A Healthier Halloween: Healthy Treat Alternatives
As the excitement mounts for Halloween, so does the need to be prepared if your child has food allergies or intolerances. As mentioned in part one of this series, candy often contains at least one of the top eight allergens (eggs, soy, peanuts, tree nuts, milk, wheat, fish, and shellfish) – and don’t forget about the ensuing sugar rush! We hope that the Halloween is a tradition filled with positive memories, but we also know that it could be stressful for you and exclusive for your child. In the spirit of laughter, fun, and wellness, here are the next four tips for a healthier Halloween!
Missed the first four tips? It’s not too late to go back and read them!
- Host a Party – Create a new and safe tradition
- Communicate with School – Talk with your child’s teacher ahead of time
- Recipes – Go for the upgraded!
- Allergen-Free Treats – What candies don’t contain the top 8 allergens?
5. Host a Party:
Consider hosting a party for your child. Kids can wear costumes, decorate masks or pumpkins, play games, and make crafts – Check out Pinterest for inspiration! If you serve food, you are in control of what is offered. Hand out small goodie bags of non-food items to guests, such as stickers, fidget spinners, glow sticks, bouncing eyeballs, spider rings, mustache stickers, crazy sunglasses, Halloween key chains, or allergen-friendly slime or silly putty.
6. Communicate with school:
Many schools have gone away from holiday parties, but if your child’s class is still allowed to have treats, communication is key. Get ahold of the teacher well in advance to find out what will be provided and suggest a safe option for your child. If you can, help with planning of the event to minimize surprises. If you are feeling ambitious, offer to provide treats for the whole class. A written reminder of your child’s restrictions may be helpful for the teacher(s). Also double check that your child’s care plan is up-to-date and that any prescribed medications are on hand at school and are current.
7. Recipes – Upgrade from Candy:
While you can find lists of candy that tends to be allergen free, we are fans of healthier options whenever possible. Consider spending some quality time in the kitchen with your little goblins and making your own safe treats as part of the tradition. Here are some fun options to try, but as always, scan the ingredients to make sure they are safe and/or to make substitutions:
- Monster Chicken Fingers
- Pumpkin Shake
- Bride of Frankenstein Dip
- Monster Pancakes
- Pumpkin Fudge
8. Allergen-Free Treats:
If you are set on providing allergen-free treats, here is a list of companies to check out. As always, check ingredient lists just to be sure. Want even more ideas? Check out this website to download a list that is frequently updated.
Keep an eye out for the remaining two tips between now and Halloween!