Friday, October 2, 2009

Nut-Free, (Mostly) Allergy-Free Halloween Treat Ideas

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)


Tootsie Pops

Carmel Apple Pops (made from the Tootsie Roll company, a completely nut-free facility!)

Life Savers



Sweet Tarts

Dum Dum Suckers

Dots (including "Candy Corn" Dots and "Bat" Dots)

Ring Pops

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)

Halloween pencils

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!


kelly said...

thanks for all the great tips jenny! we can do about half that list, but i love the tips about treat alternatives....

Jenny said...

Yes, the non-edible ideas are my favorite because everyone can enjoy them!

Mary G. said...

I love the Oriental Trading idea and the coin idea. There was an elderly couple at the end of my street growing up that would give us a bag of pennies like that. It was great!!

I also found a giant tub of Utz's individually wrapped pretzels at Costco. The pretzels are in the shape of bats and pumpkins for Halloween and are labeled to be made in a peanut/tree nut free facility. Very cool!

Linda B said...

We give away bags of microwave popcorn. We started one year when we found Halloween-themed mini-bags and so many of the kids liked them that we kept up the tradition, although we don't splurge for the Halloween-themed ones anymore. We are now the "popcorn house".

Jane Anne said...

Great list! I have a list up on my blog as well: Halloween is Around the Corner

I love the penny idea. I also usually include some stickers in the candy bowl.

caramama said...

Thank you so much for this post and your blog. This was the first year my 2.5 year old went trick-or-treating, and since learning earlier this year that she probably has a peanut allergy, it's all new to us to look for nut-free products! So many candies say they are made in facilities with peanuts, and I've been overwhelmed by what to actually allow my child to eat! This helps so much!

Also, I am going to order some candy from the nut-free site you linked to. I will be prepared for Christmas and future holidays.