Inclusive Halloween Ideas for Food Allergy Kids
Updated: Oct 31, 2019
No kiddo should have to miss out on Halloween fun because of food allergies! Keep the fright out of treats and save it for the ghouls and goblins with these easy tips.
Have non-food treats available for tick-or-treaters that come to your home or business. Here are some ideas:
Hand out silly straws – an eco-choice! Great replacement for single use straws
Halloween shaped cookie cutters give kids the opportunity to make their own Halloween shaped treats at home!
Put the “trick” back in trick-or-treat by offering prank toys like a whoopee cushion or snake in a can
Scare away those germs by offering small bottles of hand sanitizer check out these cute Halloween themed sanitizers
Mini notebooks or colouring books with a 4 pack of crayons
Fun fidget or sensory toys like these stretchy strings
Keep the festivities going as the sun goes down with glow sticks or glow in the dark wrist bands – easily found at most dollar stores
Keep kids hydrated and pass out boxes of water
Party City has a great selection of Halloween themed party favours that make great replacements for candy including stickers, temporary tattoos, puzzle cubes, hair ties, noise makers and more!
Help parents find you by taking part in the Teal Pumpkin Project! Get a pumpkin and paint it teal or buy one at Micheals or Walmart. Teal paint can be easily found at art stores. Display your teal pumpkin in front of your house or business. Add your location to the Teal Pumpkin Project map. Don’t forget to spread the word so that others in the neighbourhood do the same.
If you still want to offer food, look for treats that are more allergen friendly, like these Enjoy life Halloween Chocolate Minis are now at Costco– they are free from gluten as well as 14 common allergens! *Remember to keep food treats in a separate bowl and still ask the child or parent if this treat is okay – some kiddos may have less common allergies*
Leading up to Halloween
Halloween fun can still be had at parties, schools and daycares while still being inclusive of food allergy kids!
Shift the focus away from food and plan some themed activities. Here are some ideas:
Crayola has some great FREE resources on their website including Halloween bingo, colouring pages, activities, and games
Have a spider scavenger hunt! Let the kids know that the spiders have escaped around the room and their help is needed to get them back to their web! Here is a great free printable from No Time For Flash Cards - this could easily turn into a game of “pin the spider on the web”
The Teal Pumpkin Project has FREE stencils and food allergy ally masks to decorate.
Keep things silly and spooky with a game of Graveyard. Have all the kids lie down with eyes open trying to stay as quiet and as still as can be. The person who is “it” must wander around the “graveyard” trying to make the others move, smile or laugh without touching them. If they do, they become “it” too. Play until one is left. Bring out the toilet paper for some wholesome Halloween fun! Have the children race to see who can make a mummy. Have the kids wrap a willing participant, maybe even and adult, with toilet paper until they are completely mummified.
Oh no! The scary witch has turned our “hot potato” into a “little pumpkin” – pass the little pumpkin around to the music, just make sure you’re not holding it when the music stops!
Go ahead and offer safe foods as part of the festivities. Keep these tips in mind:
Find out what allergies’ children have in your class, program or at your party and choose food items accordingly. Note, some modelling clay like play do might contain gluten, a common allergen.
You may not need to eliminate all allergens, simply tailor your selection to immediate needs.
Be mindful of cross-contamination and make sure to sanitize areas that may have come in contact with an allergen.
When in doubt ask parents of children with food allergy for help. Positive dialogue sounds like, "do you have any suggestions and how to best create a safe environment for Joey? Do you feel comfortable if food is a part of the event? If it is, what foods are you comfortable with?"
Have a blast!
Special thanks to Sabrina Mastrangelo, 3rd year nutrition student at Ryerson University who did the research for this post.
Honourable mention to Jodie Adams that corralled and chased our kids to take perfect pictures for this post.