halloween

When my daughter was three I was angry about Halloween because it seemed to be a risk for her and most holidays were just designed to be dangerous. Every holiday revolves around food. We sat on our porch and she handed out candy with our neighbors. She was dressed up and had a blast but I was getting really sad about it all. She was missing out. Sure, some may say it’s a stupid holiday and many people are flat out against it but I always loved Halloween.

At one point she realized we weren’t going to each house to get candy. I realized that it was my fear that was preventing this and I had to think of alternatives. I wasn’t going to allow her allergies to hold her back and in that moment I realized how much I wanted her to have a life like any other kid.

Tips On Having a Safe and Fun Halloween with Food Allergies

  • Always have your required medicine. My kids carry an “Emergency Bag” on them at all times. No exceptions. My daughter keeps her epipen, benadryl, inhaler, tissue, emergency cards, wipes and a small first aid kit in her bag. Yes, between the candy sacks, halloween costumes and other stuff your kid seems to haul around it may be tempting to leave medicine at home since you will be in the neighborhood. I always play safe.
  • Eat a big huge meal before you go Trick or Treating. It will be tempting to eat candy on the go on an empty stomach. Lessen the temptation.
  • If you are stressing how to manage your child’s food allergies at a Halloween party then check out this post I did about Birthday parties. Same rules apply. It’s also great for those of you that are hosting a party and have someone coming who has food allergies. I even quoted Pulp Fiction in this one.
  • Get your kids in the habit of always asking before they eat something.
  • Have your kids wear gloves with their costumes. My daughter is contact sensitive to milk… if she touches it she will break out. Some houses want the kids to pick out their candy. To minimize the amount of exposure I’ve always asked them to wear gloves. Just. In. Case. We had one instance where she picked up a candy bar and it was open. Milk chocolate was exposed… if it had touched her bare skin she would have broken out. I switched her gloves and wiped them down. Sure I look like the crazy germaphobe Mom but I’m keeping my kid safe.
  • Homemade treats should be politely declined. I think it’s sweet that some people bake fresh cookies and brownies and sometimes give them straight from a plate. The cop’s daughter in me says “Oh hell no, those could be poisoned” and the allergy Mom in me freaks out. This has happened a few times and I’ve taught my kids to just politely say they can’t have those but it was very sweet for them to offer.
  • Keep it fun. Yes, your child may be gathering dozens of pieces of candy that they can’t have. Let them. It’s about being outside, showing off their costumes and having fun. Have a system where they trade in that candy for something else. Last year I wrote about the Halloween Fairy which is a fun way for kids to trade in their candy. I encourage you to welcome the Halloween Fairy into your home even if your child doesn’t have food allergies… it’s a way to swap out those treats and replace them with a better alternative.

My daughter is ten now and we haven’t missed a trick or treating moment. We haven’t allowed her food allergies to hold us back. We haven’t had any negativity from it… just lots of fun and great memories.

Bonus points if you can guess our theme

If you have other tips or advice I would love to hear them. I hope you and your kiddos can go out there and make the most of it!

 

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Holidays are a time of fun, celebration and usually a lot of food… that last part is a nightmare for food allergy sufferers. Have you ever really thought about how much every holiday revolves around food in one way or another? I didn’t until I had a kid with life threatening food allergies which made my favorite holidays seem impossible to enjoy.

Halloween was a huge hurdle for us because it made me sad that my daughter could not Trick or Treat because 99% of the candy she would get would be dangerous to her.

Our solution?

Trick or Treat anyway and give the candy away!

Did you just cringe at the meltdown your kid may have if they had to give up all their candy? It can be a hard lesson to learn but the moral of the story is… It is about how much fun you have and not what you get.

It is a perspective that has changed our lives.

The Halloween Fairy

I used to think I was going to write children’s books because I have all these worlds I’ve create and stories I’ve shared with my kids. One of my favorite ideas is the Halloween Fairy. It is a career path in the Fairy world and our local Halloween Fairy has a backstory of her own.

It works for the Tooth Fairy so why not have a Halloween Fairy that takes away the candy and in return rewards the kids with something better?

Our Halloween Fairy visits us the night of Halloween and she takes these candies that will harm our teeth (that the Tooth Fairy needs to make Fairy Dust) and puts them to good use. There are gnomes and goblins that only eat candy, it makes them a little crazy hyper, so the Halloween Fairy uses the candies to pay these mythical creatures for jobs they complete for the fairies. Because the Halloween Fairy needs so much candy she will gladly exchange for some fun goodies.

She leaves Halloween gift baskets filled with coloring books, crayons, little people or hot wheels. Sometimes a big toy (like a Hexbug set or Nerf Guns). The kids usually maintain a “Gift List” where they will have a wide variety of things they would like so its easier for the Halloween Fairy to know their interests.

My kids never miss out on Halloween and it is never a bummer. The way they run from house to house, showing off their costumes and getting excited over all the candy they are able to give the Halloween Fairy has brought tears to my eyes many times. Seriously, how could I pass up seeing my son dressed like the Joker just because of his food allergies?

I admit... this post was partially motivated to have an excuse to show off this pic! ;)

This has been such a success that I know many people who have started this tradition and welcomed the Halloween Fairy into their world.

I give them a choice to keep as many of the safe candies as they want. Last year they really surprised me by giving the Halloween Fairy almost all of their candies… after all her goodies are much better than candy…

And a certain Mommy has a super secret special box of candies that the Halloween Fairy leaves just for her to enjoy late at night when she needs a little sugary treat…

 

 

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I freaking love Halloween! Candy, costumes and fun times all around… who doesn’t like that?

Actually, I’m sure people who are annoyed by costumes and fun hate this time of year. I totally get that. I can’t stand feet. They are gross. If someone dressed up like a big, giant, hairy, smelly foot I think I would keel over right there. This was kind of a pointless tangent and now I am going to have nightmares about feet. Sweet.

Anyway…

I love the family bonding Halloween creates and the traditions we have because of it. Combine Halloween with Knotts Berry Farm and you have the ultimate combo: Camp Spooky.

My brother, Dad, Uncles and I were… um, err…are… Amusement Park junkies. Knotts Berry Farm is like a second home for us so I am very familiar with this world of radness. But, every time I go I am finding new reasons to fall in love with Snoopy and the Gang all over again.

The kids wear their favorite costumes and are able to Trick or Treat inside the park. They take pictures with their favorite characters dressed up with them. The decorations, music and fun mazes turn an already loved family attraction into even more awesomesauce.

The cast members were so friendly, outgoing and helpful. My son has milk allergies so I had prepared him that there might not be candy he could eat. When I mentioned his allergies to a cast member at a Treat Stop the candy was switched out for the skittles that my son could have. Small things like this mean the world to us.

I was invited to this VIP party at Camp Spooky with many other Social Media enthusiasts. I was able to bring three guests which meant both of my kids and a friend to help me wrangle them. Unfortunately, my daughter was very fatigued and feeling achy that morning but wanted me to go anyway since it was my Birthday. While I had Mommy guilt for not having her with us I’m very thankful that my daughter doesn’t get upset if her special needs cause her to have to sit something out in order for her to rest up. It just makes me so proud.

Plus, we got to the park at 8am on a Saturday and that is really early for us so I think she was making a wise choice! We had breakfast and my son was so excited to meet Snoopy… they even had similar costumes!

We plan on going back to Camp Spooky every year. My son said he would prefer to celebrate Halloween at Knotts Berry Farm than walking around our neighborhood. This is something everyone should check out if you love Halloween, Amusement Parks or Candy!

Boats that Spin Make Me PukeyTrying To Squeeze Two Butts in One Car

One thing I love about going to Social Media events is running into online friends who become real life ones like Natalie who writes Mommy of a Monster & Twins!

Natalie aka Mommy of a Monster & Twins and I

This next picture I’m probably going to start a terrible picture war with my friend, Sugar Jones, whom I adore completely. I added that last part to cover my butt a little bit. See, she really wanted to go on a grown up ride so we met at Montezooma’s revenge which is a fast roller coaster. All it does is go forward into a loop and then you go backwards into a loop and then up really really high. I still can’t hear out of my right ear. Anyway, we snapped this picture before we took off and while we both look terrible and terrified I can’t help but laugh. It endears her even more to me…

Don't Take Terrified Pictures Because One of Your Friends May Put it Up on the Internet

Sugar… I love you woman! Just sayin! She is going to cut me…
Check out the hashtag on twitter for #CampSpooky for more updates, pictures and reviews.

 

Disclosure: I was provided with free parking and admission to attend this event. I was not compensated for this review. All opinions are my own.

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