The leaves have started to change, the air is getting cooler and soon princesses, superheroes and ghosts will take to the sidewalks. As a mom, I look forward to celebrating Halloween with my kids. I love seeing their little faces light up as they get dressed in the costumes they’ve chosen. Most of us have fond memories of dressing up, walking from door to door and anxiously waiting to see what sweet goody would be dropped in our buckets. Halloween is an important time for us to think about members of our community with food allergies. It’s also a time for pregnant mamas, and those with very young children to utilize extra caution.
A couple of weeks ago I made my annual trip to the Halloween candy aisle at the nearby grocery store. I purchased the same sweet concoctions that I do every year, and I gave it scarcely a thought. Last week though, a message from a friend made me rethink my offerings.
My friend’s little boy has food allergies, specifically to nuts and dairy. She reminded me that food allergies and sensitivities are on the rise and more and more children can’t eat the treats that are often passed out on Halloween. I took a look at my candy stash and realized that there wasn’t a single thing in there that my friend’s little guy could have. For my friend’s son and so many other kids; door after door can lead to trick-or-treating disappointment.
Making sure Halloween is fun for everyone is easy. Skipping the candy altogether may seem drastic for the diehard Halloween fan, but for most of us it might not be a bad idea. Every year at my house there’s left over candy in the bowl and guess who ends up eating it? I’ll give you a hint, it’s not the kids! Most of us (children included) don’t need the extra sugar and calories that candy provides. If you’re drawing a blank on non-food items to pass out to trick-or-treaters try these:
- Pencils- fun Halloween or character pencils are a hit with slightly older kids.
- Stickers- in a variety of designs to delight little ones and big kids alike.
- Coins- pennies, nickels and dimes are a fun addition to treat bags.
- Small toys- balls, plastics bugs and small games are a great choice.
For pregnant mamas, it’s important to remember to take things easy on Halloween. Walking door to door can quickly become exhausting. If you’re pregnant during this Halloween season, consider skipping trick-or-treating and instead stay home to pass out treats. Your feet will surely thank-you and as an added bonus- you’ll get to see all of your adorable neighbors in their costumes.
Halloween can also be particularly stressful for young babies and toddlers. At this age, it’s easy for them to become overstimulated or frightened by the variety of sights and sounds. If you’re concerned, it’s okay to take a year off from the hustle and bustle and celebrate at home with family and friends. If you treasure the idea of Halloween photos, go ahead and dress baby up for a brief and quiet photo opportunity.
Don’t be afraid of changing your usual plans to suit your family’s unique needs. There’s lots of fun to be had on Halloween, and with a little extra consideration you can make sure that it’s an enjoyable experience for all the members of your family.