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Living Well In Yalobusha County

Halloween Food Safety Tips For Children With Food Allergies

By Pamela Redwine

With Halloween approaching, many children with food allergies need to take extra caution. Inside that harmless cupcake or chocolate bar could be ingredients harmful to children with food allergies. Many parents of children with food allergies are fairly watchful when it comes to reading food labels. However, children are not. They will be children and with a tempting taste as they go from house to house, without appropriate medicine could mean a disaster.

Many children are allergic to peanuts, a common and often hidden ingredient in candy, pastry and other treats. If eaten, they can be a serious problem. For some children, this could mean an anaphylactic reaction if eaten. The best preventive solution for parents is strict avoidance of the offending food.  The FDA has said about twenty-five percent of foods are not either correctly labeled or not labeled at all. And therefore what happens is people have to be label detectives.

Parents of food-allergic children must read every label on each piece of candy in their child’s bag. This is one way to avoid a potentially life-threatening situation for the child. Of course, you can always restrict the child from any treats. On the other hand, you do want them to enjoy their ghost and goblins day.

As parents, you want to be aware of labels because product’s ingredients can change at any time without warning. For example, miniature versions of popular candies may have different ingredients from the regular- sized products. During Halloween, miniature candies are very popular and often given to children on their Halloween experience. Because they are popular and many don’t have labels, you may want to avoid these items.

It is important to know not only peanuts cause common food allergies, but tree nuts, eggs, milk or soy as well. Foods containing any of these products should be on the watch-out list. It is also recommended that parents or caregivers carry epinephrine (epi-pen) with them at all times.  The epinephrine will help the child until you can get medical attention.

Keep in mind that food-related anaphylaxis leads to more than 150 deaths per year, so every exposure should be taken seriously. You want your little spooks to have a good experience.  Finally, you want to be sure that the goblins that visit your house on Halloween get treats not tricks.

Recipe of the Week
Candy Corn Popcorn Balls

  •  8 cups popped light butter microwave popcorn (about 1, 3-ounce bag)
  •  1 cup candy corn
  •  1/4 cup butter
  •  1/4 teaspoon salt
  •  1 (10-ounce) bag marshmallows
  •  Cooking Spray

Combine popcorn and candy corn in a large bowl.
Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat, stir in salt and marshmallows.  Reduce heat to low; cook 7 minutes or until marshmallows melt and mixture is smooth, stirring frequently.
Pour marshmallow mixture over popcorn mixture; stir to coat well.  Lightly coat hands with cooking spray; shape popcorn mixture into 20 (2–inch) balls.  Yield: 20 servings (serving size 1 ball)

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