Parent Talk: Food Allergies at Halloween

Halloween is a fun time for kids but what about those kids with scary, life threatening food allergies.

  • Halloween is an exciting time for kids! Costumes, parties and candy, what more could kids want! Well for some families, Halloween can be a scary time. If you have a child with food allergies, Halloween can be not only a scary time but a dangerous one too. Many candies and treats include allergens like nuts and dairy.
  • St. Michael mom of three, Meghan Gutzwiller has first hand experience. Her 2 year old son, Lincoln, was diagnosed with his peanut allergy on Halloween last year as a 1 year old. "It was especially scary knowing that not only would we have to get rid of the things in our house, our other sons would be bringing in more possible allergens that night," she said.

    This year she says she's had time to make a plan of action by stocking up on lots of safe treats. "I stocked up on Junior Mints, Rolos and Hershey Kisses so that he can still have chocolate treats, we will just swap out the ones he can't have."

    Of course plenty of non-chocolate treats are safe as well. Treats like Dum Dum suckers, Dots, Starbursts just to name a few.

    However, don't assume just because it's not chocolate it's safe, she warned.

    "I've found that even Nerds sometimes have a warning that they are produced on the same equipment as things with nuts," Gutzwiller said.

    Minnesota mom Missy Berggren, the blogger behind the popular blog, Marketing Mama has written a lot about food allergies the past several years.

    She offers a few suggestions of things to offer up to trick or treaters in your neighborhood:

    • Hold out your treat bowl and allow children to choose one or two pieces. Those with food allergies can typically recognize candy that is safe for them.
    • Provide non-food treats in addition to candy. Throw some spider rings or themed pencils in your treat bowl. These are always great options for kids with food allergies.
    • Include “allergy free” candy in your mix. Easy-to-find brands that are safe for most food allergies include Smarties, Dots, and Dum Dum suckers. They are all free from milk, eggs and soy, in addition to peanuts and tree nuts.


    Annie October 25, 2012 at 02:05 AM
    We also have a child with severe nut allergies. Many people don't understand that just because there are no actual nuts in a product, it still may not be safe for him to eat. Thank you for this story!


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