How do you Trick-or-Treat with kids who have food allergies?

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For kids with food allergies, trick-or-treating can be a difficult time to feel like a regular kid. And for parents of kids with allergies, it’s important to find a way to allow your child to have the whole Halloween experience — without getting sick.

Candy can contain gluten, dairy and nuts of all kinds, sometimes covertly. Without seeing the actual bag the fun-size candy bars came in, it’s hard to know what’s really in that chocolate.

Bon Appetit magazine has some good tips on how to find a balance, and a lot of it has to do with trusting your kid.

Some of their points:

• Make sure your child knows what to expect before they go out and start collecting candy. That way, when they can choose their treat it will be something they can have — and you won’t surprise them when you take the candy they can’t.

• Have a bartering system set up for when you return — have candy that is safe at home, and trade them for the candy they won’t be able to eat. You could also do a buy back, where you give your children small change for their candy — and then take them to buy candy they can have with their money.

• Talk to neighbors you know ahead of time, and give them some allergen-free candy in advance for them to give to your child.

• And look for the teal pumpkins: Houses that are allergen-free and are handing out toys and trinkets instead of candy will be marked with a teal-painted pumpkin, as part of a project started by Food Allergy Research and Education. These houses are handing out things like stickers, rings, bracelets, bouncy balls and tops. If you want to participate or learn more, check out #tealpumpkinproject on Twitter.

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