This year I have really been thinking about what it would be like to have a child with an allergy or issue that made Trick or Treating a challenge. Both of my tinies are social little beings who love to go Trick or Treating in the neighborhood, but what if it wasn’t so easy. I began to think about all of the items that I have on hand that are processed in a facility that is contaminated by nuts. It is ALL of it! Every last bit. I am passing out bags of chips and containers of Pringles (lunch box size, don’t all come to the Momleficent house expecting me to make it rain Pringles, please) and it is processed in a facility that contains nuts. I am also passing out Tootsie Pops – well, that too is made in a facility that could be contaminated.
After my experience over the last two years with a child in Tiny’s class being allergic to nuts, my eyes have been opened to just how difficult it is to make sure that our kids are safe. I heard parents grumble about not being able to send a PB and J to school in their child’s lunch box – well, me either. Yes, it is easy. Yes, it is cheap. Yes, that is one of the few things my child will eat right now. But you know, my child’s preference for peanut butter sandwiches doesn’t override another child’s preference to keep breathing.
I began to wonder what I had or could have that would be something that a child might like, and would not aggravate their allergies. How much would it suck to have all of your candy confiscated because of an allergy – it would be like living in Jimmy Kimmel’s “Mommy Ate All Of Your Halloween Candy” bits, but no one gives it back in the end. So here are my solutions for the coming hoard of tiny folk in costume.
Fruity Jack O Lanterns
I sent these to school with my kids this year for their classes, and they were totally a hit! Even the non fruit lovers loved the tiny little faces and cute little cups of fruit. There are no nut allergies to worry about, and unless someone is allergic to citrus, you should be good!
My tiny people love a glow stick. I use them for safety on Halloween night in addition to just being fun! I would be willing to bet you that my kids could be seen from the Space Station when we are Trick or Treating. Why not spread a little florescent love and give some to allergy ridden kids who need a little boost, and don’t have to worry about being sick. These are also great stocking stuffers since Christmas is coming up.
Apple Sauce Packs
I know, it sounds odd, but if you want to give a treat that is low in sugar, healthy, and not processed in a facility that also processes nut products, squeeze packs of apple sauce are a good bet. Be sure to read the box to make sure that you are getting ones that really are not contaminated by residue, but Go Go Squeeze is a good bet. My kids will whoof these down. They are easy, not messy (God bless the soul that invented those little squeeze packs!) and good for them to boot. On the nights when I can’t get my kids to buy into the broccoli is just a tiny tree – be Godzilla!, they will eat one or two applesauce packss to get their fruit and vegies in for the day. I’m totally ok with that. More tiny trees and Godzilla fantasies for me!!!
Yep you heard me right. We have all seen those bags of pumpkin erasers, spider rings, and fake vampire teeth in the stores this time of year. You can’t get around them. Make the most of those cheap items and make a few goodie bags that are filled with treats that are non candy but still fun. My three year old thinks he is the funniest thing on earth right now as he tries to scare me and his Daddy with his vampire fangs. And he’s pretty close to being right. He is absolutely adorable, and so are those gaudy little fangs sticking out of his mouth. I don’t mind him playing with them and he loves to. It’s win – win.
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Finally, my favorite non candy treat to give out at Halloween is play dough! I had a kid come to my house one year, get two tiny containers of play dough from the treat bucket, and run screaming back across the yard to his mom “I got play dough!” like it was pirate treasure. He yelled to her like I feel when I get those perfectly baked chocolate chip cookies out of the oven and the kids don’t realize they are done yet. You know that 5 minutes where the cookies are still warm and no one knows but you – your dirty little secret. The mom glared at me and muttered “Thanks.” – somehow I don’t think she meant it. Oh well, that kid made my entire Halloween and now I like to keep it on hand just to give to my special needs, diabetic, and nut free kiddos. They need to feel special too! A couple of tips – spring for the real stuff. Just like with crayons, the off brands just aren’t as good. You don’t want someone’s mom toilet papering your house because your Halloween treat just stained her carpet, do you? Yeah, me either.
Be sure to put out a teal pumpkin on Halloween night. These signify that you have treats that kids with allergies and issues can have. I have not done that before, but the Teal Pumpkin Project is making me more aware of how many kids there are that are impacted (almost as if they designed it that way, right?) by issues that could be life threatening. I have never met a Tootsie Pop that was worth all of that drama. You can buy one from a craft store like the ones above, or paint your own real pumpkin. If you display one, please do have some treats on hand to give to kids with food allergies.
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