Monday, October 10, 2016

Helping You Keep Halloween Safe and Fun!

It’s Fall! A magical season in my book, when the weather becomes cooler and jeans and boots make a comeback.  But, if you have food allergies it also marks the beginning of the very food focused holiday season, kicked off by Halloween – which can be one scary night if you have food allergies. 

Thrive On Consulting has teamed up with The Switch Witch and Kiss Freely to make sure your Halloween is merry and bright, not a fright.  Check out our stay safe tips and insight into how our families manage Halloween to get started on planning for a safe and fun holiday. 

In addition to these great tips, you can also check out our Stay Safe Halloween Webinar where you can hear directly from us on ways to stay safe this Halloween.  Our webinar walks you through key things you need to do before, during, and after Halloween to have a safe and fun holiday. 

Tips from Audrey, The Switch Witch

Like many families, we have some severe food allergies. We need to prepare and combat this situation from many angles.

First, we always have costumes with gloves (think darth vader or princess) to protect against touching contaminated candy with allergens (like peanuts). If the gloves are thin cotton, we just slip a latex glove on underneath.

Second, we have a hard and fast rules on Halloween that all candy must go in the bucket and get inspected at home. The advent of the Teal Pumpkin means that lots of homes in our neighborhood also have non-food treats! These are our favorites! Depending on the severity of your food allergies, you can keep the candy that works for you.

We also have a Switch Witch in our house during the month of October and she helps oversee good behavior with the kids and on Halloween night, our kids keep a few pieces of "approved" candy and the rest goes to their Switch Witch. She ‘Switchcrafts’ the candy for toys on Halloween night. Everyone wins!

Tips from Jennifer, Kiss Freely

Have a plan!  Help your child (or yourself!) identify what the fears or concerns are around that specific activity. For Halloween, our family worries a lot about cross contamination.  For example, our plan involves carrying safe foods separately and choosing costumes with gloves. Talk about your plan with your child and emphasize how these actions help to keep him or her safe.   This helps reduce the fearful fantasies that can arise around the unknown.

Tips from Me, Thrive On Consulting

Every family managing food allergies needs to choose how they want to celebrate Halloween.  It will differ for every family and there is no “right” answer.  In fact, our “right” as a family has changed as our girls have gotten older.  We have done everything from trick or treat at a small number of houses who know our allergens and have safe treats waiting for us, to expanding our trick or treating circle and establishing strict rules about how the night will go. Whatever option you decide for your family, be certain to talk as a family well before the holiday about how you will celebrate.

Currently, we go trick or treating with our neighborhood friends, but we discuss all of our rules- including no eating candy while out and saying “no thank you” if the only candy being offered has our allergens.  It is critical to set your rules, discuss them, and reinforce them well before the holiday.  Trying to outline rules in the midst of pre-Halloween costume prep and excitement will result in no one paying attention and a lot of stress as you head out the door.  Create a plan, communicate that plan well in advance of any Halloween event, and always reinforce a non-food focus.  The mantra in our house is “we focus on family, friends and fun- not food”.

Need more great tips for keeping Halloween safe? 
Don’t forget to check out our webinar for additional information, tips and strategies for keeping Halloween safe and fun.  

And, be sure to follow all of us on social media during the holiday season for even more great info on managing the holidays with food allergies!  You can find us here:

The Switch Witch            Kiss Freely         Thrive On Consulting
Facebook                          Facebook             Facebook
Twitter                               Twitter                  Twitter

Happy Halloween!

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