Allergy Friendly Halloween Treats for Your Child with ADHD
Allergies and Halloween
It’s almost Halloween and your kids are getting excited. Costumes, school parties, trick or treating and yes CANDY !! As a parent to a child with ADHD, I admit, I had a really hard time with Halloween. I dreaded the battles I knew I was facing. School parties are fun but they are also chaotic and to a child with ADHD, they can be a difficult place to navigate. They are usually at the end of day which is good for the school day as learning is over, but it’s hard for all when we bring a child home who is all sugared up and then we try to have them eat dinner before we go out and get more candy. Not a fun scene for the parents, right? Couple that with possible allergies (as most kids with ADHD either have an allergy or an intolerance to either dairy, wheat, gluten, soy, corn, eggs, tree nuts or peanuts) and you as the parent have to play the detective so you can protect your child from possible allergic reactions. So, how can we make this time enjoyable for you as the parent and for your child? Let’s take a look at some strategies you can implement and some allergy friendly Halloween treats.
Plan, Plan, Plan
In order to have a fun Halloween day and night, it’s important to set some ground rules for the family to follow.
Talk with your child as Halloween is approaching. Acknowledge that you know the he/she is excited about the upcoming school party and trick or treating but also let them know that there will be some ground rules so EVERYONE in the family can have a fun time.
The day of the party, which typically is on Halloween unless Halloween falls on a weekend, make sure your child gets a hearty, protein filled, low sugar breakfast. Bacon, eggs, oatmeal, smoothie, etc.
Pack a high protein lunch with lots of fruits and veggies to balance out their blood sugar before the party.
Chat with your child’s teacher before the party and offer to bring in some allergy friendly treats for the whole class. Also chat with the room moms to be sure they are planning some non-treat activities so the emphasis is on fun but not eating candy, treats, etc during the whole party.
If possible, attend the party, so you can help to ground your child. I found that when I was present for the party, I was able to help my son navigate what was going on without him having a meltdown about something.
Allergy Friendly Halloween Treats
There are so many options for allergy friendly Halloween treats that are tasty and fun. Here’s my favorite:
Enjoy Life Brand - Free of the Top 8 Allergens, this company is dedicated to serving those who have food allergies. They have various Halloween treats. Check them out here: https://shop.enjoylifefoods.com/Halloween-Chocolate-Minis/c/EnjoyLife@Halloween
No Whey Foods - 100% Milk Free, Peanut Free, Tree Nut Free, Gluten Free, Egg Free, Soy Free, No Artificial Colors and Flavors ! Free of the common eight allergens! Vegan and Kosher. Check out their treats here: https://www.nowheychocolate.com/Halloween_Chocolate_s/150.htm
Wholesome Sweeteners Products - Organic candy that is free of artificial colors, flavors and high fructose corn syrup, certified nut free, gluten free, vegan and kosher: http://shop.wholesomesweet.com/Halloween-Favorites/c/Wholesome@SeasonalProducts
Cupcakes with Allergy Free Frosting and Sprinkles - Most kids love cupcakes, so get a allergy friendly cake mix and make your own frosting and add sprinkles that are dye free and you’re all set :)
Natural Candy Store - I recently found this site and they have some fun Halloween treats too. Now, they do have some things with peanuts, etc, so read carefully. https://www.naturalcandystore.com/category/sweet-halloween-deals/&p=spooky
Non-Food Halloween Treats
There are many “treats” you can give your child other than food. Here are my favorites:
Non-toxic glow sticks, bracelets or necklaces
Bubbles - Helps calm
Mini Bottles of Water
Mini Coloring Books
Teal Pumpkin Project
Food Allergy Research and Education (FARE) Teal Pumpkin Project was launched in 2014 to offer an alternative to children with food allergies so they can take part in the fun as well at Halloween. Basically, if you see this sign, you will know that there are non-food items available for your child. If you want to offer this at your home, you can do something as simple as paint your pumpkin teal and then keep the non-food items separate than the food items. Read more about this project here: https://www.foodallergy.org/education-awareness/teal-pumpkin-project
I hope the resources that I’ve provided can help you and your child have a safe and fun Halloween.
As a mom to a child with ADHD, I’ve been there and want to serve you well while you navigate this journey. Please check out my other blog posts and download my FREE BOOKLET - 5 Ways to Keep Your Child with ADHD Calm and Focused here.
Until next time,
About the author: Mary is a wife of 22 years and mom to three children, one who has ADHD and Sensory Processing Disorder. She is also a Certified Health Coach and loves to serve her clients through a Free Facebook group, Online and In-Person Individual Family Coaching and Group Coaching programs. She is also a self published author of "Food & The Brain" a book about how food affects our brains and the creator of "Grocery Store to Table" a program with a proven approach to helping your child accept new foods into their diets.