Read in 3 mins Snacks » Uncategorized Print / Download Article Facebook Twitter Pinterest Email Non-Tricky Treats: Allergy-Friendly Goodies for Children’s Ministry Published: October 20, 2021 Wondering about food allergies as you purchase candy for children’s ministry events? We’re here to help! Consider these online resources when gathering allergy-friendly treats to serve kids at your church. ‘Tis the season for candy! Whether they’re children attending your church’s Fall event, or neighborhood children ringing your doorbell, kids anticipate filling buckets and bags with candy this time of year. (Perhaps parents enjoy late night visits to the candy stash, too!) But did you know that about 5.6 million children in the United States have food allergies? That means that 1 in 13 children who attend your events can’t munch on Milky Ways or sneak a Snickers. In the Bible, Jesus told a parable about a lost sheep. He wanted to help listeners understand that, in addition to the multitude, the Good Shepherd values one little lost lamb (Matthew 18:12-13). As children’s ministry leaders, let’s follow our Good Shepherd’s lead—even when it comes to candy. Children’s special circumstances don’t surprise or inconvenience their heavenly Father. Therefore, if candy is an instrument used to share God’s love with kids, let’s be ready to offer options that all kids can enjoy. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, eight specific foods cause the most common food allergies. These include milk, soy, eggs, wheat, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, and shellfish. You probably aren’t planning to serve up seafood. However, you may be wondering which candy varieties from your local grocery store help you serve all children (and adults) well. Help is here! We’ve scoured the Internet for organizations that specialize in food allergies advocacy. They’ve researched and compiled lists of tasty treats for all kids. The following websites have especially helpful information to guide your candy buying. Spokin – spokin.com This website and app’s mission is to “make managing food allergies and Celiac easier by connecting the community to safe foods, restaurants, bakeries, travel, recipes and each other.” They’ve created a visual Halloween candy guide that categorizes candy by specific types of allergies. Kids With Food Allergies – kidswithfoodallergies.org According to their website, “Kids With Food Allergies is a division of the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA), the nation’s oldest and leading asthma and allergy not-for-profit organization.” They’ve created a downloadable 2021 Allergy-Friendly Halloween Candy Guide in partnership with Enjoy Life Foods. Allergic Living – allergicliving.com According to their website, “Allergic Living informs, engages and assists readers living with food allergies, and environmental allergies and asthma. Our mission is to be the authoritative and trustworthy source of news and information for the allergy community.” They’ve also provided an Allergy-Friendly Halloween Candy and Treats list for 2021. 5 Delicious Takeaways About Allergy-Friendly Treats Now that you digested this helpful information, these discoveries make offering allergy-friendly treats a little less scary. No special ordering needed! The majority of treats included on these lists can be easily found at your local grocery store. Allergy-friendly treats are still delicious! Depending on a child’s specific allergy, kid-favorites like Sour Patch Kids, Twizzlers, and Hershey Kisses are delicious and doable options. With these great options, kids won’t even miss the peanuts! Mindful candy shopping is a practical way to partner with parents. When their child has a food allergy, parents must be extra vigilant. After all, it could be a matter of life and death for their kids. By doing your research and offering allergy-friendly candy, you’re showing parents their family is important to you. Saying you care about their family is one thing, showing that love in a practical way really speaks volumes. Non-edible treats still delight. In addition to allergy-friendly candy options, offer non-edible treats, too. Stickers (Like Bible Memory Buddy stickers from Simply Loved Sunday school curriculum), bubbles, bouncy balls, wristbands, and other affordable trinkets will delight kids, too! Now you’re ready to delight kids throughout the year! Offering allergy-friendly treats will help you shepherd kids and families well and delight them with God’s love. Bonus! After you’ve chosen the treats, top them off with these fun and customizable treat toppers. Want more Halloween ideas? Check out these articles! © Group Publishing, Inc. All rights reserved. No unauthorized use or duplication permitted. Get our FREE enewsletter! 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