Posts Tagged ‘halloween’

Food Allergies and Halloween

Monday, October 31st, 2016

Navigating food allergies on halloweenAs many as 1 in 13 children in the United States are affected by allergies so the Halloween night of fun for most can turn into something quite serious for others. Even if you do not have people with allergies in your home there are things you can do to make the Halloween experience more accommodating for everyone who might come to your door. It takes little effort on your part but helps all kids enjoy the holiday to its fullest.

Consider joining the Teal Pumpkin Project. You can print a sticker from their website or paint a pumpkin teal to let families with allergies know your home has a treat for them too that won’t lead to any tricky allergies. Think bubbles, stickers, glow sticks, crafts, pencils, kazoos, coins, and more! If you’re unsure what non-food items include wheat, check out these ideas for teal-friendly ideas for treats.

Add your address to the crowd-sourced map of allergy-friendly places so local families know you are available. Of course you can still have your bucket of candy to give out if you’d like. Make sure you keep them separate. You can take a step further by using a scoop, gloved hand, and wash your hands frequently.

If you’re really motivated, carefully choose candy that is less likely to have common irritants like nuts. Candy that contains fewer common irritants include basic Tootsie Rolls, Smarties, Skittles, Starbursts, Dum-Dums and others. Stick with the name-brand products and even keep the bags in case someone needs to verify their safety. Some children may still be allergic to these, but by providing them instead of products that may contain nuts, more kids may be able to participate in the candy part of the holiday.

Here’s to a festive Happy Halloween to us all!

Lynette is a mom of three children from 6 months to age four. She has cloth diapered all three since birth and enjoys all things eco-friendly and mindful living

Sibling Halloween Costume Ideas

Tuesday, October 11th, 2016

Sibling Halloween Costume Ideas I never had a sibling to plan my costume with since I was an only child, so I try to coordinate my children’s costumes each year. Elsa and Olaf was a big disaster last year. My 14 month old did not want anything to do with the Olaf head, which made the costume. He spent most of the time crying, so we just went with the bodysuit. And, oh, don’t get me started on how much he loved the hands!

Sibling Halloween Costume Ideas

 

 

 

Here are some fun sibling costume ideas for siblings:

Sports Fans

This one is a fall classic. If you like football, you could easily do this with a new baby and older brother. A simple football jersey for big brother and a football brown onesie for baby. You could add more details if you want, like maybe go for your favorite team. You could also do this with baseball if you’re more into the World Series this time of year.

Fairytale Friends

This is similar to what we tried to do last year. If you have an older sister and younger brother duo, try for a fairytale theme.  You could do any princess and prince, or try Red Riding Hood with the Wolf. Just remember kids don’t always love those hooded animal costumes. I am not crafty, but this could probably be a costume you put together if you are.

Sibling Halloween Costume IdeasMoms of Multiples

If you have twins or even triplets, Halloween can be so fun!  Try doing Thing 1 and Thing 2 or Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum. This is by far my favorite, however–The Three Blind Mice. How adorable is this!  Find one costume and get 3 and add some sunglasses, which my kids would love. I would even be tempted to join in on the fun and dress up with my kids with these themed costumes.

Video Gamers Unite

If you have a husband or kids who like video games, try Mario and Luigi. Have another sibling? Add some characters! Add the Princess or anyone you like. Find some fake mustaches, turtlenecks, and easy outfits. These are adorable and even cuter the smaller your little ones are.

Sibling Halloween Costume IdeasLarger Families Can Still Have Fun

If you have several small children, go with a bigger theme. The Wizard of Oz characters seem to be popular. Dress up a Dorothy, Tin Man, Lion, and Scarecrow. These costumes could be made at home or bought online. You can always do another movie theme if this isn’t up your alley. Maybe have a family costume of Minions? Get creative!

You can always check out Pinterest if none of these ideas are what you or your kids want. I am leaning towards a cheerleader, football player, and football. Why not? I say dress your kids together as long as they will let you. You never know when they will want to be their own thing, and that can be a good thing, too.

Karyn Meyerhoff is a mom of 2, almost 3, in Arkansas where she now wants to go shop online for costumes for her littles.

Fun Halloween Snacks for Toddlers

Friday, October 23rd, 2015

Fun halloween snacks for toddlersThe weather is getting cooler and fall will soon be here! If you are like me, I love fall. I love everything pumpkin from a latte to a candle. If your kids are like mine, they love snacks. I have a 3-year-old who is constantly wanting a snack and a 1-year-old who has recently discovered the art of snacking. Here are some fun fall snacks for your little ones to try.

Get Fruity!

My son Levi loves bananas. If you are a fan of Halloween, try making these fun ghost bananas with chocolate chips and fruit. For older kids, try pumpkin oranges. Boo-rific!

My kids both love apples and applesauce. Fall is the perfect time to make tasty treats with yummy apples. Try making apple chips or simply add a little cinnamon to some applesauce to give it some fall flavor. These apple cars would be a fun treat to make with mom. All you need are apples and sliced grapes. Fun and healthy–just keep an eye on the toothpicks.

Fun halloween snacks for toddlersGo for a Mix!

If you are like my kids, you like a little bit of everything in your snack. There are lots of fun, creative snack mixes on websites like chex.com and Pinterest where you can find super cute and fun mixes. This one was my favorite I found on sandytoesandpopsicles.com.

Marshmallows, cereal, candy corn, and raisins are in this mix, so you would want to be sure and keep it appropriate for the age of children you are serving. My kids would gobble this one up.

 Stay Simple!

When it comes to fall, sometimes it just takes making things a little more spicy and warm to really create a fun snack. Try making apple cider with an older child. Decorating cupcakes and creating pumpkin toppings is an easy treat for any toddler. (Go ahead and let your little one lick the spoon.) If you have a little guy like mine, opt for easy snacks like dried apples or other dried fruits. It doesn’t have to be complicated and fancy for kids, just let them know you care by spending time with them in the kitchen.

Get Crafty!

Owls have become really popular over the past couple years in the fall season. These owl crackers are sure to be a hoot with your little ones! All you need is cream cheese, crackers, and raisins. Be careful not to use almonds for little ones. The nose could be made with a Cheerio, too. These look so fun and tasty! Pumpkin patch dippers would be a healthy option for a fall snack, as well. All you need for these are sliced carrots and hummus.

So whatever you choose to do this fall, spend some time with your little ones in the kitchen. They are never too young to bang on a pot or pan, stir a bowl of mix, or simply lick the spoon. I plan on trying some of these with my kids this fall season. Happy snacking!

Karyn Meyerhoff lives, writes, and eats lots of yummy treats in Northeast Indiana. 

Pumpkin Projects for Baby

Thursday, October 22nd, 2015

Pumpkin Ideas for BabyHalloween is just around the corner and I’m excited! I love Halloween. I love the decorations, the costumes, all of it. I’m particularly fond of pumpkin carving and can’t wait until I can introduce that tradition to my daughter. But, she’s 3, so it’s safe to say that I won’t be handing over the carving knife just yet. So, what can you do with the younger members of the family that will still let them join in the pumpkin fun?

For the past two years I’ve let me daughter “carve” a pumpkin with paint. The process is pretty simple. First, you tape off a pattern onto the pumpkin. Masking tape or painters tape both work well. Just make sure the pumpkin has already warmed to room temperature. I’ve had the best luck by taping off a large section, drawing onto the tap, and using an exacto knife to cut away the excess, leaving the pattern behind.

Once you’ve completed the taping, it’s time to bring in baby! Give your baby a few colors of paint and encourage them to have the time of their lives on the pumpkin! I recommend choosing just 2 or 3 colors to avoid having all of the paint colors mix into brown, and you may want to consider using a containment device such at the high chair, just to make sure your little Picasso doesn’t paint your hallway as well.

We’ve gone this route the past two years and my daughter loves it. But if paint isn’t your thing, here are a few more ideas that let the littles get in on the Halloween fun.

  • Mr./Mrs. Potato Head pieces can be popped through the skin of a pumpkin to make hilarious, baby friendly jack-o-lanterns
  • There are numerous stickers kits that would be a lot of fun
  • Cut out a variety of shapes from tissue paper and use modge podge to glue them on
  • If you’re feeling adventurous, how about a glitter pumpkin!

Whatever you do, have fun! There are so many ways for every member of the family to participate in the Halloween festivities, no matter the age!

Kate Cunha lives in the Pacific NW with her husband and their 3 year old daughter. She was a dirt loving, tree climbing kid who grew into a terrible gardener who loves nature. 

Candy Alternatives for Halloween

Friday, October 10th, 2014
appleHalloween is one holiday that I both hate and love. I love letting my children dress up, and it’s even more exciting to see the look on their faces as they get to get surprise treats.
I am okay with my children having a piece of candy here or there, but we don’t eat anything that is artificially coloured, artificially flavoured, artificially sweetened, or that has high fructose corn syrup, which is pretty much all Halloween candy. Even plain chocolate pieces often have artificial flavourings (usually artificial vanilla). While there are a few places you can find natural candies (even at reasonable prices!), most things available don’t quite fit the bill.

What alternatives are there to candy? Halloween has no written rule that you must give out candy. The saying, after all, is “Trick or treat”… nobody says what that treat has to be! Society is no longer at a place where homemade baked goodies are consumed from strangers, but here are a few ideas for foods and goodies you can give out.

Apples: Apples are a great autumn food, and you can even have fun picking them out. If you have an orchard near by, you could take the children out to pick apples. You get to have a fun family outing and take care of treats at the same time!

Oranges: The peel keeps them nice and safe from all the jostling in the Halloween goody bag/bucket the children have.

Snack packs of Raisins: While fruit seems like a great alternative to candy (give them something healthy to balance all the sweets), it is, admittedly, not nearly as exciting.
If you want something edible that isn’t fruit, try:
  • Goldfish crackers – even the coloured ones are naturally coloured!
  • Graham crackers – tasty, fun shapes, and not candy.
  • Sesame snack sticks
  • Honey Sticks
  • Natural Fruit Snacks (or fruit leathers/strips) – Sweet and not overly healthy.
  • Cookies – Some natural companies make tiny cookie packages for the holidays.
  • Granola or Cereal Bars – from natural companies
  • Juice Boxes – some companies make natural ones
  • Mini-water bottles
  • Individually wrapped cheese sticks (only if it’s not hot out!) 

Looking for something that isn’t edible? Try:

  • Stickers – you can buy a big roll of (large) stickers for as cheap as $3 for 100 stickers. You will have to spend time ripping them apart or cutting them, though.
  • Pencils, character-shaped erasers, Mini notebooks, crayons, or other stationary
  • A colouring sheet (to accompany crayons) – some companies even make colouring pages with seeds pressed into the paper that you can plant in the ground!
  • Temporary Tattoos
  • Mini-bubble containers
  • Play Jewelry
  • Fun Stamps
  • Bouncy balls
  • Seed packets
The list goes on! The great thing about using candy alternatives? You can check out the party stores the day after Halloween and stock up cheap for next year!
Obviously, not every child will appreciate all of these items, so it would be a good idea to have a little variety for them to pick from. I know that, as a child,  if I had gone to a house that had no edible treats and choices of stickers, stamps, or flower seeds, I would have picked the seeds. I loved gardening!
Christine Kangas is a crunchy mother of two. She enjoys gardening, music, and nature. She lives in the mid-western U.S. with her husband, two children, and three cats.