Terrible Tricks and Tasty Treats: Parenting at Halloween
Hello MIP patients and families!
My daughter loves Halloween. As in decorating our ENTIRE house on September 30th LOVES Halloween. Spider webs everywhere, skeletons, bats and things jumping out at you when you least expect it! Pity the UPS guy coming to our front door! It’s a little strange to me, not having grown up with this holiday being such a big deal, but her enthusiasm is hard to resist. So I have gotten more and more into it. I dress up for work now and have generally embraced all things Halloween.
There are two things that are a big bummer about Halloween though. First and foremost is food allergies. If there is someone in your life with a food allergy, let me tell you that Halloween is a true nightmare. You can’t trust anything or anyone. There are land mines everywhere lurking in treats and parties. Make no mistake that for a child with a food allergy, especially nut allergies, Halloween is literally life threatening! Parents and individuals affected by food allergies must be on HIGH alert and that is super stressful. Sometimes it’s easier and safer to just avoid Halloween celebrations. But how sad is it for kids to be excluded from school parties, trick-or-treating and all the festivities!!?? It’s bad enough that they often have to sit alone at lunch at a “nut free” table or something. Now they have to fear for their lives at a party??!!
The second bummer is that Halloween is all about the CANDY! My son used to measure his haul at Halloween in terms of pounds. There are apps out there to help you optimize your trick-or-treating route for maximum candy. Parents then have to strategize whether to allow their kids to gorge on candy one night and then give away the rest, or to let them have one piece of candy each day for the next year.
This year for Halloween, consider checking out some of the amazing local pumpkin patches and Fall festivals. My personal favorites are the Camp Korey Fall Festival and Jubilee Farms - shout out to Farmer Erik! Also, think about those living with food allergies and check out: The Teal Pumpkin Project and the Food Allergy Education Network.