Tomorrow is Halloween, as you are aware. And if your school is anything like ours, your kids will be celebrating with more parties and treats than they know what to do with. This was one of the reasons I was nervous about sending my gluten free daughters to school.

And to be very honest, I get a little overwhelmed and irritated when I start getting calls or texts from the other room moms about a holiday party coming up. I’m thankful every day that my daughters’ reactions to gluten aren’t life-threatening (I can’t emphasize that enough), but I do get a little jealous and wistful when I think of the days when I could make regular cupcakes for a party, or send my kids to school without thinking twice about what they’d be eating. Just like our lives in general, school parties are just more complicated now.

halloween party

I obviously can’t be at both girls’ parties when they’re held at the same time, so I have to choose where to go when the time comes. And I always choose the youngest girl, because her disease is more serious, and while she’s pretty good about not eating things that aren’t gluten free, I still feel better if I can keep an eye on her.

There are a few things that I do to make sure that the girls don’t get to a school party with A) nothing they can eat or B) sad about what they are given to eat.

  1. I always sign up to either attend the parties or bring treats to the parties. Like I said, this year, I’ll be attending all of the kindergarten parties and making treats for the second graders. That gives me some control over what the treats are that are passed out, and allow me to be a bit of a helicopter mom and keep an eye on things. It’s impossible for all of the other moms to know my girls’ unique needs each year, so the girls will often get the same snacks or goodies put in front of them as the other kids, and I like to be there (if I can) to watch out for that.
  2. I try my best to find out what other moms (or dads) are sending/bringing for the party so I can make something similar. This is another reason why it helps to be involved in the party planning process. If I’m not able to find out and I’m not one in charge of sending treats for the whole class, I get or make one special treat to send that I know they’ll love. That cuts way down on any jealousy the girls may have about what the other kids are eating….it doesn’t have to be exactly the same as everybody else, but if I talk up their cupcakes or brownies a little bit and show them what they get to eat, they’ll be excited.
  3. I don’t allow them to eat anything homemade unless I’ve specifically talked to the other parents first. I didn’t know about cross-contamination and all of the things gluten is hidden in when we started this journey, so I don’t expect them to, either. Because it’s so much more than buying a box of gluten free cake mix and whipping up a batch of cupcakes. The nice thing about school parties is that there are a lot of packaged candies and treats that gets passed around, so they don’t come home anywhere near empty-handed. And because most everything is pre-packaged in their goody bags or buckets, we go through them as soon as they get home, and take out the things they can’t eat.

Are there any tips you’d share for keeping your kids with allergies healthy around school holidays?

For a lot more ways to stay healthy in general, check out Molina Healthcare’s website.

The opinions in this article are my own. I do not work for, or with, any brand mentioned in this article, nor do I have any official relationship with them.  I have a relationship with GigaSavvy, for whom I create original editorial content.