Wow, if Target is any indicator, Halloween is like, tomorrow, and Christmas is next weekend! I realized that it's high time I share some nut-free, (mostly) allergy-free Halloween treat ideas that are easy to find anywhere. Of course, there are a few online vendors that I love, but I will get to them in a minute. It's great to have some options to throw in your supermarket cart with the knowledge that it's safe for food-allergic kids.
I found several candy choices that are free of the top 8 allergens and definitely free of peanuts and tree nuts. A lot of the following candies are even available in Halloween-themed snack-sized bags.
While perusing the SuperTarget Halloween candy aisle today I found these "safe" choices: (Important: Please keep in mind that no candy is safe for everyone. Always consider your specific needs and/or call the candy companies if you have additional questions.)
Mike & Ike Jelly Beans
Junior Mints (not safe for all allergies, but safe for nut allergies)
Carmel Apple Pops (made from the Tootsie Roll company, a completely nut-free facility!)
Dum Dum Suckers
Dots (including "Candy Corn" Dots and "Bat" Dots)
I even found "Candy Corn Hershey Kisses" that meet nut-free criteria. My kids LOVE these but these candies are soooo sweet. Hershey labels their candies very well and uses good manufacturing practices, so if there is any cross-contact chance, they will list it. These do not contain any nut allergen warnings at all. They are not dairy-free, however.
While all of the choices above are nut-free, they are certainly not sugar-free and not so great for the kids' teeth. If you'd like to skip edible treats altogether, here are some non-edible Halloween treats to try. Don't forget to tell the class Room Moms and teachers about some of these. I found many of the following items in the Oriental Trading Company catalog--the prices are not bad, either, when you consider how much you spend on candy. Buy in bulk and you'll save $$...just keep leftovers for next year.
Some of my favorites are:
Spider rings (classic!)
Halloween stickers (buy rolls of these and cut them off in segments to pass out at the door)
Pumpkin-shaped Ring Pops
Small, Halloween-themed toys
Another thing that I've heard some moms are doing is placing a little stack (5-10) pennies in a little baggie with orange and black ribbon ties. Little kids love to get money so this is a great non-edible idea. Unfortunately older kids won't go for this as much--they'll probably expect an iPod in the little baggie, so use your judgement.
If your allergies are nut only, as always, I recommend Vermont Nut-Free Chocolates. A great variety of Halloween-themed chocolates and jelly beans are available here.
I hope this gets everybody off to a good start and please share your ideas, too!