Our last blog talked about how those with allergies can feel about Halloween.
This week we share some of the personal challenges faced by our own CEO Julianne, who has always had challenges with this seasonal celebration, even though Halloween is one of her favourite traditions.
She is of the generation where Halloween is all about the magic, mystery and folklore, and the opportunity to dress up!
Here are Creative Nature we also make the most of it. We love baking, decorating cakes and ourselves in Halloween outfits, and making ourselves up in the most weird and wonderful ways. In previous years, we have enjoyed taking part in the celebrations in our communities – this year is going to be a little different.
This is also a time when we love creating fantastic social media posts for our social media platforms. In fact, we have been planning these for months!
Why Halloween is a scary time for those with allergies:
Halloween is supposed to be a scary time, but not in the way that it can be for those who suffer severe allergies and anaphylaxis, like Julianne. The food element of it can cause a great amount of fear and anxiousness. Choosing to eat the wrong sweet, or treat can end in an allergic reaction, and a hospital, intensive care visit, or worse.
When she was a child, Julianne and her family did celebrate Halloween yet were always concerned about the associated risks. Having allergies particularly impacts upon the ‘trick or treat’ aspect of Halloween.
For Julianne to go out on the night to ‘trick or treat’, she had to be careful, not to take:
- sweets offered
- cakes and homemade biscuits
- cakes or biscuits even when the householder and baker was telling her they were okay.
Because she didn’t know what the ingredients were in any of those food stuffs. Any one of them could have caused her an allergic reaction, yet who wants to say to a neighbour ‘are you sure? Did you do your best to avoid cross contamination? Do you have peanuts or any nuts in your house at all?’. Doing such things can turn ‘trick or treat’ into a real nightmare!
Creative Nature was set up by Julianne to support people like her, who need to make careful choices of their food and she unapologetically recommends them to families around Halloween so that ‘safe’ treat choices can be offered.
Our Gnawbles, sweet treats a little like Maltesers, with different flavours, ad perfect for ‘treats’, and also for decorating those fantastic cakes you are going to make with our baking mixes – all free from, which can be eaten by everyone with absolutely, no fear!
The Teal Pumpkin Project:
This is something that Julianne whole-heartedly supports.
Initially an idea started in the US, as a project is aimed to promote inclusion and safety for all children.
One of the main ideas is that you paint your pumpkin a teal colour, so that when people see that outside your door, they know that you are going to provide allergen-free treats.
On the website, the project gives lots of ideas and information for how to build support in your local community.
Julianne (and we will be joining her) will be busy painting pumpkins teal to be prepared.
Read Julianne’s blog here to find out more safety tips for Halloween, and read more about the Teal Project
An alternative Halloween
This year with all of the uncertainty of COVID and the daily changeable restrictions, for children both with and without allergies it might be just as much fun to create a ‘Halloween Happening’ at home.
Start planning now.
- Choose theme, so you can order your costumes in time, and then plan how you can decorate the interior, as well as the exterior of your home.
- Plan a baking session where everyone is involved. Using our baking mixes, create a number of different flavoured cakes, brownies, breads, and waffles, all decorated to match your chosen theme.
- Hide treats around the house – not just snack-type foods, but small toys, gifts, such as small balls, pens and pencils, small note books, puzzle books etc.
- Why not have a Halloween pass the parcel, which you can rig so that everyone wins something!
- Pick an age appropriate scary movie to watch, whilst drinking hot chocolate, and eating your free-from goodies.
If this is successful and you are uncomfortable with your children roaming the streets on Halloween, then in future years, this could be a bigger party, inviting other friends along.
In our next blog we’re going to share how we paint and decorate our own teal pumpkins!