Halloween may be the spookiest time of year, but the last thing anyone wants on the holiday is a scary allergic reaction. That's why it's important to familiarize yourself with the best allergy-friendly Halloween candy, especially if you, a member of your family, or one of your close friends has one of the top eight food allergies.
What are the top eight food allergies to watch out for on Halloween?
The top eight food allergies include: peanut, tree nut, dairy, egg, soy, wheat, fish, and shellfish ingredients. These foods account for 90 percent of all food allergies in the United States, and they must be declared on any processed food, including candy, according to the Food Allergy Research and Resource Program at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Although some allergens may be obvious in some treats, other allergens can be "hidden" in certain Halloween sweets.
Unfortunately, kids who have allergies to foods like nuts or dairy can't eat just any candies for Halloween. According to the American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology, about eight percent of kids have at least one food sensitivity. While that may seem like a small amount, you can likely think of a few friends off the top of your head who have kids with negative food reactions — or who have food allergies themselves.
So this year, we're looking for candies for Halloween that are safe and friendly for everyone. Because chances are that at least one little ghost, mummy, or superhero ringing your doorbell on All Hallow's Eve isn't going to be able to eat those Halloween sweets you usually stock up on. And while Snickers bars might be your favorite treat, they contain milk, peanuts, eggs, and soy — which means they might be dangerous for one of the trick-or-treaters visiting your block.
Let's make sure everyone can safely enjoy their bags full of sweets! Halloween is a holiday no one should have to miss out on due to a food allergy.
Best Allergy-Friendly Halloween Candy
We did a little research and rounded up a whole host of candies for Halloween that are free of the top eight allergens — wheat, milk, soy, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, and shellfish (although we certainly hope all candies are free of those last two). Scroll below to find 12 sweet treats perfect for handing out on Halloween.
Important reminders: Manufacturers can change ingredient lists at any time, so be sure to read the current label on a piece of candy carefully before giving it to anyone with a food allergy. If you or your child suffers from an allergy, call the number on the back of the candy label to confirm that the company's processing protocols are safe for your needs — and get answers to any other specific questions you might have before stocking up on candy. This list of Halloween sweets is meant as a guide only.