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 Shopzilla.com. 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!