS at that house!”
If you are interested in marking your house as an allergy-safe trick-or-treat location, check out the Teal Pumpkin Project (http://blog.foodallergy.org/2014/10/06/the-teal-pumpkin-project-for-an-allergy-friendly-halloween/). Just paint a pumpkin teal or print out the sign to let your neighbors know you have non-allergic treats. The best part of this is your trick o treats won’t scare your friendly neighborhood dentist J Happy Halloween!