Food Allergies and Halloween

Halloween can be extra scary for kids with food allergies (and their parents). If your child has wheat or dairy allergies, a classroom treat at a Halloween party can stir up an allergic reaction. If they have nut allergies, a peanut or almond in a chocolate bar may be the culprit.


Here are a few tips for making this Halloween a safe one for kids with food allergies:

Screen your kids’ candy. This is always a good idea, whether you have a child with a food allergy or not. In addition to weeding out allergy-causing treats, screening children’s Halloween haul helps parents limit the sweets, weed out unwrapped candies….and of course, sneak a candy bar or two for Mom and Dad’s “screening fee.”

Plan alternate activities. For children with extreme reactions to nuts or other food allergens, sometimes alternatives to trick-or-treating are a wise consideration. Families can carve pumpkins, draw and paint together, or hunker down to take in some spooky movies.

Organize a “trunk or treat” with friends. This can allow parents to control the type of food their children are getting. You can even give participants safe treats to give to your child. That way, they can still experience the thrill of trick or treating without the perils.

If your kids have significant food allergies, consider sublingual immunotherapy prescribed by an AllergyEasy physician. It can help kids safely tolerate more of the foods they love and make future Halloweens a lot less worrisome.

About The Author

Stuart H. Agren, M.D.

Stuart H. Agren, M.D. completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Utah and went on to earn his Doctor of Medicine from Tulane University School of Medicine in 1974. He completed additional training at L.D.S. Hospital in Salt Lake City, Utah and then established his private medical practice starting in 1975. Dr. Agren completed a mini-residency in Industrial Medicine at the Robert Johnson School of Medicine at Rutgers University and also completed training to become a certified Medical Review Officer.

Dr. Agren was the Medical Director at TRW and McDonnell Douglas in Mesa, Arizona and at Stauffer Chemical and Kennecott Copper in Salt Lake City, Utah. He also served as an adjunct faculty member at Arizona State University.

In his private medical practice, Dr. Agren specialized in family practice and allergy. In his work as a private practice allergist, he was one of the first doctors in the country to prescribe sublingual immunotherapy to his patients as an alternative to subcutaneous immunotherapy (allergy shots). He has also been a trailblazer in the field of food allergy treatment and research, developing a program to treat multiple food allergies simultaneously using sublingual immunotherapy. Dr. Agren has been featured on local CBS, NBC, and ABC news affiliates and won the peer-nominated “Top Doc” award from Phoenix Magazine.

After 20 years in private practice, Dr. Agren became the Founder and President of AllergyEasy, which helps primary care physicians around the country offer allergy testing and sublingual immunotherapy treatment to their patients. Over 200 physicians in over 32 states use the AllergyEasy program to help their patients overcome environmental and food allergies and asthma.