Trick-or-treating can still be as fun as it always was. Here are our favorite allergy-friendly candy picks, plus 8 tips for a safe and fun night from an allergy mom who gets it.

Penelope Wall and Lauren Wicks
Updated September 24, 2019

I have two small children and each of them has a food allergy-one is allergic to eggs and the other one has to avoid all tree nuts. We carry EpiPens and Benadryl with us wherever we go (even if it's just a trip to the supermarket). We've taught the kids to be self-advocates, to not share food or water bottles, and to never eat anything without asking, "Does this have eggs/nuts in it?" It's a lot to manage-and a huge responsibility to dump on a 4-year-old, to be honest-but for the most part, my kids lead pretty normal lives. The trickiest times are when food-related holidays like Halloween roll around. It's important to be vigilant to keep everyone safe, but I also just want my kids to feel normal and be able to enjoy their night. And let's face it, poring over ingredient lists at every doorstep in the dark takes the fun out of it for everybody-including me.

So I've developed a few tricks of my own to make Halloween as fun as possible for everyone, but especially for my kids with food allergies.

1. Have a stash of allergy-free treats on hand.

If there's one thing I've learned from raising two kids with food allergies, it's to always be prepared. I can't necessarily control what will end up in my child's candy bag-and so I never really know what will end up in the safe pile and what needs to be removed. Sometimes what's left is a little ... sad. So I always stock up on some of my favorite spooky treats that I KNOW are safe-and that I can feel good about giving to my kids.

Thankfully, companies like Enjoy Life and Wholesome make delicious snacks and treats that taste just like our childhood favorites without some (or all) of the top food allergens. We've rounded up some of our favorite options to help ensure every child in the neighborhood, classroom party or home can enjoy this special day, too.

Surf Sweets Halloween Gummies

Surf Sweets

Truly allergy-safe, these candies are produced and packaged in dedicated facilities free of the top 10 allergens (peanuts, tree nuts, dairy, eggs, soy, wheat, fish, shellfish, sesame and sulfites), making them our top choice at home. No fake food dyes here, and the real-fruit flavor shines through in these gummies and lollies. Bonus? Surf Sweets is a member of 1% for the Planet, which means that they donate 1 percent of their sales to environmental causes that help to clean the oceans.

Buy it: Surf Sweets Organic Spooky Shapes (20 Pouches), $17.99

YumEarth Organic Halloween Candy

YumEarth

YumEarth's Halloween candies have no artificial colors and short ingredient lists (something allergy parents will appreciate!). Their lollipops, gummies and some other candies are made with real fruit flavors and are NUT-FREE and GLUTEN-FREE.

YumEarth also makes organic Candy Corn that is nut-free and gluten-free (but it does contain EGGS).

Buy it: YumEarth Organic Candy Corn and Gummy Fruits Combo Pack (48-count), $31.58

Enjoy Life Foods Halloween Chocolate Minis

Enjoy Life

These mini chocolates are non-GMO and free from an impressive list of 14 allergens (including the top 8): wheat, peanuts, tree nuts, dairy, casein, soy, egg, sesame, sulfites, lupin, mustard, fish, shellfish & crustaceans. But you would never know it. My kids love the Ricemilk Crunch chocolates, with crispy bits of rice. As a parent, I love the short ingredient lists. The dark chocolate minis have just three: unsweetened chocolate, sugar and cocoa butter.

Buy it: Enjoy Life Halloween Chocolate Minis Variety Pack (72-Count), $26.99

Angie's Boom Chicka Pop Sweet & Salty Kettle Corn

Angie's

Made simply with gluten-free, whole-grain popcorn, sunflower oil, cane sugar and a little sea salt, this ready-to-eat snack is a great option all year long! Especially if a child in your kid's classroom or in your neighborhood has a pretty severe allergy, this is a great way to serve a sweet treat everyone will get excited about—without taking any risks.

Buy it: Angie's Boom Chicka Pop Sweet & Salty Kettle Corn (12-Packs), $33.36

Wholesome Halloween Lollipops

Wholesome

You've likely seen this brand when searching for organic sugar, agave syrup and other sweeteners, but Wholesome also has a great selection of organic, allergy-free candies. We are loving these spooky-shaped lollipops with just four grams of sugar each.

Buy it: Wholesome Halloween Lollipops (30-Count), $10.99

Annie's Organic Bunny Fruit Snacks

Annie's Homegrown

These cute little bunny-shaped snacks aren't just for kids—adults love them, too! Made with real fruit juice, natural colors and zero allergens, these sweets from our favorite mac and cheese brand are a favorite Halloween candy option, too. Each pack contains 100% of your daily vitamin C needs to help keep your child (or yourself!) safeguarded against cold and flu season.

Buy it: Annie's Organic Bunny Fruit Snacks (24-Pack), $14.92

Free2B Sun Cups

Free2B

Break up with your Reese's habit in light of these allergy-free sun butter-filled chocolate cups. Made with almost half the sugar of traditional Reese's cups (and none of the peanuts!), this is a satisfying option for everyone involved.

Buy it: Free2B Sun Cups (12-Pack), $33.10

Zee Zee's Grahamz Variety Pack

Zee Zee's

While these do contain gluten and soy, Zee Zee's whole-grain graham crackers are free of other top allergens for a lower-sugar treat. And with flavors like Birthday Cake and Strawberry, we think your kids will forget all about their Skittles for this more natural option.

Buy it: Zee Zee's Grahamz Variety Pack (24-Count), $22.49

Related: Hilarious Food Costumes to Win Halloween This Year

Joyin Halloween Slime Variety Pack

Joyin

What's the only thing that kids love more than candy? Slime! This could be the perfect non-food trick-or-treat or Halloween party option that wouldn't cause an all-out riot. This slime comes in six different colors with a variety of add-ins like plastic insects and eyeballs. Gross, but you know your kids will love it.

Buy it: Joyin Halloween Slime Variety Pack (12-Count), $12.99

Joyin Glow in the Dark Bouncing Balls

If that slime is making you squirm, but you still want to find a fun, food-free option, try this other festive product from Joyin. These bouncing balls have different Halloween-themed characters on them and glow in the dark, keeping kids entertained at any time of day. Even though you won't be serving chocolate this year, you can still be the coolest parent, neighbor or teacher they know!

Shop Now: Joyin Glow in the Dark Bouncing Balls (72-Count), $14.99

Related: 25 Peanut-Free Recipes Kids Will Love

2. Set the ground rules BEFORE you leave the house.

Give your kids a pep talk ahead of time and let them know that they can't eat their candy till you get home and have a chance to go through everything. You'll have a better chance of getting their attention in the quiet of your home rather than the mayhem on the street surrounded by kids on a sugar high. If your kids really want to be able to have a treat while trick-or-treating, keep some safe candies in your pocket and have them eat those. (Make sure to pack your EpiPens just in case.)

3. Know your safe treats ahead of time.

If you see a bucket of options, you can direct your kids to choose ones you know are safe so they won't be disappointed later on. Find a yearly allergy-friendly Halloween candy guide online from FARE (Food Allergy Research & Education). SnackSafely.com also provides a special Halloween edition of their Safe Snack Guideeach year (download the free PDF and scroll to the very bottom to find the Halloween candy section). They update it regularly, so you'll want to always download the most recent version and stop using it after the expiration date printed on the guide.

4. Keep your eye out for teal pumpkins.

The Teal Pumpkin Project is a campaign launched by FARE to promote inclusion for all trick-or-treaters. If you see a home with a teal-painted pumpkin on display, that means that they are offering nonfood treats too. There's a house in my neighborhood that hands out LED disco rings every year-and all of the kids look forward to it. For more info, visit foodallergy.org.

MargoeEdwards / Getty Images)

5. Always read labels.

Even if you know that a candy is safe for your child, some Halloween-specific candies are manufactured in different facilities and may have different ingredients or cross-contamination risks than their everyday counterparts.

6. Be on the lookout for lurking allergens.

I'm always surprised at the range of candies that contain eggs. Things with nougat like Snickers and Charleston Chew bars are a little more obvious. But even some hard candies like Nerds and some lollipops may contain eggs.

7. When in doubt, throw it out.

Some Halloween candies won't have a full ingredient list on the wrapper. If a candy has no label at all and you can't find the ingredient and allergy information online, remove it from your child's stash. The risk is not worth it.

8. Save the allergy review till after bedtime.

"What the eye doesn't see, the heart doesn't grieve over," as my mother used to say. At our house, we don't throw out unsafe candies, we just put them in the "parents' pile." Our kids are happy to share a little bit, but I've found that for younger ones the review process goes a lot more smoothly after the kids are in bed.

Watch: How to Make Frankenstein Kiwi Pops

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