I hope you all had a safe and happy Halloween! It was a busy time around here, trying my best to give my kiddos a fun holiday for themselves and their friends. I’ll admit, there have been years where I’ve been consumed with fear on how to manage Halloween with a little one with severe food allergies. But the good news is, each year it gets easier and easier. And this year was the best yet!
I do my best to keep the emphasis on FUN and costumes and less on food. We had three different times to celebrate – the Halloween party at school, the Food Allergy Resource Fair with trick-or-treating and, of course, Halloween night. That makes three times to dress up in Halloween costumes, three times to have fun with friends and, well, three times to navigate safe vs. unsafe candy.
Holy smokes, I’m getting a lot of questions this week about food allergies and Halloween – which makes me super happy!
What is the Teal Pumpkin Project? Are you doing it?
Do kids with severe food allergies even go trick or treating? How is that safe?
Do you have tips for families with food allergies on how to take some of the focus off of candy?
What are some allergy-friendly candies I could give out this year? Where can I buy it?
What else can I do to make my house an allergy-friendly stop for children with food allergies?
I’ve covered some of these topics in previous posts over the years, but I’m going to take a crack at answering all of these questions in one post. Hold onto your pumpkins, ladies and gentlemen!
Oh, you guys, do you remember how much my children have wanted a dog forever? Like when they were this little and dressed up as puppies for Halloween? Or when they made dog houses for their stuffed animal puppies, who have real dog clothes and toys and food bowls?
Just looking at these pictures of them wanting a dog from the depth of their little souls makes me all misty. They waited years for this day to happen. While their mama waited for them to grow up a little bit, and for her own confidence to grow, that this was something our family could really manage. Because of course, adding a dog to an already busy life, is a very big decision. Especially in a family with allergies. I chuckle as I look back at the posts I wrote: Mychildrenwantadog and My children want a dog – part 2 as I warmed up to the idea.
To all my friends in Minnesota who have food allergies in their family, I want to make sure you know about the upcoming Food Allergy Resource Fair put on by the Food Allergy Support Group of Minnesota with a special Halloween theme. I’ve attended (and volunteered) at this event for many years and it’s always a great opportunity to see what’s new out there in the world of allergy-friendly products, foods, etc. I always end up learning something new and my daughter has a great time exploring.
Last year the group decided to add a new twist – Halloween trick-or-treating at the vendor tables – with candy free of the top 8 allergens. Kids were invited to come in costume. It was a HUGE hit! You guys, I almost tear up when I think about it. Usually kids with food allergies can’t eat most of the food they collect when they go trick-or-treating on Halloween – but still want to have fun and be a part of the tradition. At this event? Nearly every table has candy they can eat (unless they have more rare allergies than the top 8). My daughter had an absolute blast. Also, getting to wear a Halloween costume more than once is a big perk!
I hope you’ll join us on this special morning. And please share this information with others who might be interested, too! Schools, day care, churches and moms groups. Hope to see you there!
Just before we left for school this morning, we paused to take a family selfie with pictures of the two young ladies we support through Unbound. I love seeing the big smiles on the kids faces as they show off these photos of the students we sponsor.
Meet Mary from Kenya and Reena from India. As you likely know, it is very difficult for poor women in these countries to get a college education. We write letters and send pictures and they do the same in return. I encourage Mary and Reena to study hard and get their degrees.
You can also sponsor young men, children and aging people through Unbound. I can’t say enough good things about this organization. I’ve been a sponsor since 2001 and plan to continue supporting them for a very long time. Learn more about sponsoring and all the ways it makes a difference: unbound.org