Thursday, October 13, 2011

Working with Food Allergies at Halloween Parties

It's that time of year again--your child's school Halloween party. It doesn't have to be scary if you've done your homework and made some plans.

Here are 5 tips for your child's class Halloween party:

1. Find out what foods are allowed. Store bought only? Any other food allergies to consider? Get the info so you can either bake a safe treat or buy something the whole class can enjoy. Now is the time to ask about a nut-free party environment as well.

2. Consider contributing non-edible treats. Stickers, Halloween-themed pencils or small toys add allergy-free fun to a party and best of all, everyone can enjoy them. Check the shelves at Target, Walmart or other discount retailers for great bargains and creative ideas.

3. Contribute some goodies for the entire class. Even if there are other foods at the party that are off-limits to your child (it happens) at least they will able to enjoy one thing that everyone else is eating. This will really help them to feel a part of things.

4. Be available the day of the party. Even if you can't be there, keep your cell phone on and be ready to answer questions. I've been called more times than I can count during a class party and answered questions about specific treats. I don't mind--I'm glad to either steer my child from an unsafe treat or allow them to have it if they can.

5. Role play with your child before the party. If your child is very young or new to nut allergies, this is especially important. Practice with them how to politely refuse food or ask to see a label. In general, tell them to avoid anything they're not sure about. It's never too early to start teaching kids how to handle their allergy.


Sal's Dad Sal said...


Thanks for your tips. My suggestion to all parents of food allergic children is to intervene at your school and push for an approved safe snack list that takes the allergies of all kids in the class into account. Parents should be notified that *all* snacks must be store bought and must be on the list or they will not be permitted in the classroom. This way, the parents, teacher, or school nurse can verify the ingredients are safe for all students. You can find a list of common snacks that are peanut, tree nut, sesame and egg free at this link. Here's a blog article with additional ideas for an allergen safe halloween: 4 Halloween Strategies for Food Allergic Kids.

Flower Gifts said...

Thanks for all the 4yr old daughter has a peanut allergy and although she knows I'm not sure she wouold check before receiving food. It is definitely something I need to talk through with her and explain fully. Just because she can't see the peanuts doesn't mean they are not there.