Have an Allergy-Free Halloween
October 12, 2015
Have an Allergy-Free Halloween: The best ways to avoid allergic reactions and health concerns on Halloween
Happy October! For Americans, October and Halloween officially kicks off the holiday season, but if you have a child with food allergies, Halloween could be one of the scariest holidays for reasons other than the frightening costumes.
Class parties, trick or treating, and fun seasonal foods mean your child could accidentally ingest candy or food they may be allergic to, so we decided to do a little research to find great swaps for your child’s favorite fall treats and Halloween candy.
If your child is allergic to…
People are crazy for peanut butter (a PB & J is classic comfort food for a reason!) but when you’re allergic to peanuts or tree nuts, you may feel like you’re missing out. However, with a little elbow grease you can easily make your own ‘nut’ butters from seeds! Thanks to sunflower seed butter’s increasing popularity, you can probably find a jar at your local grocery store. But since it’s fall, we thought we’d try something a little more seasonal: Pumpkin Seed Butter. We found this great recipe for Pumpkin (Pie) Seed Butter, and can’t wait to try it!
When passing out Halloween candy, stick with Swedish Fish, candy necklaces or bracelets, and most gummies to avoid nuts. If you crave chocolate, Hershey’s plain chocolate kisses, Junior Mints, and anything made by Tootsie is nut-free.
There’s nothing like washing down a chocolate chip cookie with cold milk, and those with dairy allergies shouldn’t be deprived of this classic combination! If you’re lactose intolerant or allergic to dairy, there are many dairy-free alternatives to choose from. With commercially available milks however, you could be swapping an allergic reaction for excess sugar or additives.
If you are not allergic to nuts, this homemade maple-vanilla almond milk is the perfect fall companion to oatmeal or cereal, and we’re sure you could steal some for your morning coffee. The best part is all you need is a regular blender to make it happen. If your child also has a nut allergy, coconut milk is a delicious alternative to both nut and dairy milk, and is the star of these spooky “Ghost Whip” hot chocolates that your kids will love.
For our dairy-free Halloween candy connoisseurs, lollipops, fruity candies and tropical flavors are your best friends. Dum Dums, Starburst, Skittles, Twizzlers, and anything made by Nestle Wonka (Nerds, Shockers, Everlasting Gobstoppers) is dairy-free.
Fall baking is full of pumpkin-flavored everything! Cookies, bread, cupcakes and muffins are all delicious, but if you have a wheat allergy, finding wheat-free baked goods that don’t taste like cardboard can be a challenge. One mom decided to rise to the challenge, and created this egg, dairy, nut, gluten soy, corn AND sugar-free pumpkin muffin. Dress up those muffins with some allergy-friendly frosting, and you’ll have fun treats for your child to take their Halloween parties.
When choosing Halloween candy, almost all of Tootsie/Charms candies are gluten-free. Tootsie Rolls, Junior Mints, Dubble Bubble, Charleston Chews, Tootsie Pops are fairly common Halloween offerings. All M&Ms EXCEPT pretzel M&Ms and some specialty fall offerings (Pumpkin Spice) are gluten-free. From Nestle, the original Butterfinger, Laffy Taffy, Baby Ruths and Goobers are all gluten-free.
While primarily presenting itself in infants, if your child is eating solid foods and allergic to soy, you can still include them in the Halloween fun. These little mummies are as fun to make as they are to eat, and what’s fall without a crisp caramel apple?
Airheads Bites are soy-free, but other Airheads products contain soybean oil. Red Vines, Smarties, Candy Necklaces, Brach’s Candy Corn and Candy Corn Gummies, Jujubes, Super Bubble Gum, Trolli Gummy Bears and Sour Brite Crawlers are all soy-free.
Please make sure to double check your labels before consuming any of the food items above. This list is meant to be a guide and is not considered exhaustive by any means.