For kids, Halloween is about dressing up, having fun and getting all the candy they can when they visit their neighbours door-to-door. But what if your child has an allergy? Are there alternatives that can make little ones just as happy? Absolutely!
As a mother who loves celebrating Halloween, I have noticed over the years that more children are unable to enjoy Halloween candy like we used to. Back in the day, we worried more about candies that were not packaged well or had been tampered in some way. But now, another, bigger worry is allergies. Many candies have additives in them that can result in an allergic reaction for children. Whether it is food dye, peanuts, or even wheat, many candies are just not safe for kids with allergies. After speaking with Allergy Quebec last year, I realized it is better to have non-food related items to avoid the letdown for little ones. But first, you have to let kids with allergies know they can safely come to your home this Halloween and get a treat. You can do that with a teal pumpkin at your door.
Where Can You Find a Teal Pumpkin?
I am happy to report that this year, teal pumpkins are available in Montreal! I found plastic teal pumpkins at Party Expert and Canadian Tire! If you are unlucky and cannot find a plastic pumpkin, or maybe you just don’t want a permanent item to store away, you can paint a pumpkin teal and place that outside instead.
Setting a teal pumpkin outside your home lets kids and their parents know you have an alternative to candy for them if they have allergies. I really want to make Halloween fun for kids of all ages, so this year, I found some fun alternatives to hand out. And of course, for the kids that can take candies, I’ve got them covered too. And the teens get full-size chocolate bars. Because teens are still kids and I want to celebrate them celebrating Halloween too. So, to make Halloween an inclusive, fun night here are some suggestions for non-food-related items to gift kids (some links are provided for your shopping).
Seven things you can gift to trick-or-treaters that have food allergies:
- Play-Doh – I lucked out and found this giant box of 100 Play-Doh mini containers at Costco a few weeks back. Depending on how many kids you receive at your door for Halloween, even a Play-Doh party-pack is great for those who can’t have candy. Please note, however, that Play-Doh contains wheat. If a child has that allergy, please be aware of this.
- Stickers – A giant roll of stickers online is great because you can give kids a bunch of stickers instead of just one. Rolling them out to give them is sure to make kids smile too!
- Squishies – gooey and gross, kids still really like these things. You can get a package of 50-100 online, all in Halloween theme.
- Slap bracelets – Remember these things?! For the ease of handing them out, I have rolled each one individually, but I know kids are going to have fun slapping them onto their wrists. These can also be Halloween-themed and purchased online in bulk.
- Stamps – Halloween stamps used to be so fun when I was a kid. Little ones will enjoy them as a crafty thing to play with the next day for sure.
- Light-up Halloween rings – I found a box of these online and I can’t wait to hand them out.
- Dinosaur eggs – I’m going to be honest with you, I tested one out and I was not too impressed. However, there is a dinosaur that comes out and grows in water, so for kids, it will be fun. These came with a Halloween card and a mini cellophane bag for each to wrap individually. I am taking one extra step to write in big “this is NOT candy”. My mom brain had to go that extra mile.
Where to Find Alternatives to Candy
I managed to order these items online early, but I know a lot of stores have Halloween-themed items for kids now. Pharmacies, grocery stores, dollar stores, and party stores are good places to look for packs of 5-20 items to hand out.
What about Teens with Allergies?
I know that teens won’t get excited about these cute items, but I do have some possible suggestions. We know a teen with many allergies and Ruffles chips is something he can actually have. And generally speaking, chips are safer to give out than candies, allergy-wise. So grab a box of individual Ruffle chips for the teens.
If you have a group of teens coming over for a Halloween party, then grabbing old Halloween movies on DVD are great five-dollar items to hand out. You can also get more creative and find some teen gifts that are Halloween-themed like press-on nails and costume jewellery, or small-amount gift cards to their favourite store.
This year, I opted to get my boys Halloween-themed escape room games. Some are a one-time play (because you will know the result/ending), but they can be packaged again to gift to someone else. I’m looking forward to playing one with them as a family, and I’m sure they will play one with their friends.
I hope this gives you ideas for Halloween. It’s such a fun night for kids, this is a great way to make it inclusive for all, regardless of their food allergies.
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