Trick-or-treat can get tricky with allergies…
It’s that time of year again… ghouls, goblins and allergies! Halloween is the time of year where your allergens can pop up anywhere, especially as you get older and you are taking on more responsibility with your allergies and perhaps branching off from the traditional ‘trick-or-treating’ evening with your parents. Halloween can be quite nerve-racking, but don’t let your allergies ruin your night. Halloween can still be super fun and safe no matter what you do.
Follow some of these useful tips:
- If you still like to go trick-or-treating in high school, that’s completely cool! But make it a game! Trick-or-treat like you usually do with your friends and don’t give much thought about what kind of treats are being dropped into your bag. Just have fun! Once you get home, dump your whole bag of treats on the floor and see how many of the treats you can identify as key allergens. Put your allergen treats to one side while putting the treats that you can have in another pile. Read the ingredients of the leftover treats that you aren’t sure of and put them in the appropriate pile. Maybe ask some of your friends if you can trade some of your not so allergy-friendly treats with some of their allergy-friendly treats. Or you can always donate the treats containing your allergens.
While some of you want to appreciate the last years you have trick-or-treating, others may be spending their Halloween at a party. If it’s your first time away from your parents on Halloween night, or even if you’ve been attending Halloween parties for a couple of years, these tips can apply to you.
- When you get to the party, head straight for the treats table! You want to see if there are any ‘allergen’ foods at the party. If there are, perhaps ask the host if they can put those particular treats away. Don’t be nervous or scared about it. You want to feel secure; you don’t want to spend your night worrying about people eating your allergens and then touching everything around you. Another option is to call the host before the party and ask if they can keep those allergens away altogether.
- Never use the same glass twice. If you’re drinking any type of beverage from a cup, always ensure that once you put your cup down, you grab a new drink. You don’t want to accidentally drink from the same cup as someone who may have had your allergen earlier in the day. It’s easy for people to mix up drinks at a party when people are dancing and socializing. You want to ensure that there is no chance of cross-contamination.
- Bring some of your own goodies! If you’re nervous about the food at the party, you can always bring some of your allergen-friendly Halloween treats from home.
- Make sure close friends around you know how to use your epinephrine auto-injector (e.g. EpiPen© or Allerject™). Since you’re not with your parents that night, it’s important that you have some friends that know how to use it just in case.
- Keep your epinephrine close. You can even make it a part of your costume! Girls, you can easily carry it in your purse or perhaps incorporate it into your costume as a garter. Boys, pockets are key or incorporate it into a costume on your belt.
No matter what you decide to do on Halloween, it’s important to stay safe. Allergies shouldn’t limit your activities, but at the same time, you always want to ensure that you’re being responsible and safe.
I’m Karen, and I have an allergy to peanuts, tree nuts and soy. I thought we could have a little fun with Halloween, by showing that we can still have fun with our allergies with costumes of the some of the most common allergens in Canada. There are also a few allergy jokes in there that I hope you find a little humorous. Enjoy!
As part of the admission procedure in the hospital where I work, I ask the patients if they are allergic to anything. If they are, I print it on an allergy band placed on the patients’ wrists. Once when I asked an elderly woman if she had any allergies, she said she couldn’t eat bananas. Imagine my surprise when several hours later a very irate son came out to the nurses’ station demanding, “Who’s responsible for labelling my mother ‘bananas’?
HAZELNUT (TREE NUTS)
BEES (INSECT BITES)
Humans and bees have something in common – hives!
A picture of a cat wearing a dress was seen hanging in an allergy clinic with the following caption: We got rid of the kids, the cat was allergic.
WHEAT (her dress is made out of it!)
Q) Did you hear about the Frenchman who could only count to seven?
A) He had a huit allergy.
Jokes from: http://whatallergy.com/ and http://allergyasthma.on.ca. All images from Google images.
Trick-or-treat can get tricky with allergies…
When I was a kid, Halloween was not my favorite day. I loved the dressing up part, but I hated trick or treating. I wasn’t allowed to accept the candy or any treats, and because of my allergies, I didn’t like going out with my friends. So, I just refused to go. I felt extremely sad and left out the next day when kids shared their stories about their night and the loot they collected.
Finding products that were safe for both my peanut and tree nut allergies and my brother’s egg allergy seemed impossible. This prompted my mom to take matters into her own hands and make all of our Halloween candy from scratch for many years.
To this day, I still use her recipes and praise her every second that I get for helping me and my brother to truly feel the Halloween spirit.
This is a revamped version of her “Scream Bars” –
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
- 1 cup flour
- 2 egg substitutes*
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 cup brown sugar, packed
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 cup coconut
- 1/2 cup chocolate chips
- 1 cup crisped rice cereal (e.g. Rice Krispies)
- Small amount of food coloring
*For a homemade egg substitute, you can use 2 tablespoons of warm water + 1/2 tablespoon baking powder PER EGG.
Combine the crust ingredients in a bowl. Press into a 13 x 9 x 2-inch baking pan. Bake for 10 minutes at 350°F.
Mix together your egg substitutes. Combine with brown sugar, vanilla, flour, chocolate chips, and baking powder.
Use a paint brush or spoon to lightly cover the crisped rice cereal and coconut with food colour to give them a scream worthy affect. Add them to the filling mixture.
Spread the filling mixture onto the pre-baked crust. Bake for 20 minutes longer.
Let cool, and cut into small squares. Bon Appetit!
Hi! My name is Noah and I just started Grade 9. I have been going out for Halloween for the past 12 years. It is one of my favourite celebrations of the year because you can eat as much candy as you want! The main thing that is different for me is that I am allergic to peanuts and tree nuts. But, I don’t let that stop me when Halloween comes around.
Every year that I go out for Halloween, I have the same routine. I just go trick or treating like people without an allergy and I take any candy that is given to me. After I am done trick or treating, my parents and I go through my candy sorting things that have nuts in them from the candy that is safe for me. If it doesn’t have a label, it goes into the pile of candy I can’t eat, because we would rather be safe than take a chance.
Although there is usually about a quarter of my candy that isn’t safe to eat, I never feel like I don’t have enough candy because there is always so much! My parents bring the candy with nuts in it to their office and share it with their co-workers.
My favourite type of candy would either have to be Fuzzy Peach or Sour Patch Kids. I guess you could say I have a “Sweet and Sour” tooth! Happy Trick or Treating!