From ghost stories and haunted houses to horror movie marathons, the Halloween season is chock-full of frightful fun for many! However, despite the festivities and tasty treats, the scares can be all too real for around 32 million Americans currently living with food-related allergies. Luckily, our Charleston Allergy and Asthma team has put together some helpful tricks to help make this holiday an allergy-safe treat!
A Fright-Free Food Allergy Refresher
The trick to creating an allergy-free Halloween begins with understanding what treats are triggers. When it comes to food-related allergies, there is a set of allergens identified by the FDA as the most common. The FDA’s “Big Eight” include milk, eggs, fish, crustacean shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat and soybeans. Sesame will be added to this list in Jan. 2023.
Allergy-Friendly Treats Safe for All Trick-Or-Treaters
Halloween should be filled with fun for all! While candy is traditionally the staple treat, plenty of other goodies will get your local trick-or-treaters more than excited to stop by. Try out some of these allergy-safe alternatives this season.
Allergy-Free Goodie Bags: Ditch the snacks and the food-related scares to ensure everyone has a safe and happy Halloween by creating allergy-free goodie bags that include stickers, small toys and other non-food treats. Have some fun with it, too! Try decorating brown paper bags as witches, scarecrows and other October favorites.
(Typically) Allergy-Friendly Snacks: You can still keep tasty treats in play while being food allergy-conscious. Snacks like animal crackers, veggie sticks and pretzels are typically allergy-friendly, but, as always, make sure to check the ingredients before offering them to guests. Explore our blog for allergy-free recipes!
Hot Cocoa: The end of October can sometimes be chilly, especially at night! Offer your costumed visitors a nice cup of cocoa to help warm them up on their travels. While some hot cocoas are allergy-safe, inspect the labels to ensure no powder milk is in the ingredients. For those experiencing a warmer holiday evening, lemonade can be a great alternative to provide a refreshing treat for visitors.
Tips For An Allergy-Free Trick-Or-Treat
While you may not have control of the treats left out, there are precautions your family can take to have a fun and safe evening free of food-allergy frights, such as looking for homes with a teal pumpkin to signify they are allergy-friendly. Educate yourself and your child on trick-or-treat safety with these helpful tips:
- Always check food labels, even if they are snacks that are typically safe. Recipes can change, and ingredients can vary based on where the food was produced.
- Establish an “Ask Before You Eat” rule with your child to ensure no allergens are accidentally consumed.
- Encourage trick-or-trading within your home and community. This allows everyone to get in on the fun and lets your child swap trouble foods for safe snacks.
- Wear gloves to protect your hands from any contact with allergens.
- Always carry epinephrine in case of a food-allergy emergency.
Leave Allergy Scares Behind
If you or a loved one are living with untreated allergies, Charleston Allergy and Asthma is ready to help you find comfort and control. Contact us today to schedule an appointment with our team of board-certified allergists.