Only two more weeks until Halloween and Nancy Flanders is here with a few tricks for parents of kids with food restrictions. Take a look at her suggestions and see which ones could work for you on October 31.
How To Trick or Treat with a Food Restriction
Halloween is just around the corner and millions of households will be taken over by candy. So much delicious candy! But for some families, the debate isn’t about how much or how little to eat in a sitting, but how that candy will affect their child’s health and life. Conditions like food allergies and diabetes are cause for serious concern around Halloween, but having a strategic plan can help.
Trick-or-Treat with Care
Sit down with your family and make a set of rules for the evening. Make sure your child is well supervised if she isn’t old enough to be trusted with the rules on her own. Don’t let her eat any candy until she gets home when you will sit down together to go through the candy and check for allergy or carb count dangers. If your child has a condition like cystic fibrosis, you can give her an enzyme or two before she heads out to trick-or-treat or agree that she has to wait until she gets home to eat any candy.
Talk to the Neighbors
It really does take a village. If your neighbors and friends don’t know about your child’s diet restrictions, this is the perfect chance to inform them. You can give them certain candy or safe treats that they can have on hand to give to your child when she rings their doorbell. In this case, stick to trick-or-treating at the homes of those who know your child best.
Pull a Trick of Your Own
If your child is too young to understand why she can’t have certain candies, she probably won’t notice if you swap out her Halloween bag with an identical one full of treats and toys you picked out. It’s sneaky, but will keep your child safe.
Rather than trick-or-treating, host a party at home. For children with diet restrictions this is the best way to control their candy type and amount without having to take any candy away from them. For the child with diabetes, you can have sugar-free candy available. For the child with nut allergies you can make sure there is only candy without nuts in your home. The child with Prader-Willi syndrome can also be well monitored during a party at home with a small amount of treats. So in the end you aren’t the bad guy, but the good guy who let them have a party.
Any Tricks Up Your Sleeve?
Those are the tricks Nancy’s developed over the years. How about you? What diet restriction tips are up your sleeves? Leave a comment about your child’s restrictions and what works for you.
Hunting for my costume,
Nancy Flanders is a wife and mother of two girls, one with cystic fibrosis. After her daughter’s diagnosis at just 6 days old, she altered her career path to focus on writing about raising a child with a special health need. She spends any free moment she can find fundraising for a cure for her daughter and volunteering for her hospital’s cystic fibrosis advisory group. Visit Nancy at www.chronicadmissions.blogspot.com and www.parentingsquad.com.