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Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Here's to More Fun and Less Fright at Halloween

Thanks to Rudi's Gluten-Free Bakery  for another opportunity to Guest Blog for them:  Here's to More Fun and Less Fright for a Gluten-Free Halloween

For many, Halloween is their favorite American holiday!  Spooky costumes, scary decorations and LOTS and LOTS of CANDY containing MILK, EGG, NUTS  and GLUTEN!  

An Allergy~Friendly S.A.F.E. Fun Filled Halloween
As many of you already know, the CANDY factor can make this much marketed holiday MORE FRIGHTENING THAN FUN!

With two kids managing 6 of the top 8 most common allergens, I want to share some ideas on how we have been able to enjoy Halloween as much as everyone else. 

Trick or treating – To Go or Not To Go?  TO GO, of course!  We dress and get into the spirit as much as everyone.  At almost 8 and 10, my children are pretty savvy about knowing which candies are safe for them.   

What do we do with candy they can’t eat?  When they were younger, I would, unbeknownst to them, trade out some of their collected ‘NO-NO’ items with SAFE candies I had on hand.  As they got a little older, they personally traded their own treats for SAFE candies.   Now, they trade with friends who trick or treat with them at the end of the night.  Last resort?  Dad and I will SAFELY dispose of ‘off limit’ items, if you know what I mean! 

Food still in your school classrooms?  Don’t PANIC!  Get more information.  One kindergarten teacher at our school has the kids participate in making a ‘Ghost in the Graveyard’ food activity.  I found out what the ingredients were and came up with alternatives for everything.  The best part was that I discovered new items which were allergy-friendly in our home.  I was able to do this for all 5 food activities she had that year.  We ALL learned a ton!

Holiday Parties – To Go or NOT To Go?  This is a very personal decision.

IF it’s a family you are close to and they know your kids well, this shouldn’t be too hard.  Remember, as much as they want you there, they are probably also nervous you will come! 

Just jump in there to help out.  Sit and have an open discussion with the parent(s) about what they’d like to have for the kids.  Offer to bake and/or provide alternatives.  I have found that with some advance notice, I can provide a comparable option for my own children.  You may even be able to provide healthy holiday treats everyone will adore. 

If you’re dealing with anaphylactic allergies, see if it’s possible to NOT have any of these particular items there.  For us, this would include ALL nuts.  If this is NOT a possibility, I wouldn’t go. 

Have a Celebration at Your Home.   Invite a few close friends or neighbors.  Go trick or treating together.  Wind up the night with hot cider and candy trading!  These celebrations are truly about the individual traditions we create and the wonderful time spent with loved ones. 

It may take a little pre-planning, but you too can have a FUN and SPOOKTACULAR HALLOWEEN!   

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