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 I realized that my outdated perception of having an allergy to a foodstuff meant you got a stuffy nose, or a rash.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