Imagine this scene:
Little kid sweet voice, expectant, happy: Trick or treat!
Evil mother of kid: Sorry you can’t have that buddy, or that, or… well, maybe at the next house!
This is the life of a child with life threatening food allergies at Halloween. Once, our parents worried about razor blades in apples, and now I worry about Snickers.
Trick-or-treating is not a necessity for little ones. But lets face it, it’s fun! And us mamas are inundated with the catalogs of the cutest little costumes you ever did see, and we imagine which one will look the best on our little one.
Trick-or-treating with food allergies is another thing all together. Unless you keep your kid locked up, he’s gonna learn about trick-or-treating. And what’s he going to learn about trick-or-treating? Free candy!!!
The problem – some candy could kill him.
Isaiah went trick-or-treating for the first time when he was six years old. Before that, I told a little white lie. Fairly certain he’d have a meltdown if I told him he couldn’t have a Snickers, or Reeese’s, or Milky Way, or Hershey’s or Three Musketeers or or or or…
I chose the lesser of two evils. I told him it was the rule that someone had to stay home to hand out candy. His dad was working, so we had to be the ones. Man was I surprised. It worked!
We were the lame house with the Nerds, because I was such a stickler that only the safest of safe candy was allowed.
He happily greeted all of the trick-or-treaters with a yo ho ho! Unless they wore scary costumes, then I had to answer the door while he hid.
By the time he was six, I decided he was ready to handle trick or treating. I told him what candy was OK, he did some digging through some bowls at some houses and then pronounced “I can’t have anything here” and stalked off. I stood back to apologize to the grown-up and then tried to explain to my kid that not everyone understands nut allergies.
Last year was even better, when he couldn’t have something and the trick or treatee felt bad, he said “That’s OK! I have lots of candy already!” I suspect most of our neighbors will be ready for him this year. I’ve been told he’s pretty unforgettable.
One Halloween I told a little white lie about staying at home to pass out candy. I kept the peace, and I’d do it all over again if I had to.
She is the author and creator of JenKehl.com, Homeschooling My Way, and Beyond Blog Design. She has been published on BlogHer, BonBon Break, Scary Mommy, Mamapedia and several other parenting websites. Her work is included in the best-selling anthology The Mother of All Meltdowns, When she’s not writing about parenting special needs, 70s music and keeping the man from poisoning our kids, she’s watching Laverne & Shirley with headphones on to block out the kid with the missing volume control button.
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