Halloween is right around the corner and it is by far our favorite holiday, only coming in second to Christmas of course. Our girl has been talking about Halloween for months. She wanted to discuss her costume options in July (no joke)! After months of discussion, she finally went with her first choice - Sophia the First - which I knew she would go with the entire time. Anyone with a toddler or preschool age girl knows little Princess Sophia. She asks to put on her Halloween costume every morning when she wakes up. She asked me to go ahead and decorate for Halloween in mid-September.
Needless to say, we are excited. This is also the first Halloween we have had since finding our about our daughter's peanut, tree nut and shellfish allergies. I have been stressing for months about Halloween. Trick-or-treating has always been a huge tradition in our family and I have been wondering if it could ever be the same for her. Let me tell you people, it will be! I have talked to many moms through the No Nuts Moms Group, read other blog posts and researched safe candies and chocolate. I was even lucky enough to be invited to attend an exclusive webinar put on by Mylan with special guest Jo Frost, the Super Nanny, who also lives with life-threatening food allergies. The topic was about safely navigating Halloween with food allergies. ***Please see the link to her tip sheet at the bottom of this post for having a food allergy friendly Halloween. At this point, I can actually say that I feel really comfortable with our plan, and not just comfortable with it, but excited about it. Our girl will be three in one short month and she is now old enough to really experience and remember this Halloween and it is going to be AWESOME!
We have decided to let her go trick-or-treating and of course either myself or my husband will go with her while the other one stays at our house to hand out candy. We will set the ground rules early - no eating candy while we are trick-or-treating. Everything goes straight into her pumpkin bucket. Then, when we get home, we will swap everything for safe candy. I am not really comfortable with sorting through the candy and trying to determine what is safe and what is not. Plus, I feel like there is the potential for a lot of cross contamination with everything just thrown in together. I have literally prepared another pumpkin basket just like hers that is full of safe treats. We will let her know why we are doing it and will make the swap together, as a family. I think there is educational value in doing it this way.
I have heard of some families creating a tradition where a "switch witch" or similar Halloween creature comes in the middle of the night to switch out the candy, and at first I thought this was such a cute idea but ultimately decided against it and here's why: I wanted to keep Halloween simple and straight forward. She can't eat the candy she collects because it could have nuts in it, so we will participate in trick-or-treating and then make it safe for her by switching out the candy as soon as we get home. I want her to be able to enjoy some that night. I also don't want to make up something that other children could be critical about or question - "Who is the switch witch and why does she only visit you?" Or, "there is no such thing as the switch witch," or "I've never heard of that before," etc. I think it is a cute and creative idea but I just think simple and straight forward is better for us.
Please check out this great tip sheet from Jo: ***Jo Frost Halloween Webinar Tip Sheet copy
Happy trick-or-treating all, and here is to a safe and fun Halloween! Tell me about your plans in the comments below! I would love to hear! xo