Halloween. The beginning of the holiday season. And the beginning of the allergy worries about the holidays. I love the holidays, and I really want Sophie to love them, too. I don't want her to miss any of the fun, the magic, the tastes, the experiences. So I have come up with a few things that help us to make Halloween work for her.
School parties: I always attend Sophie's school party. I always bring something to share with the class, and I often sign up to help plan as many of the school parties as possible. This can be a lot of extra work, but it also makes the food aspect of the party so much more comfortable for us.
Parties with friends: If Sophie is invited to another Halloween party (or birthday party, for that matter), I simply ask what will be served in terms of food and bring a suitable substitute for her. Many other parents now ask me to just tell them the right brand of hot dogs, the right kind of ice cream, etc. so that they can provide Sophie with what she needs. We have been very blessed to have such supportive friends! I always make sure to have some extra candy or other treats at home so that if goody bags contain things we're not sure about, she can trade for something we know is safe.
Trick or Treating: Isn't this such a nightmare? The traditional after trick-or-treating candy sort takes on new importance with food allergies in the house! I try not to make Sophie's candy sort too different from the other kids. Either Jeff or I sit with all of them as they go through their candy. For the most part, she knows what she can and can't have, and her sisters often trade for some of her forbidden items. I also have a reserve of Sophie-Safe treats to trade as well. The sad part comes when there's something that we're not sure about and she wants to eat it. I think all candy manufacturers should put their labels online, so that we can sit there Halloween night and Google all the candy that isn't familiar to us. Who ever thought about the ingredient labels before life with allergies?