Some kids have severe or life-threating allergies to common ingredients found in candy, such as dairy or nuts. To help these kids be able to participate in trick-or-treating, you can prepare some allergy-friendly options to give out on Halloween. Here are a few of our favorite ideas.
One of the easiest ways to still give out candy without limiting kids with allergies is to get a candy mix. For example, instead of getting a bag of Snickers or Reese’s (which obviously have peanuts) or Twix (which has wheat), you could get a mixed bag or a few kinds of candies to provide options. Aim for something without chocolate or other dairy products, a treat without nuts, and a candy without wheat.
You could also pick a single candy that is less likely to have an allergen. Some options include suckers, Swedish Fish, Skittles, Smarties, Starbursts, jelly beans, Sour Patch Kids, Dots, and marshmallows. While some people may still have allergies to these items, they are less risky than something that has peanuts.
If you want to hand out treats that aren’t candy, there are many options. While some of these may still have allergy risks, you can pick things carefully or pick a few things that would work as a substitute for candy with common allergens.
Options include apples, raisins, herbal tea bags, applesauce in squeeze packs, bags of chips, packs of crackers, popcorn, freeze pops, fruit leather, clementines, juice packets, apple cider or hot chocolate packets, or Goldfish crackers.
For some kids, there just might not be any safe candy. Alternatively, you might want to pick a non-candy option to use as a catch-all for anyone with allergies. Some people even do all non-candy options because kids love the excitement of something different. Some people also put teal pumpkins out to signify that they offer non-food options to children who might not otherwise be able to get treats.
Possible options for non-food items include glow sticks or glow bracelets, clay, stickers, pencils, notebooks, bouncy balls, mini coloring books, toothbrushes, bubbles, spider rings, mini puzzles, markers, mini flashlights, vampire fangs, seed packets, bookmarks, or other small and inexpensive items.
To avoid more allergies, avoid items with latex or wheat in the materials, and as always, keep allergy-friendly options in a separate container.
Taking the extra step to have a few options so that people with allergies can participate in trick-or-treating will make you a winner in the eyes of anyone with food challenges, and it’s simple to provide a few options to make your house one of the best on the block.