Friday, November 1, 2013

Trick-or-Treat Candy Exchange for my Kiddo with Food Allergies.

For me, the true terror of Halloween was my peanut and tree nut anaphylactic child trick-or-treating. Or coming home from school with party treat bags full of potentially dangerous candy. So many bad scenarios swam through my head, too many to list without going into a Mommy rant. But with some education and research, and a few years experience under our belts, the Kiddo and I now have a successful bartering system for Halloween candies and treats (as well as Christmas, Easter, Valentine's, birthday parties, etc.).

First and foremost, ALWAYS READ THE LABELS. I can't stress that enough. Even if it has been eaten before, manufacturing processes change often. What is shown in the PASSED section above has been approved by me for my child only. So please do not rely on what is shown as proven to be safe for your allergic child. The best thing for you to do is read the labels on everything, every time. The only purpose for posting the PASSED photo is to show that he can enjoy many other things compared to what he cannot have.

My Kiddo is blessed with a lot of family that loves and watches out for him. So majority of the candy he receives have already been pre-checked and approved. As for the trick-or-treating candies and treat bags he brings home from school, he knows he is not allowed to eat any of it until he gets home and we check it together. This is not a problem because he knows he'd rather be safe than sorry. He remembers past allergic reactions and is well aware of the consequences. Plus he gets very excited to see what I have to trade for his unsafe goodies.

Anything that does not have an ingredients label is automatically rejected. My husband and I usually have the laptop out and looking at candy manufacturer's websites to read up in their allergen policies. Many of them have very useful information and take the subject matter very seriously, like Hershey. Notice the taffy in the "Failed" section. No label, no good. Also, the Little Debbie Oatmeal cookie is a no no. From my experience, almost all of them may contain nuts. The popcorn balls had a warning that said "Manufactured on the same equipment as other peanut products."

Mommy's Exchange Bucket!
I usually try to stock up on inexpensive seasonal party toys, pencils, stickers, bouncy balls, tattoos, and even toss in loose coins and some dollar bills. Top that with some of his favorite candies (pre-approved and label read by Mom herself) and he has a treasure box of fun things he can't wait to trade for. We have fun dumping out all his stuff and seeing what he has collected. I separate the "good" candy and the "bad" candy into two different piles. Then, WE MAKE DEALS! And Mommy gets to stash away the Reese's at work for rainy days. :P

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