Food Allergies and Halloween

HalloweencatpumpkinIt’s Halloween and all around you children and adults alike are worrying about what they’ll be and what they’ll do on Halloween.

For many Halloween is the favorite holiday of the year. The chance to create an alter ego and project a persona different than what you normally have, is something we all like to do at times. Frozen remains a firm favorite for Halloween, along with Marvel Superheroes such as Batman and Iron man. Fairy tale characters such as Cinderella and the Little Mermaid remain popular.

For children with food allergies or medical conditions trick or treating can be a minefield. It’s hard enough for adults to realize they need to curb their diet due to medical reasons. It’s even more difficult for children. Yet the candy handed out on Halloween can send a normal child into sugar shock, never mind a diabetic.

How as a parent, family member or friend do you negotiate your way through this minefield while allowing your children to enjoy Halloween? Having faced this situation with my own son when he was younger I know it’s not easy. I also know even children with no underlying health issues are being gently lured into giving up their Halloween candy.

Many parents are ‘buying back’ the Halloween candy in exchange for a toy at the toy store of their choice. Your child has still been able to participate freely but he’s able to trade his candy for a toy of his choice. If this is your child or a family friend you can also make sure there’s a special Halloween treat which may or may not have candy in it for him.

Not being able to participate in Halloween or a special event the same way other children can is hard. But focusing more on what your child can have or do, rather than what they can’t is key. That worked best when my son had gluten allergies and will hopefully make for a fun filled Halloween for you and your children.


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8 Replies to “Food Allergies and Halloween”

  1. Great post Pat. As a grandmother of a type 1 diabetic I found it especially heart wrenching. We want the very best for our kids and times like birthdays and Halloween are extra hard for children with health issues. The toy idea is great, at least then they can come away from the day not feeling unsatisfied.
    Thanks for sharing this important post.

  2. I clicked this RT because my daughter’s nut allergic. We do the “Switch Witch” where the bag of candy gets turned into a toy.

    • I’m guessing they have to check all the candy first and trade it out or do a version of the buy back. But a lot of the kids who have the problem seem to have an easier time dealing with it than the parents. That may be because as parents we take it on ourselves.

  3. As an adult able to eat only 18 foods, I must say, it’s easier for me, than for the people around me, and I can only hope it’s even a little bit like that for the kids. (My allergies came later in life and I had to give up my favorite foods, one at a time.)
    I can sit in a room where all around me are eating the stuff I used to eat, and I take great pleasure in the smells, the energy of the gathering, and seeing others enjoy.

    I know it’s not the same for children wanting to be like the other children, but I suspect, as Pat says, it’s parents taking it on themselves 🙂 and kudos to you all for wanting to fix it for them!

    But take heart, and try all the great ideas provided here, but know that just maybe, it’s not as bad as it seems 😀

    • Thank you so much for your insightful and caring response as an adult with food allergies. I certainly never guessed when I met you the other day. I do think when you’re the parent you can make it easier for your kids and should. But I also know that quite often when they look back on Halloween they won’t remember the candy they didn’t have but the fun they did.

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