Steer Clear of Food Allergens this Halloween

kid holding a pumpkin, Halloween

Approximately one in every thirteen children is currently living with some type of food allergy. Managing a food allergy can be quite frustrating for a child and his or her caregivers, especially during holidays. With Halloween around the corner, kids have more exposure than normal to foods and candy that can trigger an allergic reaction. Milk, eggs, peanuts, and tree nuts are the most common allergens for kids, and peanuts and tree nuts cause the most severe reactions. Unfortunately, these ingredients are often found in the sweets that are handed out during trick or treating. Follow the below tips for receiving and handing out candy this Halloween.

Trick or Treating Tips

1. Know your allergy free treats. Candies like Skittles, Starburst, Life Savers, and Sour Patch Kids are safe choices. Do a quick search online for lists of other allergen free candies like the one we found here.

2. Read food labels/ingredients. Companies must list the major allergens contained in their product on the packaging. Even foods that may contain traces of allergens can be very dangerous.

3. Be wary of mini-sized candies. The smaller versions of some popular treats are sometimes produced in different factories than the regular sizes. Therefore, the mini-sized versions may be made in factories that contain allergens even if the full-sized ones aren’t.

4. No eating while trick or treating is a great rule of thumb for kids with food allergies!

5. Carry your medication or epi-pen. It is best to be prepared in the event that your child accidentally ingests something that he or she is allergic to.

6. Hand out non-food treats like bubbles, stickers, or small trinkets to avoid any issues. Even if you prefer to hand out candy, have some of these other options on hand in case a child with an allergy does ring your doorbell.

7. Look out for homes with a teal pumpkin on the doorstep. These homes are participating in the Teal Pumpkin Project and will offer non-food treats on Halloween night.

We hope your Halloween is full of fun and laughter! Please do not hesitate to call us with any of your food allergy questions or concerns at 508-746-8977.