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Trick or treating gets trickier

Submitted by on Sunday, 8 June 2008 No Comment

Originally publish Oct. 28, 2007, thehive.modbee.com

When I was a kid, a neighbor who handed out a few marquee candies could win admiration and extra smiles for an entire year M&Ms, Snickers and Reese cups always were high on the list.

As a parent of an allergic kid, I can spot that terrible trio the second we step onto someone’s drive way. At least I’ve learned not to cringe.

Another Halloween, more candy to confiscate.

I’m lucky in a way that Big Guy has been allergic to peanut and egg from virtually the beginning. He’s never eaten Snickers, Reese cups or Three Musketeers, so he doesn’t miss them. He’s used to me sorting his candy the second we get home, so that’s no big deal either.

And there’s always been enough left to keep him wired for weeks after I removed the allergens.

What’s changed: The food dye issue, which cropped up right after Halloween last year. It takes most of the rest of the common safe candy – Starbursts, Skittles, Jolly Ranchers – out of circulation.

I think I’m at the end of the line when it comes to confiscation without compensation. Big Guy would see the mountain I’d have to remove, stomp his little feet and scream, “no fair!” And he’d be right.

So this year, we’re going to trade. For every piece I remove from his bag (and Little Guy’s too. I can’t leave that stuff lying around the house), I’ll give him a piece from our peanut/egg/dye-free stash. At least the garlic allergy isn’t an issue here.

The stash includes:
· A collection ordered online from Panhandle Premium, which imports from the only peanut-free chocolate plant in North America, a Nestle plant in Canada. Nestle’s Canadian Smarties are a “close enough” M&M substitute, though be warned: it melts in your mouth and in your hands.
· Mamba fruit chews, a German-made dye-free Starburst substitute. I can find those locally in a few convenience stores. SaveMart used to carry them, but I haven’t seen any lately.
· American-made Kit Kats aren’t made in a peanut-free plant, but neither do they carry peanut contamination warnings, so we still eat those. Same with Rolos.
· Most Hershey products, other than the obvious ones, also are safe for the time being, though I don’t expect that to last.
· Yummy Earth organic lollipops. It’s the best lollipop I’ve ever tasted, hands down.

And the neighbor who wins admiration and extra smiles now: The guy on our street who handed out ink stamps last year. Messy, but at least not dangerous for Big Guy.

Copyright 2007 Debra Legg. All rights reserved.

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