This year, while planning what I'm going to hand out for Halloween treats I started thinking about how difficult it must be for parents of kids who have food allergies to keep them safe. For those of us lucky enough to not have to worry about the dangers of food allergies, there are ways we can help keep all kids safe this Halloween by handing out allergy safe treats. I found some great tips and suggestions from The Bugabees about how to make the holiday healthier. If you're having a Halloween party or having some kids over to celebrate, keep these tips in mind:
- Pass out alternatives to snacks and candy such as: temporary tattoos, stickers, crayons, etc. Non-food items are just as fun and are sure to be safe for children with food allergies.
- Don’t leave candy lying around the house that young children can easily get into without supervision. Children under the age of six most likely cannot read labels or resist temptation of sweets that are easily accessible at parties or in homes other than their own.
- Don’t be shocked or offended if a child says “no thank you” to treats you offer them. Children with food allergies understand the risks and are often their own best advocates in avoiding potentially harmful situations.
Also keep in mind that there is no such thing as a "fool-proof list" of safe treats for kids with food allergies. Ingredients and manufacturing methods change all the time and cross-contamination issues are always a concern. But with a few extra steps, you can find at least one or two options that are safe for all kids. The items included here are a great place to start, however, you must read each and every label before determining if a food is safe:
Bazooka Bubble Gum Dots Double Bubble Bubble Gum Dum Dum Suckers Fruit Roll-ups Hubba Bubba Bubble Gum Juicy Fruit Gum Junior Mints Life Savers Roll Candy Life Savers Gummies Mike and Ikes Nerds Original Swedish Fish Pez Candies Pixie Sticks Ring Pops Skittles Smarties Starburst Sweetarts
Here is another list from the Bay Area Allergy Advisory Board with Peanut and Tree-Nut Free Candy ideas:
♦ DIVVIES (anything made by Divvies) – www.divvies.com ♦ Haribo Gummi Candies (anything made by Haribo) ♦ Vermont Nut Free Chocolates ♦ Jelly Belly Candy Corn – all packaging dated 2010 and after. ♦ Jelly Belly Jelly Beans – they have discontinued peanut butter flavor in 2009 and cleaned all equipment. Check packaging dated 2010 and after. (DOES contain a Coconut flavor) ♦ Skittles ♦ Peeps ♦ Swedish Fish ♦ Altoids Mints, Original & Cinnamon (not Chocolate variety) ♦ Mike and Ikes ♦ Hershey (plain) chocolate bars, personal size only (not King size, not Minis) ♦ Hershey (plain) chocolate Kisses (not King Size, not Holiday/Seasonal Bags) ♦ Wonka’s Nerds & Nerds Rope ♦ Laffy Taffy ♦ Runts ♦ Super Bubble bubble gum by Farley’s and Sathers ♦ Dubble Bubble Gum ♦ Tootsie Pops & Tootsie Rolls (anything made by Tootsie) ♦ Junior Mints ♦ Lifesaver Gummies ♦ Smarties ♦ Sour Patch Kids – all varieties ♦ Whoppers ♦ Sweet Tarts ♦ Necco wafers ♦ Dum Dum lollipops click here for their interactive website with Halloween games ♦ Ring Pops candy rings by The Topps Co. ♦ Push Pops by The Topps Co. ♦ Bottle Caps ♦ Pop Rocks ♦ Now and Laters ♦ Zours ♦ Hot Tamales ♦ Red Vines ♦ Jolly Rancher hard candy, lollipops and gummi candy ♦ York Peppermint Patties ♦ Twizzlers ♦ Rolos ♦ Starburst fruit chew, lollipops and jelly beans ♦ Kraft Marshmallows ♦ Trader Joe’s Milk Chocolate Chips, Trader Joe’s Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips
♦ Haagen Dazs Ice Creams – which do not contain nuts as ingredient ♦ Dreyer’s Ice Creams – which do not contain nuts as ingredient ♦ Strauss Family Creamery Ice Creams ♦ Safeway ICEE frozen fruit pops ♦ Cake mixes and frostings from Pillsbury, but check labels: some contain nuts but are manufactured separately.
And HERE is a list of non-food treat ideas too:
- mini play-doh
- Halloween costume jewelry
- glow in the dark bracelets
- Plastic Insects, Ghosts, Animals or Skeletons
- Pens or Pencils - Pick from Halloween or other themes.
- Hair barrettes, ribbons or hair rubber bands for girls
- Temporary Tattoos - Pick from Halloween or other themes.
- Non-profit bracelet e.g. One Campaign - Pick a favorite non-profit to support and pass out their bracelets.
- Toothbrushes, disposable or single use toothbrush and colored or decorated disposable dental flossers - Parents will especially appreciate having toothbrushes handy to help get rid of all the sticky candy.
If you want more information on living with food allergies, check out Saratoga Families with Food Allergies on facebook right here.
Another great way to keep kids with allergies safe is with the Allergy Alert labels from Mamatoga Favorite Name Bubbles. Laminated, waterproof and durable, these labels can help keep your child's life saving information with them.