Friday, October 26, 2007


(Cookie pictured above is from a Sunflour Bakery dairy-free cookie kit and was decorated by Katherine. My review is here.)

Karen from Avoiding Milk Protein has asked me to share some tips for a safe, allergen-free Halloween. Will do.

First of all, there was a fantastic article in our local paper a few days ago, and I cannot find it online to link to it. If someone else finds it, please let me know. It was written by Helen Malani, chief shopping expert for She did a price comparison of treats vs. toys. Her examples were Junior Mints, 16-cent handheld Halloween puzzles, and three-cent vampire teeth. (Malani found the games and teeth online.) "To sum it up: If you get 50 trick-or-treaters at your door this year, you'd have to spend $9.50 to hand out the Junior Mints, $8 for handheld puzzles, and just $3 for enough vampire teeth." See? Safer and budget-friendly. She recommends Century Novelty, Sticker Giant, and US Toy for inexpensive toy handouts.

Then she earned my eternal love and devotion by writing about the dangers of food allergies. "Truthfully speaking, handing out Halloween toys is obviously healthier for kids, but it is also a safer choice. Last year alone, hospital emergency rooms treated nearly 30,000 adults and children for reactions to common foods like peanuts, tree nuts, eggs, and milk.....
"It's not enough to assume a candy that looks safe is safe. So if you insist on remaining a traditionalist this Halloween and handing out candy, don't play any guessing games. Scrutinize every package's label. Do it for those little pirates and princesses that will be invading your doorstep this Halloween night."

*Sniff* I love you, Helen Malani! Call me!

Allergy Moms has published a list of 99 Food Allergy Friendly Treats just in time for Halloween.

Alton Brown has some great homemade candy ideas. All of these can be made dairy-free by substituting dairy-free margarine for the butter.

One of my friends said she read an article with a suggestion to let children choose a few pieces of candy to keep and then trade in the rest for a small toy. I think this is a great idea. Does anyone know where this article was published?

At our house, we purchase dairy-free candy to give out, and we reserve a few pieces of it. Katherine trades in her candy with dairy for dairy-free candy at the end of the evening. Other than that, we follow the same basic safety rules everyone should: don't eat anything until Mama and Daddy check it; throw away poorly-wrapped candy, go to the houses of people you know, etc.

We are very fortunate to have thoughtful neighbors who purchase treats that Katherine can have. Our next-door neighbor, who is a grandma raising her grandson, keeps a separate basket of potato chips, pretzels, and raisins for children with dietary issues. Awww....

These are just some of the many ideas that will get you through this candy-centric holiday. I'd love to hear other suggestions!


  1. Thanks for all the info. Our first big test is a Halloween carnival tonight.

  2. I just wanted to let you know that you have really opened my eyes to food allergies. I am making cookies for some new neighbors and I kept thinking..what if they are allergic to dairy products? What if they are allergic to wheat? I'm allergic to aspartame but that is easily unavoided (unless my FIL buys and bakes a pie...for some reason he ALWAYS get no sugar added pies).

    Heres to a safe and happy Halloween!

  3. I love the picture of that cookie :)
    Thanks for all the tips. We buy safe candy for the Little Man and let him trade his candy for the safe stuff when he gets home.

    We should start a Helen Malani fan club. How awesome for her to put the food allergy info in there. You go Helen!!

  4. Oh, I am so seriously behind on my blog reading. This is the fourth blog I've been to where there were at least 3 posts I hadn't read yet. In my defense, we have been busy all week. And by "we", I mean "I".
    For Halloween, I am handing out some of the leftover party favors purchased for Ben's birthday party last August. Not that we ever get may T./or/T.-ers anyway. (Our house might be set a bit too far back from the road for some.)
    Good to check in with you again. And I am so excited for your mom!

  5. I have been fortunate that none of my kids suffer from alergies, but I have friends' kids that are and it is frightening sometimes. Thanks for devoting this post to such useful information for people that experience this sort of thing in their kids and families. Have a good weekend - see ya.

  6. MBM - I'll be anxious to hear how it went.

    Shannon - Wow, thank you so much! I didn't know you have an allergy!

    ChupieandJ'smama - We can be... Malanites?

    TFM - Hi! Hope all is well with your busy life.

    Thanks, Kellan!

  7. The cookie is adorable!

    I mix up a bowl full of Skittles, Starburst, Halloween pencils, spider rings, cool tattoos, and glow sticks. The kids are so psyched. Vampire teeth? The neighborhood kids will be thrilled.

    I go through the candy and take everything out that my child can't have. I trade her with the regular sized candy she can have. She's happy. I'm happy.

    I hit the lottery when I moved into my neighborhood a couple years ago. There are four other families with food allergies. All have peanut allergies, so our neighborhood is pretty good about choosing peanut free candy. Seriously.

    At least we don't have to worry about one allergen.

  8. HWM - Wow, your house must be very popular on trick-or-treat night! What a selection! And, clearly, you can never move out of your awesome neighborhood.

  9. Our local bowling alley had 25 free bowling vouchers for $2.99 - what a deal! We don't get too many kids in our neighbourhood, but we still always have a good selection of candy, chocolate and chips. This year, we're giving free bowling too!

  10. Lori D - What a great idea! I love stuff like that.

  11. We are having the Halloween Fairy visit our house - any treats that The Baby can't eat will be put in a plastic pumpkin and left by the front door, and in the morning, she'll find a nice replacement toy and some safe treats.

  12. Oh, Beck. What a great idea. Hurry up and publish your holiday ideas booklet!

  13. I love Halloween cookies. It's just fantastic.