Who doesn’t love Halloween? The treats, the costumes, the spooky music - it’s a super fun day for people of all ages and from all cultures, and a great opportunity for families to get out and meet their neighbors. All things we can get behind!
But sadly, there is an answer to the question of ‘who doesn’t love Halloween,’ and it’s the kids who are excluded from all the fun, due to allergies or accessibility issues.
It may take a little more planning, but it’s easy to have a more inclusive Halloween. Here’s our top recommendations to ensure everyone on your block gets to enjoy the festivities this year.
If you’re a parent, there’s a lot of ‘scary’ stuff in Halloween candy, like all that corn syrup, sugar, and genetically-modified ingredients.
But if you’re a parent of a child with allergies or food sensitivities, things are a whole lot scarier. And you probably know all too well the tears that come when you have to go through your child’s Halloween bag and take away half of their treats.
Thankfully, it’s not the 1980s anymore (although we do love some nostalgic favorites here and there). Remember when you were trick-or-treating, and how you’d roll your eyes at the house that gave out raisins and pencils? Today’s parents have so many more options that are healthy and fun and tasty. And, most importantly, allergen free.
So, what do you need to avoid if you want to give out inclusive, allergen-friendly treats? The top 8 allergens are tree nuts, peanuts, wheat, soybeans, milk, eggs, fish, and shellfish. We also recommend you look for treats that are non-GMO, organic, kosher, plant-based, and gluten-free.
Note that our organic SuperFruit Freezies fit this bill! They’re available online and at Walmart, and they make an unexpected surprise for trick-or-treaters.
Walmart has lots of other healthy kid snacks that can double up as Halloween treats. We love Halloween Chocolate Minis from Enjoy Life Foods, which are allergy-friendly, individually wrapped and made with simple, non-GMO ingredients.
MadeGood Foods has lots of individually wrapped options like these Chocolate Banana Granola Minis, which are natural, organic, non-GMO, gluten free, vegan, kosher, and allergy friendly. And Annie’s has lots of great individually-wrapped fruit snacks.
So, when you’re picking out Halloween candy this year, try to think about everyone who will want to eat it. And of course, we don’t need to tell you to always check every label carefully when your own child has allergies.Accessible & Safe Trick-or-Treating
Of course, it’s not just candy that can exclude some children from Halloween festivities. That’s because trick-or-treating is a whole different ballpark for children with accessibility issues.
We love that making our homes accessible for all trick-or-treaters regardless of ability, a movement spearheaded by Re/Max, is growing in popularity.
Take some time to think about your home’s accessibility. Do you have steps that would prevent a child in a wheelchair from accessing your door? If you can’t make your door more accessible, would you be willing to give out treats from your driveway?
And remember that not all accessibility issues are visible, so be patient with children who may be slower than others or non-verbal.
We love that our society is becoming more aware of the unique needs of all people. Even if your kids don’t face any of these issues, they’ll see the effort you’re putting into making sure everyone can enjoy themselves. And trust us: they’ll notice.