Thursday, October 30, 2014

Gluten-free, Nut-free, Homemade-free? Options for Halloween Parties at School

Gluten-free, Nut-free, Homemade-free? Options for Halloween Parties at School
The e-mail request on the surface seemed simple enough. The room mother still needed treats for the goodie bag for the class Halloween party.

And then I got to the end of the message.
Also, please make sure none of the treats include peanuts (SEVERE peanut allergy) and 2 kids are gluten free!
Wow. That moment gave me pause. Because while I've learned to adjust to my child's friends' food allergies in real life (play dates, parties, etc.), I had no idea what to do in a classroom setting. And it was even made worse by a school rule that said no homemade treats.

At one of our local stores, I scoured product after product for ideas that might satisfy both requirements. I learned quickly that there is no labeling standard for nut-free or gluten-free products. I even asked a store employee, who asked two other employees for ideas. They just looked at me sadly.

If you're in the position of searching for last-minute party bag treats as I was, here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Gluten-free candies: A list of many gluten-free and gluten-friendly candies. So apparently not all candy is off the list.
  • Non-food items: Personally, I'm opposed to spider rings, stickers, plastic toys and any other item that can clutter up my home. But think about pencils, glow sticks for trick or treating, Play Dough or other ideas.
  • Carmel apples
  • Mandarin orange fruit cups decorated with a jack-o-lantern face on the top.
  • Rice Krispy Treats
  • Popcorn balls
  • Clementines decorated as a jack-o-lantern
  • Grape "Eyeballs"

Have other ideas for gluten-free, nut-free celebrations? Please share them below!


Green Bean said...

Ug! My son's have a no homemade treats rule too and, while I understand it, I don't like it! One more idea would a cheese stick torn in half with a gluten free stick pretzel in the back. Supposedly it is a witches broom. It did not look like much to me but my kids were all kinds of excited for it. They also did the clementine jack-o-lanterns that you mentioned. Good luck!

Betsy Escandon said...

I found this online store (local to me) while looking for better options for my kids, but you would have to plan in advance. And I worry that chocolate would melt. Has a way to search with food allergies:

I like fruit and veggies! I always brought clementines to all my son's K parties and they were always a big hit with the kids. Super cute as a jack-o-lantern I would think.

Have you checked out Pinterest? I'm sure there's some good stuff there :)


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