Trick or Treat! Meet my food allergies... 😞


I loved Halloween as a kid.  

It seemed almost magical to dress up and enjoy the energy in the air. I grew up in a small farming community.  Mostly comprised of dairy and egg farms.  Our little town used to have a carnival every year in the community building. I looked forward to it every year. There were donuts on strings, bobbing for apples, a cake walk, a haunted house, a movie in the theatre, and of course, trick or treating.

I looked forward to sharing those things with my own children. Then this farm girl had a son who was allergic to everything I knew.  Our way of life. I wondered if he would ever feel that magic. 

I promised myself and him that he would... somehow.

It seemed overwhelming, but as I reflect on it now, we have made a lot of fun memories!

Our own memories that we wouldn't have if it weren't for food allergies.

I want to share with all the moms our there that it is possible to make your own magic and make your own memories.  So here are a few of the things we've done for our whole family (We have always lived in a suburban area, by the way... not sure if that's relevant, but somehow it feels relevant).

Trick your own treats!

The year of my son's first actual trick or treat experience, as luck would have it, was a torrential downpour of rain that night.  My husband and I didn't want to go out with the kids in that muck, and it didn't seem like anyone else was up for it either as nobody came to our house. 

My husband had the idea to go trick or treating in our own house.  So we turned out all of the lights.  He carried the candy bowl with him, along with a flash light and a good music playlist. I took our 1 and 2 year old to each door, going to the mudroom between each one to allow my husband to move.  He had different lighting effects, music, and was a different character each time we knocked on a door. I remember our 2 year old daughter saying, "Daddy! How did you get here?!" each time. It was freaking adorable and the kids had a blast.  We stayed dry, warm, had only safe candy, and finished at a reasonable hour.

Such a fun memory!  I'm glad I have this opportunity to write it down!

Plant Safe Treats

This one takes some planning ahead of time, but one thing I've seen is parent's "planting" safe treats with the neighbors, so when your child goes to their door, they have something to offer.  We have never done this one, however, I have had neighbors in every single neighborhood we've lived in call me specifically to let me know that they have a safe treat set aside for him and to make sure we come by. 

Switch Witch

One other thing we tried was the switch witch.  My kids were pretty little when we tried this, but it seemed to work well.  
After trick or treating, the kids leave their Halloween candy on the front porch and the switch witch comes and switches your candy with a gift of some kind. Books, toy, whatever you want!

Candy Swap

As my kids have gotten older and we've added two more to the mix, I've started to try to help my son know how to be around dangerous food in a controlled environment, and now their favorite tradition is trading their candy.  My non allergic kids always make a point to get stuff that he's not allergic to when it's available.  When everyone comes home they divvy out their candy and swap allergenic candy with the safe stuff.  

Teal Pumpkin

The teal pumpkin project was started by Kids with food allergies foundation.  If you place a teal pumpkin on your porch, that is a sign that you have non-food treats available at your house. We always put out a teal pumpkin because you never know who is coming to your door whether it be a kid on a special diet for medical reasons, or a food allergic kid, or what they are allergic to.
This year I found some super fun prizes at the dollar section in Target! I'm excited to hand out something more fun than erasers that I think the kids will actually enjoy.

Sell your candy to a dentist and do something kind while you're at it!

Some dentists offices will purchase your Halloween candy by  the pound.  They typically send it oversees to deployed service men/women. 

There are a lot of ways to participate in Halloween without all that sugar and without compromising you or someone you love's safety.

I hope this article helps you celebrate this holiday safely!

Happy Halloween!