Trick or Treat!
I’ve never liked Halloween. As a child I was spooked by costumes and scary revelry. In college, I begrudgingly dressed up to appease my Halloween-loving roommate.
It wasn't until I became a mom that I appreciated the holiday for the joy it brings, when I watch my children parade around excitedly in their costumes. I also love making fall-themed crafts with them, helping pick out pumpkins and baking fun treats. Still, the danger the Halloween candy poses for my food-allergic 7-year-old son (he’s allergic to peanuts, tree nuts, wheat, milk, egg and soy) casts a shadow over the season.
A tasty new dessert is always a sure way to get me into the spirit of ghosts, goblins, bats, pumpkins, trickery and candy. So when I spotted Cybele Pascal's recipe for Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Egg-free Red Velvet Cupcakes on Living Without's website (LivingWithout.com), I knew the festively decorated treats were just what I needed. Sure enough, after devouring one of those cupcake and accepting compliments from my family, I began thinking about costumes, crafts and the fun times ahead.
Every Halloween, we follow a plan to ensure Joseph and my 2-year-old daughter Pamela have fun and stay safe. The kids attend a food-free Halloween celebration put on by our local food-allergy support group, NC FACES (Food Allergic Children Excelling Safely), where they have a blast dressing up, playing games and trick-or-treating for small trinkets.
Then on Halloween night, the children don their costumes and collect treats from the neighbors, always careful not to touch the items dropped in their bags. That night when they climb into bed, they leave their bags of treats for the Halloween Witch, who swoops in while they’re asleep and replaces their candy with toys. The next morning, they wake up gleeful, excited to see what surprises the Halloween Witch has brought them.
I’ll never love Halloween, but I do relish sharing these fun times with my children. How do you celebrate Halloween and manage the risks of trick or treating?