Halloween is here again, and for many of parents, it’s a scary time of year for kids on special diets and allergies. How do we keep our kids safe from the many foods they can’t eat at this time of year? For example, here is my daily list of foods my kids avoid:
- dairy and caseins
Of course one option is to keep them home, but that does nothing to teach them what they should or should not be eating on a day like or event like this? So how can a parent safeguard their child?
Tips to Fill Your Teal Pumpkin
The Teal Pumpkin is a relatively new idea. If you see a teal pumpkin while trick or treating, that means that some kind of allergy- or sugar-free food or a nonfood option is available there.
- If you are painting a pumpkin teal, use safe paint. Start up the in your own neighborhood by just jumping in and offering to the local kids. I guarantee you’ll be a hit! But keep the paint safe too.
- Buy high quality treats. Get the good stuff, toss the soy-filled, non organic junk. In 2015, we have lots of options for our kids, which I’ll outline below.
- Work with others. A friend throws an annual party and no matter how hard we try, Zoe gets the food. This year, I’m going to work with my friend and strategize how we can keep her away from the food, maybe bring her to a fun area or put down some toys she loves. In addition, I always attend the school holiday parties to keep her away from the wrong treats.
- Go easy on myself. As long as dyes/preservatives, glutens and caseins don’t make an appearance, I can live with a smattering of corn, soy, MSG or GMOs. A SMATTERING ONLY! Truth is while I believe these are harmful, I haven’t seen an extreme behavioral difference on infractions. Well, either that or they are much MUCH harder to remove than I even believed possible.
2015 Recommended Allergen Free Halloween Candy Treats Available in Stores
And now, what you’ve been waiting for – my list of approved candies for 2015 with all the details! These you can find in your local grocery market, Whole Foods or health food store:
- Surf Sweets: Made with MSG-free natural colors & flavors, made with organic fruit juice & sweeteners, no corn syrup. They are made in a facility that is free of 10 most common allergens including peanuts. Free of: glutens, dairy/casein, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, wheat, soy, fish, shellfish, sesame and sulfites. Products are made in mold of corn starch and may have trace amounts of it, and some flavors are diluted with corn alcohol. Some vegan product. Feingold diet approved. FAQ page for more info. New product: Gummy Spooky Spiders.
- Glee Gum: Gluten free but not corn free. Comes in natural flavors. Glee Gum does not contain any of the eight major food allergens: milk, egg, fish, Crustacean shellfish, tree nuts, wheat, peanuts, or soybeans. However, soy is present in the facility where Glee Gum is made. Sugar free Glee Gum contains xylitol. And new this year are Halloween Glee Gum pops! FAQ page for more info.
- Annie’s Organic Fruit Snacks: Gluten free, vegas, no artificial flavors, synthetic colors or preservatives, no high fructose corn syrup. USDA organic certified. Allergens listed on product. Annie’s Homegrown always lists if a product is made on shared equipment with any of the top eight allergens directly underneath the ingredient statement. FAQ page for more allergen info.
- Yummy Earth Gummy Bears, Sour Jelly Beans, Fruit Snacks and Lollipops: Gluten free, dairy free, tree nut & peanut free, soy free. No artificial dyesNon-GMO sugar beet citric aced Facility does not process any of the eight major allergens (peanuts, tree nuts, wheat, milk, egg, soy, fish, or shellfish/crustaceans). Stage 2 Feingold approved. Kosher. USDA certified organic. FAQ page for more allergen info.
- Enjoy Life Chocolate Bars: Comes in Dark Chocolate, Ricemilk Crunch Ricemilk Chocolate. From the site: “all Enjoy Life Foods products are free-from the eight most common food allergens in the United States, as declared by the FDA — wheat, dairy, peanuts, tree nuts, egg, soy, fish and shellfish. In addition, our products are made in our allergy-friendly facility, so there’s no chance of contamination. We also are free from Canada’s twelve priority food allergens, which include the top eight plus sulfites, crustaceans, sesame and mustard.” Read their allergy page for more info. Get $0.55 off any Enjoy Life product.
- Bitsy’s Brainfood Spooky Snacks: NOT gluten or dairy free, but they are nut free and made in a nut-free facility. USDA Organic. Available at Wegman’s and Target.
Online Allergen Free Halloween Candy Options
If you haven’t seen what you want yet, here are some online shops that can help in your candy search:
- Amanda’s Own: Order by 10/22/15. Chocolates and jelly beans are dairy, tree nut, peanut, egg, soy, gluten and sesame free, but their Sunflower Cups may contains soy. There are corn products in their jelly beans, which are packaged separately. There are no other products in their facility, so safe from cross contamination. Most are vegan and all kosher, although facility itself is not yet Kosher certified. FAQ page for more allergen info.
- Honey Straws: Gluten free, peanut free. No peanut products processes in the facility that makes them. 100% Grade A honey and natural extracts for flavors. Many are Kosher.
- Natural Candy Store: Shop by organic, dye free, allergen free, etc. or use their “special diets advanced search” tab to drill down food restrictions. Check out Retail Me Not for coupons.
- Indie Candy: All candy is “big 8 allergen” free. You can also shop by diet.
Other Ideas to Help You Enjoy Halloween
- Skipping trick or treating all together; do something different, still fun like a progressive party with activities, games, haunted house, etc
- Prepare a very special meal to celebrate the fun aspects of Halloween.
- Here my recipe for Gluten, Dairy, Soy and Corn Free Halloween Graveyard Candy Cake. (Be careful, grown ups loved this one too!)
- Turn candy into science experiments. See Green Halloween for ideas! (This one’s my favorite!)
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Originally posted 9/30/13; updated 10/02/15.