Anyone have a peanut allergy?

sue36October 18, 2006

There are a couple kids who come trick or treating to our house that are allergic to peanuts/nuts. We usually offer Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, which I realize would be a no-no. It also seems like most candy would be since even those without peanuts have a disclaimer about peanuts in the same manufacturing facility.

So what type of candy is peanut safe? Twizzlers? If you have kids that are allergic to peanuts, which ones do you let them eat? What is their favorite?

I plan to still offer the peanut butter cups (which seem to be the kid favorite), but I will keep the peanut-free candy in a separate bowl to prevent the peanut butter cups from contaminating the others (I've been told even the packaging can cause a problem). Thanks.

[DH thinks I am being ridiculous about this, but as someone with numerous allergies I always appreciate when someone goes the extra step for me.]

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We had a highly-allergic neighbor boy who used to come over a lot so it really alerted me to the problems these kids face. At Halloween we always offer Tootsie Rolls (his favorite), Sour Patch Kids (older kids' favorite), Starburst, Tootsie Roll Pops and/or Skittles. Those are all safe IME. I'm not sure about Twizzlers but you can check the packaging. I always offer a big variety and let the allergic kids take a bunch because they kind of get scr*wed at Halloween otherwise.

Most chocolate is not safe because even regular M&M's, for example, may come into contact with some of the equipment that also makes peanut M&M's. And you are absolutely correct to keep the candy seperate. If it touches the packaging of the other candy it can be contaminated. If you think about it, individual Reese's are not all that well sealed. Plus, the equipment that wraps the candy will inevitably have some peanut oil residue on it, so it gets on the outside of the wrapper as well.

The allergic kids and their parents will be truly grateful for the efforts you are making. Halloween can be a nightmare for them!

    Bookmark   October 18, 2006 at 5:56PM
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My son has a life-threatening peanut allergy. We go through this every year. He doesn't even get to go...never has. It's just not worth the chance.

Aside from leaving out the obvious M&Ms (plain or peanut, or any of their flavors), you have to watch out for the not-so-obvious. Often the "specialty" packaged Halloween candy is made not at the same plant that makes the original candy. For example, the candy bar at the convenience store may be peanut free. That same brand may produce a "mini" version for Halloween. That "mini" version may be manufactured in a different plant that DOES process peanuts. It will have a peanut warning label...where as the convenience store candy bar DID NOT. This is difficult for a child to understand. This is where Michael thinks candy makers are out to trick him. Even the things you know are safe in their typical, usual size...I encourage you to check the ingredients if there is special sizing/packaging for Halloween. The peanut warning will come at the end with the other allergens, if any.

Of course, this is true of all holiday special packaging...not just Halloween. If there are any halloween treats that are "jelly bean-like," check the package. Many jelly beans have peanut flour.

Pixie Stix, SweeTarts, Smarties, Peppermints, Skittles, that nature of candy has been okay for us in the past. We stay away from Halloween packaged chocolate...I just give Michael the regular-sized versions of what I know he can have. That makes him feel like he has madeup for trick-or-treating.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   October 18, 2006 at 8:59PM
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Thanks for the advice. I will read the packaging carefully, and keep it separate.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2006 at 9:25PM
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Sue, tell your DH how appreciative mother's of kids with life threatening peanut allergies will be, that you are ensuring they'll get a safe treat at your house. Halloween was a sad event for my daughter as a child because she could eat less than one tenth of what she collected. She couldn't even eat at the class Halloween party, because back then there were no peanut free rules in the schools. It's thoughtful of you to be so considerate of these children.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2006 at 5:30PM
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I have compiled a list of safe candy for my son. It is on my website to help others understand and live safely with this allergy.

Here is a link that might be useful: Peanut Safe Candy

    Bookmark   January 5, 2009 at 8:13PM
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Peanut Free Candy List Site Updated:

Here is a link that might be useful: Peanut Free Candy List

    Bookmark   April 20, 2011 at 2:52PM
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Dum Dum Pops are a gluten, nuts, soy, wheat and dairy free candy that can be passed out to children on Halloween without worrying about allergies. I think this could be useful for those trying to be allergy conscious this Halloween season.

Here is a link that might be useful: Nut Free Halloween Candy

    Bookmark   September 26, 2011 at 9:22AM
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