Halloween has me all in a flap. The hand wringing and inner turmoil is taking all the fun out of the next few days. Felix’s allergies have given me cause to wonder how I should manage trick or treating safely. Up until now Felix has been adamant he wants to opt out of Halloween, he can’t stand dressing up and I have the words of my Mother in my ears “we don’t knock on people’s doors asking for sweets!” For the last 2 years our street has come alive after dark on 31st October. It looks like a scene from E.T. with children high on sugar and the excitement of being out after dark. Being British this film seemed like another world and I was perfectly happy to opt out of this very American past time of trick or treating, it just didn’t happen on my street when I was little. Lighting a pumpkin on your doorstep will have all your snacks will disappear before you can say “what are you dressed up as?” Last year’s highlight was an entire family of Ghostbusters complete with homemade costumes – they were spectacular!
So far we have never been trick or treating, we just answer the door and hand out treats. Of course understanding life with a child with multiple allergies I’ve always made sure I’ve had treats suitable for the children I know with food allergies and intolerances.
If Felix had wanted to dress up my plan for trick or treating would be let him join in with all the other children and then swap his plunder with safe treats when we got home. I’d eat the chocolates, Daddy would eat the sweets. I just accept I’d have to shell out for Felix’s food.
This year The Teal Pumpkin Project has increased in exposure, they aim to create a safer, happier Halloween for all. The idea is you put a teal coloured pumpkin on your doorstep so children know you have non-food treats available, for example bubbles or a small toy. Anything that encourages inclusion is wonderful but I’m really struggling for ideas of what I could give instead of sweets that would cost only a few pence each and would be suitable for a variety of ages.
The problem is I’ve just had a giant clear out of the kid’s toys as suggested by the super motivating The Organised Mum in her Christmas Countdown (seriously, follow this woman, she is fantastically energetic!) What have I got rid of?
- A million medals from collecting stamps on a trail from the zoo/museum/dinosaur park. All hard won and a great motivational tool to get little legs moving beyond the entrance;
- Medals from parties for winning a game;
- Trading cards. You know the things Match Attax, Lego cards (thanks Sainsbury’s for adding to the things the children to covet);
- Mountains of broken pens, tiny crayons too small to use properly and different shaped rubbers (erasers if you are American!);
- More broken precious plastic tat than you can possibly imagine. I’m talking the party bag stuff, some poor parent has had to shell out for 30 kids on top of the entertainer to fill the party bags with.
What on earth can I give to support The Teal Pumpkin Project that won’t add to the mountain of plastic tat I’ve just got rid of? It will all eventually end up in landfill after all and that is so bad for the environment. Maybe I should stop over thinking this? The Teal Pumpkin Project is a fantastic idea but I’m totally on board with managing Felix’s disappointment if there are no allergy safe treats for him. Here are Felix’s favourite allergy friendly treats I’ll keep up my sleeve:
- Haribo Starmix
- Dairy free chocolate buttons – you can find these in the free from aisle but they normally contain soya lecithin
- Jelly Tots
- Marshmallows (some brands contain wheat so check the labels carefully)
- Maoam Stripes
I’d be really interested to hear your ideas. In the meantime I’m on a countdown to fireworks, in this house we’re all about the 5th November…