We're just days away from one of the best holidays of the year - Halloween! Costumes are being finalized, decorations are being touched up, and big bags are being procured for trick-or-treating. It's one of the most fun nights of the year, for sure. But as parents, we want to make sure that while our kiddos are having a good time, they're also safe. These Halloween food safety tips will help you keep your little ones out of harms way, and insure that everyone has a spooky and fun-filled Halloween.
Don't send your kids out on an empty stomach to prevent candy bag snacking.
It's hard to walk around with a big ol' bag of candy and not sneak a piece or two! But it's best to wait to let your kids have a treat until after you've had a chance to inspect what's in the bag. Make sure they have dinner before hitting the neighborhood in search of full-size candy bars. And bring along a few safe snacks from home in case they get hungry.
Check your kids' treat bags as soon as you get home.
Don't let your kids eat any treats that aren't in commercial wrapping, like homemade treats or foods. Inspect each piece of candy that makes it into their bag. You want to check to make sure the wrapping is intact and doesn't show signs of tampering. Look for rips, tears, pinholes, or discoloration or an unusual appearance. Toss anything that doesn't look right.
For kids with food allergies, be extra diligent when checking their bags.
It's not just about the wrapper when your kids have food allergies - you want to make sure to read labels to double check that there are no allergens in the candy. Again, don't let your kids accept homemade treats, especially if they have food allergies (one peanut butter cookie could contaminate their entire candy stash!). When you're out trick-or-treating, look for teal pumpkins on porches. Those signify that the house has safe, non-food items available for kids with food allergies.
Keep an eye out for choking hazards if you've got younger children.
In addition to doing the safety check mentioned above, if you've got younger kiddos, remove anything from their bags that they could choke on, like gum, small hard candies, peanuts, or small toys.