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My youngest son is Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Soy Free and finding candy that isn’t Taste Free is tough. Especially with Halloween coming up. Trick-or-Treating with a child with food allergies can be quite challenging. Here are a few tips to make this spooky holiday a little less scary when it comes to candy.

Have Appropriate Snacks on Hand at Home

I stock up on candies like Dum Dums and fruit snacks that my son can trade his Milky Ways and Whoppers for. With three boys, it makes it a bit easier as no matter who got what, we dump all the candy in a pile at the end of the night and start sorting. All of the GFCF candy goes to my youngest, the dark chocolate goes to me (as payment for schlepping them around for miles in the neighborhood) and then the older boys get to divvy up the rest. If you don’t have multiple kids, you can always have a stash on hand that they can trade the treats they can’t eat for those they can.

Ask Kids at the Door if They Have Food Allergies

Many kids in our neighborhood have peanut allergies. When they come to the door, I ask the parents, or the kids themselves, if they have any food allergies and have a stash of Dairy Free, Gluten Free and Nut Free items or even small toys on hand for them to choose from. I’ve gotten so many compliments on this tactic and noticed that others in our neighborhood are following suit and doing the same. It’s a quick question that can help a child feel special on a holiday that can feel so isolating when it becomes all about getting stuff they can’t have.

Get a Visit from the Switch Witch

I hadn’t heard about this practice until this year. What an amazing idea! The kids get to have a couple pieces of appropriate candy before bed, but at night, the Switch Witch comes and takes ALL the candy and replaces it with a present. Could be a new video game, maybe a Skylanders or Disney Infinity Character, some books, a LEGO set? The possibilities are endless!

Visit the Dentist. No Really!

Many dental practices have candy swaps after the holiday. You bring in your candy, they weigh it and give you cash or toys. Brilliant! Again, I would let my child have a few small pieces of the allergy friendly food first, and then trade in the rest.

These are just a few ways to keep the kids happy and healthy this Halloween season, especially for those with food allergies. What tips do you have for keeping candy allergen free?

  • Denverista

    Thankfully my children don’t have any allergies, but several children in our mommies group do. I bought a few bags of Unreal: Unjunked Candy for the children that do have allergies. I like the other suggestions that you offered. I always grab the kids candy after they go to bed. Maybe this year, I will give them a toy for going out and getting me all of that candy. Lol

  • http://www.thecentsiblelife.com/ Kelly Whalen

    Great post! This is so helpful for folks who want to be sensitive but don’t have food allergies in their family. I always keep some non-food stuff on hand, so hopefully the parents and kids won’t be shy about asking for them. :)

  • LeticiaTechSavvyMama

    Thanks for the helpful information! I love the idea of a Switch Witch and am making sure I have dairy free, gluten free, and nut free items for Thursday night and class parties!

  • http://julieverse.com/ Julie Meyers Pron

    one of our neighbors has a severe nut allergy, so I’ve always kept a bag of pretzels for him. I love the idea of keeping some small toys for them instead. I think I’ll visit Target today to see what I can scoop up quickly.

  • Melanie

    These are great ideas! We have our own special holiday trickster, but it’s not the switch witch (very clever). I’m going out today to make sure we have some allergy-free alternatives for kids.

  • angelaengland

    What great ideas! It isn’t easy to have a child with allergies, I’m sure, so being aware and sensitive is a great idea!