Nut Free Sacks - Halloween 2010

I was recently at a school Halloween party planning meeting brainstorming about crafts, snacks and treats for the upcoming party. And while doing so we were reminded a few times to be mindful of allergies; peanuts, dairy, etc. We eliminated a few ideas because of allergens. And I confess, there was a moment where I thought "Really? Really?"

Then a few days later I was chatting with some parents at my son's baseball game when the topic of peanut allergies came up. I listened to one parent in particular talk about what it was like to find out his child was deathly allergic to nuts. The panic he and his wife felt as they watched their child gasp for air, the terror and helplessness while they rushed their struggling child to the ER. And the measures they take today to not only ensure their child is safe but that they still feel included when they are with their peers.

I'll tell you after listening to this parent I felt like a fool for even being the tiniest bit exasperated about having to accommodate allergies. I realized that my outdated perception of having an allergy to a foodstuff meant you got a stuffy nose, or a rash. I don't think I fully comprehended that food allergies can be dire, causing parents to white-knuckle their epi-pens before every holiday party. But the truth is, it's a whole new ballgame nowadays and Benadryl ain't cutting it.

So this Halloween we decided that we are only handing out nut free candy at our door. Of course I am aware that it's not realistic for every sack to be nut free. We decided to do this as a nod to those folks that have to deal with the stress of peanut allergies - not because we're on a mission to eliminate Snickers from the stash you plan to raid once your kid's asleep. We just want to give some extra support to the parents that can't look at a jar of Jiffy without shuddering. And to make sure that their child has lots of good stuff that they get to keep after the mom and dad sort out the allergen candy.

If you want to hand out some nut-allergy free candy too there are a lots of good options out there that won't get your house egged. Sure Foods Living has a list of nut free, safe candy for the 2010 Halloween season and they do include candy you can find at any grocery store. And of course read labels for yourself please don't sue me to be extra safe!

11 comments:

areyoukiddingme said...

Crap, now I kinda feel bad for having a bag full of Snickers, Peanut M&Ms, and Reese's Peanut Butter cups. I bought Hershey's kisses for my girl to take to school, but I'll probably buy some Nerds or something too, since a couple kids have nut allergies there.

I have a ton of allergies, but my food ones are mild. It seems like the majority of food allergies are the ones that land you in the hospital and get you a shot of adrenaline or epinephrine.

Mom O Matic said...

Areyou - Don't, don't, don't feel bad! I will totally be stealing all my kid's peanut M&Ms. Just buy some Nerds to hand out too!

Shannon said...

My kids don't have allergies but my husband has a life-threatening peanut allergy so we make the same choice to hand out nut-free treats. Also so my husband can eat all the leftovers without fear. But I know the fear of watching someone you love having an anaphalactic reaction to peanuts and I applaud you for caring. It is a big deal. No, we don't all need to go nut free because kids do need to know how to watch and catch things with peanuts or other nuts in them. But it sucks to be the kid who has to give half your candy away to your siblings because it has peanuts in it (so my hubby says, anyway!).

Jenny said...

Thanks for the reminder. I find it baffling that peanut allergies are on the increase. I had never heard of such a thing until my daughter was in the 3rd grade, and there was a child in her school who was deathly allergic. And now it's very common. Strange. What's worse is all the best candy (IMHO) contains nuts.

Leighann of D-Mom Blog said...

I am the parent of a child with diabetes and I find so often that other parents can be insensitive to tiny requests because it doesn't affect their child or that it will take them an extra second to read a label or make an alternate choice.

The reality is that there are a lot of children with life threatening allergies or Type 1 diabetes these days. Care of a child with diabetes is literally life or death and other parents can make life much easier for the affected child by just listening to the parent's (usually) simple requests.

And when parents hem and haw over having to do just a little extra thinking or accommodation, I wish I could tell them: be thankful it is not your own child and you aren't dealing with this every single meal of every single day.

(This isn't a rant against you, but I think some parents just don't think beyond themselves and their own kids. If it doesn't affect you, you just can't "get it.")

Mom O Matic said...

Shannon - It's no fun to have to give up candy!

Jen - I hope we figure out why that is. It is def. on the rise!

Leigh - I can imagine how frustrating that would be for you. :)

Sheri said...

Good for you! A former but very close friend of mine, has a son with peanut allergies. I learned from them how serious of a problem it can be, and am always mindful of what I send my daughter to school with. I can't imagine what its like to have to worry about that.

Anonymous said...

Helpful blog, bookmarked the website with hopes to read more!

Kristine said...

Am I seriously the only person that snickered at "nut free sack?"

You did that on purpose, right?

Mom O Matic said...

Kristine - If you would doubt that I did that and "it's not realistic for every sack to be nut free" by accident than you don't know me man. ;)

Kristine said...

I totally knew you did that on purpose! I was just shocked no one else commented on it. LOL Seriously, how could you pass up saying "nut free sack." *snicker*