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As the holiday approaches, I’m here to share how our family handles Halloween with food allergies. There truly are one million ways to do this. Some families use the switch witch to magically trade out candy overnight. Some skip the trick-or-treating altogether and have their own celebration.
For us, we learned last year that Ollie really likes trick-or-treating. He surprised us by toddling up and down a full street of my parent’s neighborhood at only two years old. We hovered over him at each house, supervising the candy selection, taking from the bowl for him if we were nervous about the contents, and reminding him all night we didn’t eat from our bucket. At the end of the evening, we traded away his entire pail for a bag filled with Enjoy Life mini chocolates. He was thrilled. Relatives also helped spoil him with safe treats and fun non-food goodies.
This year, Enjoy Life isn’t an option because of the risk of sunflower cross-contamination, but we’re approaching Halloween with food allergies in a pretty similar way. One new addition is gloves. At the moment, his costume of choice is a dump truck, so he will be a dump truck with gloves. I can’t imagine his far more independent self is going to be OK with us hovering over every candy bowl or making the selection for him. By adding gloves to his costume, there is a layer of protection between his skin and the candy bowl. We just have to convince him to keep the gloves out of his mouth. We’ve already started talking about this.
teal pumpkin project
He knows he has food allergies, but my guess is he won’t say it at every house. We’ve reached a stage where he is sometimes really shy. That’s why we have a few different Teal Pumpkin Project items for him. Ollie will have a flashing button and a teal bucket. We also have teal glow bracelets for our whole crew! My guess is if a house is participating in the Teal Pumpkin Project, they’ll see these items and give him a non-food treat automatically. We’ll be right there to speak up if needed as well.
This sounds a little funny, but I’ll also tape a bag inside of his bucket. The Teal Pumpkin Project is an amazing initiative and I know we will see some teal as we trick-or-treat as friends have already told us, but I also know it won’t be at every house. By taping a bag inside the bucket, we can sort out food and non-food treats as we go. I plan to do this a few days early so Ollie can get used to the idea. Sorting toys is already a part of the cleanup process at our house so I think it’ll be easy for him and we can make it a fun game.
By putting non-food treats into the bag, there is less cross-contact risk with the candy he can’t have. We could just as easily wipe things down after, and I’m sure will have to do that with a few that aren’t sorted properly. My hope is this just gives a start of things he can pull right out of his bucket and play with at the end of the night, akin to kids dumping out and sorting their candy haul. I really want to make Halloween with food allergies as normal as possible for Ollie.
end of the night trade
At the end of the night, we will trade away all of Ollie’s candy for an all-new bucket of treats. I actually purchased a second bucket to makes things quick and easy. We will have it preloaded with goodies so we can trade as soon as we get home. I’ll also bring a treat or two with us in case others we are with snack and he wants to too.
This year, his bucket has gummy bears, lollipops, homemade chocolate, and a book. I really wanted him to have some fun, themed items this year so we are making the Halloween chocolate with safe chocolate chips and craft store molds. All of it will be housed in this new stasher bag. A fellow mom blogger introduced me to these bags and I’ve been wanting to try one for a long time. Halloween seemed like the perfect time to fill a super cute bike bag he can use again and again with chocolate. The only challenge will be stopping Ollie from eating all the chocolate in one sitting. To be determined…
What does Halloween with food allergies look like for you? Please feel free to share!