Thursday, October 27, 2011

Halloween and Allergies

I'm a huge fan of Halloween.

It's kind of strange, and almost hypocritical.  I really don't care for the actual holiday, as there is some really bad stuff that goes on during that holiday.

On the other hand... it's a holiday in autumn, which is kind of my favorite time of the year.    There are pumpkins, and decorations in reds, and yellows, and oranges, which are my favorite colors.  The air is crisp, and has a hint of winter in it.  (Well, actually, it doesn't.  I live in Southern California, so the air has a hint of 70-72 degree weather in it, instead of 72-74 degree weather.  I just buy a Pumpkin Spice latte, put on a sweater, sweat slightly and pretend the air feels cool and seasonal.) 

It's a holiday that revolves around dressing up in silly costumes, which is kind of one of my favorite things to do.  I like silly costumes, even if I'm not terribly creative.  I usually wear a great big Lion-From-the-Wizard-of-Oz costume. When I'm not feeling fat I throw on my chaps over my jeans and boots and go as a cowgirl. One year I went dressed up as Octomom.  Another year I went as a cow.

In exchange for celebrating a holiday in autumn and getting to dress up in silly costumes, people give you candy.  Why?

Because it's a holiday.  In autumn.  And you're wearing a costume.

It's like a great, big, happy circle of sugar-laden happiness.  Halloween makes me happy.

This is why it makes me sad that the DragonMonkey can't participate in Halloween.

The DragonMonkey is allergic to gluten.

The DragonMonkey is allergic to dairy.

The DragonMonkey is allergic to all food dyes.

If you can find me a tasty candy that has no gluten, dairy or food dyes in it, I'm all ears.

Even if there is a good candy out there that meets the criteria, I seriously doubt the houses in our neighborhood will be giving it out.  They'd probably get egged if they tried.

I've thought of dragging him with me from door to door to get the candy, but it just feels kind of mean.  "Happy Halloween, DragonMonkey!  Look at all the yummy candy!  Now give it all to me.  You can't have any.  Go eat an apple."

See what I mean?  I love the idea of trick-or-treating with my son, but it just seems cruel. 

This why I was absolutely THRILLED when Sensitive Sweets  offered a solution to my dilemma.

Sensitive Sweets is a new bakery that opened up down the street from us in Fountain Valley.  It specialises in custom cakes and desserts for people with allergies.  Everything they serve is gluten, dairy, nut, soy, and egg free.  They'll also make it dye-free, upon request.

To be honest, after listing everything their food doesn't have, I'm not really sure what they ARE making their desserts out of.  Sugar and unicorns?  Happiness and rice flour?    Special wishes from a trapped leprechaun?

I mean, I'm lucky if I can successfully bake brownies from a box.  These cakes are gorgeous - and the fact that they're completely allergen-free is just mind blowing to me.

For the record, this is not a paid advertisement - they don't even know I'm writing about them.  I'm just that grateful to them.  Not only is it actually tasty stuff, but it really is gluten-free.  I know, because DragonMonkey can sniff out a speck of gluten from five miles away.  Sometimes it feels like he can get a rash if he just thinks about bread often enough.  He has eaten several cupcakes from Sensitive Sweets over the past few months and never once had a speck of a reaction.  I know they're careful about cross-contamination because the owner understands.  She's a mom, she has kids with allergies, and she just plain gets it.

So, like I was saying, Sensitive Sweets recently posted a solution to my "Halloween vs. the Allergic DragonMonkey" scenario I've been facing, and it totally made my day.  I thought I'd share it with the rest of you, in case there is anyone else out there who is facing the same issues.

Halloween Candy and Allergies:  Trick or Treating with Allergic Children 



Blogger Harriet Johnson said...

Why do I not live in the US? Those cakes look gorgeous :O
I'm gluten free, with a lactose intolerant, vegetarian little sister... and a dairy & gluten free littlest sister, so family meals are awful... and we tend to give replace littlest sisters halloween sweets with alternatives before she notices :')

October 27, 2011 at 12:57 PM  
Blogger AareneX said...

Do I love this idea?

Yes. I do.

I love any idea that takes a problem and presents an elegant, friendly, helpful, inexpensive solution.

October 27, 2011 at 5:10 PM  
Blogger Veronica Foale said...

I found organic lollipops that are dye free, gluten free and dairy free. I'll see if I can hunt up a link.

October 27, 2011 at 6:18 PM  
Blogger Veronica Foale said...

Here you go. I'm not sure if they ship outside of Australia, but they're the brands that I've had good luck with before.

October 27, 2011 at 6:20 PM  
OpenID oregonsunshine said...

This will be our first Halloween having discovered Dude's food dye sensitivity. We're planning on getting him a big bag of chocolate that we'll trade him the "bad stuff" for, piece for piece. He loves Crunch bars, so I'm super lucky there.

As for DM, have you looked into Japanese rice candy? It might be GF...

I have a solution for gummy vitamins when he's older, btw.

October 27, 2011 at 7:30 PM  
OpenID oregonsunshine said...

Another thought... popcorn balls. Those would be ok, right? They're made with corn syrup (not HFCS). Maybe in the future, you could scout out a few houses ahead of time, explain the situation and drop off your "solution" that they can hold for him. Sometimes people are nice that way.

October 27, 2011 at 7:32 PM  
Blogger Albigears said...

I'm allergic to wheat, dairy, soy, eggs, chicken, peanuts, and almonds. Do you have a health food type store in your area? You'd think in CA they'd be everywhere. There is some really good candy out there but it is def. more expensive...

October 27, 2011 at 8:19 PM  
Blogger appydoesdressage said...

How about rock candy?
I love the stuff and it is just sugar crystals formed like a lolipop. Hope it helps!

October 28, 2011 at 6:34 AM  
Blogger mel said...

Check this out.
it's a map of people giving out candy for kids with dietary restrictions...

October 28, 2011 at 7:51 AM  
Blogger Bookmaster said...

Becky, I am so sad that I have now come to the end of your blog archive. Sniff. I love you.

October 30, 2011 at 9:12 PM  
OpenID oregonsunshine said...

The 2 oz Big Hunk is guarenteed to be gluten free, but not any other size. I don't know if it has dairy in the nougat or not though.

Vanilla flavored salt water taffy?

Annie's Organic Bunny fruit-snacks? They have no artificial dyes in them (they use vegetable coloring).

Just some ideas I found for you.

November 3, 2011 at 7:27 PM  

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