Thursday, October 31, 2013

Trick-or-Treating with Food Allergies

Happy Halloween!

While almost everything American involves food, this is the one holiday that is all about the candy. Halloween doesn't mean much if you don't go door to door begging for treats. Yes, there's the costumes to look forward to, but again, what to you do with it if you don't go trick-or-treating?

Having food allergies makes a candy-centered holiday a bit more challenging, but not impossible. My kids don't know any different, and they know they can't eat what they collect.  Almost all of the candy collected will be dropped off at our local kids dentist office, then shipped overseas to our troops. The kids know that I have safe treats at home for them to indulge in. So, for them, trick-or-treating is literally just for the experience of going door to door. Not for the actual items collected. 

School Parade

There's also the school parties to navigate. Schools are getting better at recognizing food allergies. In fact, both GirlyGirl and Bubs have another child in their class with food allergies. The room mom for GirlyGirl's class sent out an email asking each parent to donate a food or tableware item, asking all food items to be nut-free. Even with the request, I knew some of the snacks wouldn't be safe, so I planned ahead and brought her a pumpkin shaped sugar cookie, pumpkin shaped brownie, and a mint candy. The room mom also sent me and the other food allergy mom in the class an email stating the the ghost pudding cups the kids would be making had all safe ingredients except for the candy corn pumpkin which has the "May Contains" statement. She also said she would bring all wrappers for us to read.  I love the attention to detail! I responded thanking her for her efforts, then ran to the Dollar Tree to buy a bag of safe candy corn so she could participate. 

Safe treats for GirlyGirl

Peanut-free candy corn

Ghost Graveyard

After hanging out with GirlyGirl for a while, I headed down the hallway to Bubs' class.  He is responsible enough to eat only what I send with him, so I knew I could show up later in his class.  I send with him a pumpkin shaped brownie and mint candy as well, and a small package of all natural gummy bears.  By the time I arrived, they were playing Halloween bingo.  He won a round, and the prize was a lollipop.  He politely said, "No, thank you," and didn't bat an eye.  I told him I was proud of him for being so polite and not making a big deal about it.  Then I told him he could have one of his safe suckers with all natural colors once we got home.  He was excited to get to enjoy a prize after all!  At the end of the party, they handed out Playdoh.  Did you know that Playdoh contains wheat?  I told him he could play with it, but that he would need to wash his hands when he was done.    

Classroom Games

After school we hurried home to eat an early dinner so we could head out to trick-or-treat.  I didn't have any special entrée planed such as brains (cauliflower) or maggot soup (rice soup), but I was able to throw together some cute fruit figures that I have seen going around on Facebook.  Easy and healthy!  In fact, the kids asked for more celery!  

Part of our Halloween dinner

We ended up with quite a load of candy.  Four kids with several stops makes quite a pile.  The hubs and I will sneak a few of our favorites, and the rest will be sent to our troops.  I'd say it was a successful Halloween!

Our candy haul!

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