Who doesn’t go batty for Halloween? American’s are on track to spend over $9 billion on Halloween! Dressing up as VISCO girls or Fortnite characters will gobble up over $3.2 billion in apparel with decorations costing another $2.7 billion! Candy alone will cost us over $2.6 billion for this one holiday.
What is truly petrifying is the very items we purchase can actually hurt us or our loved ones with food allergies. One is 13 children under the age of 18 in the United States has a food allergy (1). Chances are high one of those kids will visit your house for a treat.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) offered some tips to ensure Halloween stays festive and does not involve medical emergencies:
· Always read the ingredient label on any treat your child receives. Many popular Halloween candies contain some of the most common allergens, such as peanuts or tree nuts, milk, egg, soy or wheat.
· If the ingredients aren't listed, arrange for a treat "exchange" with classmates or friends. Or, bag up the goodies your child can't eat because of an allergy and leave them with a note asking the "Treat Fairy" to swap them for a prize.
· Be aware that even if they are not listed on the ingredient label, candies (both chocolate and non-chocolate) are at high risk of containing trace amounts of common allergy triggers, because factories often produce many different products. Also, "fun size" or miniature candies may have different ingredients or be made on different equipment than the regular size candies, meaning that brands your child previously ate without problems could cause a reaction.
· Teach your child to politely turn down home-baked items such as cupcakes and brownies, and never to taste or share another child's food.
· Offer non-edible goodies to trick-or-treaters and classmates. Food Allergy Research & Education's Teal Pumpkin Project, which promotes safe trick-or-treating options for children with food allergies, suggests items such as glow sticks, spider rings, vampire fangs, pencils, bubbles, bouncy balls, finger puppets, whistles, bookmarks, stickers and stencils. Consider supplying some to neighbors whose homes your child will visit. Download your free Teal Pumpkin Poster and activity sheets here.
· Plan alternatives to trick-or-treating, such as slumber parties or get-togethers to watch creepy movies.
· Center parties around festive activities such as costume parades, pumpkin decorating contests, Halloween themed games, crafts and scavenger hunts or spooky storybooks.
To have a frightfully fun Halloween, be careful out there!
Please share with Five Stones Wellness how you celebrated your Halloween, your Teal Pumpkin, and your cutest Halloween picture! If you are interested in Food Sensitivity testing, please schedule today!
1. NRF (2019). https://nrf.com/media-center/press-releases/halloween-spending-reach-9-billion