Trick-or-Treating Alternatives for Food Allergy Families


Every year, families who have children with food allergies find it challenging to take their children trick-or-treating. The majority of Halloween treats contain common allergens, which can have life-threatening consequences for children with food allergies. While there is an increase in the use of teal pumpkins and giving out allergy-friendly treats, there is still a growing number of children being diagnosed with food allergies and sensitivities every year.

Here are some allergy-friendly ideas to make Halloween more fun, less stressful and even a little spooky if your child has food allergies.

Local Events:

Most cities and counties will have local events either before or on Halloween. Look online to see what events are available in your area. Some events include Halloween-themed storytime at the library, the zoo, park events, local carnival and autumn festivals, hayrides, costume parades, pumpkin patches and church autumn festivals.

(Local churches also may have Halloween alternative events, which are usually open to
non-congregation members.)

All-Ages Family Events:

Around and on holidays, many places have special events for families. If you are interested in going to one of these places this Halloween, make sure you RSVP or buy your tickets ahead of time. These places usually sell out or quickly book up. Some places to visit include amusement parks, bowling alleys, children’s museums, miniature golf, professional sports games, arcades, craft stores, the movie theater and the mall.

(While some malls have shops that give out candy, others have arts and crafts for small children. Check their online site to see what they offer.)

Family Events for Older Children:

Ideas for what to do with older children include: haunted houses, corn mazes, escape rooms, arcades, laser tag, go-karting, indoor sports (rock climbing, hockey, etc.), live shows (concerts, plays, stand-up comedy, etc.), haunted house tours and movies at the local graveyard.

At-Home Activities:

There are many activities you can do with family and friends in the comfort of your own home. A few ideas include: creating a treasure hunt, throwing a Halloween party, hosting a movie or TV show marathon, building toy sets (cars, stuffed animals, Lego, etc.), telling Halloween stories and having family game night.

Trick-or-Treating Games:

If your child is set on trick-or-treating, turn it into a fun game. For all games, let your child gather candy, with allergy-friendly treats in another bag. Then, your child can trade candy for a prize. Prizes can be anything from a toy, book, game, or a t-shirt.

Here are a few game ideas, which you can adapt for your child’s needs:

Game #1: Candy Weigh-in

When your children get home, weigh the candy they can’t eat. For the weight of the candy, they will get a mystery prize. You can create a prize scale based on the weight of the candy. For example, candy under a pound can get a prize at or under $10.00, candy weighing between 1-2 pounds can get a prize between $10-$20 or whatever your budget allows.

Game #2: Trick-or-Treat Bingo

Create a basic Bingo chart. Instead of numbers, write in possible treat names, such as, chocolate, Skittles, bubble gum, etc. For each single candy your children have on the chart, they get an allergy-friendly small treat they can enjoy. If they get a Bingo, they get a bigger mystery prize.

Game #3: House Points

For every house your children are able to successfully trick-or-treat at, they get a point. The more houses they get, the more points they get. Similar to Candy Weigh-In, the prize is based on a scale of mystery prizes. You can set the prize scale by fives (0-5 points, 5-10 points, 10-15 points, etc.), with bigger prizes as the number increases.

Have a Happy, and allergy-free, Halloween!

Image Credits: EvgeniiAnd

Photo by EvgeniiAnd via Getty.


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