Saturday, November 6, 2010

Halloween Success Story

Halloween is but a fond memory already pushed aside by Christmas merchandise and Christmas music playing in the stores.  But before we put Halloween completely away until next year, I wanted to reminisce about a positive experience we had this year.

Holidays are difficult for people with severe food allergies because food is often the center of attention.  Kids especially have a difficult time with Halloween and trick-or-treating.  At 7, Abigail has a complete understanding of the fact that she'll get a lot of candy that she cannot eat.  New this year though was that instead of sorting candy with me, she traded with a friend.  As soon as they got back from trick-or-treating, the girls dumped out their bags of candy in the floor of the garage and proceeded to trade non-safe candy for safe candy.  Abigail has gotten so good at knowing what candy she can eat that she ended up with not a single questionable piece.  I was very proud that she did this on her own, but somewhat melancholy that I was not needed.  And, maybe a little disappointed that I wasn't going to be able to sneak a candy bar or two knowing that most of those end up in the discard pile.  That was until I remembered that my 3 year old also had a big bag to sort!

Speaking of parents sneaking a piece or two of their kid's candy, I came across a few fun Halloween candy facts in the weekly "Parade" newspaper insert that I wanted to end with.
  • 68% - the number of adults that admit to pinching their kid's Halloween candy.  See, I'm not alone!
  • 7.2 billion - the number of Smarties (15 per roll) in kid's trick-or-treat bags.  And...Smarties is safe for peanut allergies.
  • $2 billion - the amount spent on Halloween candy this year.
  • 9 billion - the number of pieces of candy corn produced in 2010 - enough to circle the moon nearly four times.  I never did find any this year that were safe for Abigail.
  • 19 million - the number of pounds of Reese's Peanut Butter Cups made in October (about as heavy as the Eiffel Tower). 19 million pounds of potentially hazardous material for our peanut allergic kids!
Now on to Christmas preparations.  But stop...wait a minute!  Aren't we forgetting about Thanksgiving?  Apparently, there's no money to be made in Thanksgiving.  Guess the stores are skipping that holiday.

We're not and will be celebrating Thanksgiving with our families.  At Thanksgiving, Abigail always looks forward to her GiGi's pecan pie made with pecans from the tree in their backyard.  It's the only tree nut she can safely eat because there is zero chance of peanut cross-contamination.

Here's to making it through another Halloween safe and sound and to the upcoming celebrations with family and friends.


Anonymous said...

just curious: how is there zero chance of peanut cross-contamination w/the pecan? is this the case for all pecans or a certain brand??

Mom with a Mission said...

We're lucky. My parents have a huge pecan tree in their back yard. We crack and shell them ourselves so there is no chance of cross-contamination with peanuts. Abigail is not allergic to tree nuts, but her doctor at Duke has advised us that due to the large risk of cross-contamination with peanuts in a typically manufacturing process, we avoid all products with tree nuts. He's okay'd the pecans from my parent's tree. So, Abigail relishes the ability to snack on those!