This must-have nut and peanut-free candy guide will put your mind at ease while still enjoying the Halloween holiday festivities.
Does trick or treating while managing your child’s nut allergy have you spooked? Having a child with allergies is no walk in the park, especially during the holiday season. With so many options off the table, it’s easy for parents to get overwhelmed by cross-checking every piece of candy that enters the household. But Halloween fears should get caused by spooky decorations, not the candy contents! So, follow these must-have steps to make sure that your family has a Happy Halloween with tree nut-free and peanut-free candy.
Preparing for a Nut-Free and Peanut-Free Candy Holiday
The main steps we recommend you take are the following:
- Check the ingredients with your child
- Make sure your child always has their epinephrine pen
- Highlight nut-free candy alternatives
- Start new traditions with Halloween inspired recipes and activities
- Plan ahead and offer nut and peanut-free candy to neighbors
- Have your kids wait to eat their candy until they get home
- Have non-food goodies on hand
Keep reading for more tips for each of these strategies this Halloween.
1. Check the ingredients with your child
Do Butterfingers have nuts? Yes. Do Milky Ways have nuts? Yes. What about plain M&Ms? They share equipment with nut-containing foods. Searching for nut-free candy can feel like finding a needle in a haystack.
So, do a first-round candy elimination by tossing out those without nutrition fact labels or ingredient lists. It’s likely that the little homemade treats from neighbors or repackaged bulk candy sacs could contain some allergens. So unless you’re able to make sure, it may be safer to toss them out or to tell your kid not to accept them in the first place. While it may seem wasteful, they simply aren’t worth the risk!
Once filtered, use the checklist below to remove other candy with not-so-obvious peanut and tree nut ingredients. For additional information about allergen-containing ingredients, refer to our allergy article :
Peanut-Containing Ingredients: (1)
- Arachis oil (another name for peanut oil)
- Lupin (or lupine)
- Mandelonas (peanuts soaked in almond flavoring)
Tree Nut-Containing Ingredients: (2)
- Filbert (hazelnut)
- Gianduja (a chocolate-nut mixture)
2. Make sure your child always has their epinephrine pen
While your household may feel confident in their nut-free lifestyle, there is always a risk of contamination with packaged foods. Plus, depending on the severity of your child’s allergy, even contact with a person or surface that was exposed to nuts can cause an allergic reaction.
So, be prepared for the unexpected by ensuring that your child always has their epinephrine. It’s also worth reviewing how to inject the adrenaline shot with your youngster, along with siblings, close friends or family, and teachers.
3. Find nut-free and peanut-free candy alternatives
It’s easy to project your fears about allergen-containing candy onto your child, ultimately making them fearful of partaking in the holiday festivities. While it’s good for your child to be aware of their allergy, it doesn’t have to be at the expense of childhood fun.
So, reassure your child that there is plenty of safe, delicious, and nut-free candy to enjoy. If your child is uneasy about packaged candy, feel free to create homemade, allergy-friendly treats to enjoy after their candy collection. Children love going trick-or-treating, even if they can’t always bask in their candy glory.
List of Nut-Free and Peanut-Free Candy
So, use the list below to find your child’s favorite and nut-free and peanut-free candy options:
- Caramel Apple Pops (3)
- Blow Pop (4)
- Junior Mints (5)
- Tootsie Rolls (6)
- Andes (7)
- Cry Baby (8)
- Dots (9)
- Jelly Belly (peanut-free)
- Hershey’s Kisses
4. Start new traditions with Halloween inspired recipes and activities
The holiday fun doesn’t have to start and end with trick-or-treating. Instead, create new Halloween traditions with spooky, nut-free dishes such as vampire pasta or boo-licious pops.
It’s a fun way to get kids in the kitchen and experiment with color-filled ingredients. Then, once your sous chef hangs up their apron, they can join the Super Crew roster by taking part in their holiday printable activities.
5. Plan ahead and offer nut and peanut-free candy to neighbors
As a parent, planning seems to be the solution to all—especially when your kiddo has a food allergy. If you’re comfortable and friendly with your neighbors, create a safe trick-or-treating environment by shopping for nut-free candy ahead of time to drop off at neighborhood homes. Then, ask them to hand them to your child when they come knocking. Be sure to describe your child’s costume to your neighbor so that they can spot them in a crowd!
6. Have your kids wait to eat their candy until they get home
While your child may want a sweet pick-me-up while trick-or-treating, it’s best to save the candy eating for home. That way, it gives you time to review the ingredients label for an A-okay option. Don’t forget to also check for artificial dyes or coloring if your child has a sensitivity.
While collecting candy, encourage your child to focus on the trick-or-treating experience–look at all the haunted houses and cool costumes. Or avoid a h-angry situation by enjoying a nutritious dinner before hitting the streets, or keeping an allergen-free snack on hand to enjoy along the way.
7. Have non-food goodies on hand
Trick or treating is about the journey rather than the destination. If you are trying to avoid an unwanted sugar crash or remove questionable candies, offer your kiddo a trade for non-food prizes. Not sure what your child would want over a snickers bar or other nut-filled candy? Experiment with the ideas below! Don’t forget to be mindful of choking hazards for the extra little ones.
- Pencils or markers
- Bouncy balls
- Glow sticks
- Temporary tattoos
- “Scary” accessories
- Mini toy cars
- Colorful beads or marbles
- Silly putty
- Halloween “slime”
The only thing scary about Halloween should be the spooky decorations! With these easy-to-follow steps, you can create a safe and nut-free Halloween for your little superhero or monster. Then, learn more about managing your child’s peanut or nut allergy by visiting our website!
Be sure to check out our free printable Super Crew’s Healthy Halloween Guide—a perfect handout to bring holiday fun to your home or school. Follow us on Instagram for seasonal advice, allergy-friendly tools, and helpful insights into feeding your kids!