There are many reasons that Halloween can be scary for children – goblins hiding in the dark, frightening ghost stories, and food allergens in their candy bag.
With one in 13 children with a food allergy, many of the kids coming to your door reciting “trick or treat” will be allergic to some of the goodies you hand out. FARE (Food Allergy Research & Education) developed the Teal Pumpkin Project to encourage families to hand out some non-food items to children with food allergies. Non-food treats can include glow sticks, pencils/pens/markers, stickers, bubbles, erasers, mini slinkees, bouncy balls, bookmarks, and spider rings sold at dollar stores, Amazon, and Oriental Trading.
Communities across the nation have embraced the idea of promoting awareness of food allergies this Halloween by offering a safe alternative to those with food allergies (such as in New York, Virginia, and Ohio). Join the millions of people learning about this campaign here. (FARE’s first Facebook post reached more than 2.7 million people in the first 72 hours and CNN covered the story this week.)
Other ways to keep any children in your household with food allergies safer is to do an “exchange” on your doorstep of the candy they received from trick-or-treating for non-food treats or candies you know are safe for your children. One of our members found candy corn sold at Fresh Market on San Jose Blvd in Mandarin that is made in a peanut-free facility.
In addition, the following online resources list candy that are free of the top 8 allergens (peanuts, tree nuts, eggs, dairy, wheat, soy, shellfish, fish). However, always read food labels and contact the manufacturer if you have further questions.
Food Allergy Feast Halloween blog, October 13, 2014 post
Kids with Food Allergies Easter candy blog