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Halloween with Food Allergies

Halloween with Food Allergies

by Natascia Simone, FAACT College/Young Adult Advisory Council

Hello Everyone!

It’s that time of year again! The time of year that is meant for apple picking, pumpkin carving, but most importantly, Trick-or-Treating! Halloween is this week, and it is important that you have fun, but know your candy before diving in!

I started Trick-or-Treating before I was diagnosed with a tree-nut allergy at six years old and that never stopped me from having fun. The entire experience is what makes Halloween fun! The dressing up into anything you wish for, for one whole night and staying out late collecting goodies from house to house! By the time you get home, you are exhausted. You want just one piece of candy and to save the rest of the candy for the next day (and let me just say that this is probably the best idea).

When I was too young to grasp the idea of having to go through every candy label, my mom would have a piece of candy that I knew was safe to eat waiting on the kitchen counter when I got home from Trick-or-Treating. I would enjoy this treat and save the goodies I collected till the next day. The next morning, my mom and I would go through each label, if there was one, and make a safe pile, a pile to double check with the company by calling, and an absolutely NOT pile! It was actually something I looked forward to every year as a continuation to the fun night before.

I recommend this procedure for any parents who have children with food allergies and for those of you who are old enough to understand the labels, this is still the best idea to ensure the best possible safety. Halloween is a time of mystery and fun, but it’s essential to understand that your safety is still just as important on this day as it is any other day of the year, and this CANNOT be forgotten!

Quick Tips:

  • Read ALL labels...it's a MUST!
  • Don’t eat anything that is unwrapped.
  • If there is no label (individual packing is sometimes like this), DON’T EAT IT!
  • If you have an option between candy or non-candy treat, choose the non-candy treat!
  • Make piles the next day.
  • Have Fun, and Happy Halloween! 


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Natascia Simone is in her senior year at Western New England University, majoring in Marketing Communications and Advertising with a minor in Entrepreneurship. After graduation, she plans to open her own “allergy-friendly” bakery that also serves items that are gluten-free. Natascia is currently Miss Mountain Laurel 2014, an official preliminary of the Miss America Organization. In this position, she has spoken to students throughout her community about her platform, “Food Allergy Awareness: Be Aware, Share and Prepare.” Natascia is determined to address the disconnect between the customer and the server when dining out, the student and teacher when attending school, and the individuals who have a food allergy and the people who are part of their lives.

Natascia founded the "Keep It Safe, In Every Place" program in 2013, which is dedicated to promoting food allergy awareness in schools and restaurants. She also served as a camp counselor for Camp TAG (The Allergy Gang) and serves now as a College/Young Adult Council Member for FAACT (Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Connection Team). She understands living with a food allergy and continues to make sure others understand what can be done to save a life when an allergic reaction occurs – or better yet how, to prevent an allergic reaction from ever happening.