Making Halloween Fun for The Food Allergic: What to Dispense Yourself

The previous post discussed the lurking dangers of Halloween size candies for the food allergic.  In short, “fun size” treats commonly either do not list food allergen labeling at all, or (even more insidiously) they might be produced in a different facility, thus having different exposures from their brand’s larger size products which your family might regard as safe.

This post and the next two posts will discuss these three topics:

  1. What to dispense to trick-or-treaters who knock on your door
  2. What to have on hand for your food allergic child, and
  3. How to make your child feel extra special on Halloween

What to dispense to trick-or-treaters who knock on your door
Part of your job as a food allergic parent is to make your children happy; part of your duty as someone who is aware of food allergies is to spread the awareness, and Halloween is a perfect opportunity.  For the non-allergic, by all means stock up on whatever your preferred candy is to dispense.  For the food allergic, be creative.  You don’t even have to dispense anything edible — instead you may choose to hand out some current, trendy age appropriate tradables.  Current examples in our neighborhood include decals, Smencils, Silly Bandz, trading cards, or mini-tubs of Play doh.  Depending on the children, the non-allergic may well envy the allergic ones.

I think it’s important to announce when the doorbell rings that you have different choices for the food allergic.  We recommend keeping these safe choices in a separate bowl or basket.  Hearing you announce this will validate and reinforce to the kids that food allergies are prevalent and establish that responsible adults take them seriously.

If you choose to have only one choice on hand, of course please make sure it’s something that’s safe for your likely food allergic visitors.   However I think having only one choice is a missed opportunity to reinforce in children’s minds the idea that food allergies are prevalent and serious.

Next post: What to have on hand for your own food allergic children

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Meanwhile, we have arranged for free UPS ground shipping during October to US destinations.  Now’s your chance to try our brand without paying for shipping.


About Tom

Tom Anichini owns Egg-Free Epicurean along with his wife, Amy Jones Anichini, who founded the business in 2009. Tom is an actuary and an investment professional. He holds an MBA in Finance from the Chicago Booth School of Business and a BS in Actuarial Science from the University of Illinois. He is also a CFA charter holder and an Associate of the Society of Actuaries. He lives in San Diego with his wife and two daughters.
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