While the hayrides and pumpkin patches, goofy costumes and excitement of a good scare are exciting Halloween pastimes, we all know the most anticipated part of the holiday is most likely the candy—and the task of hoarding it for as long as possible.
Unless you have a peanut allergy.
The Chicago Tribune reported Tuesday about North Shore school districts that have either banned food at Halloween parties altogether or limited treats to fruits and veggies, including Glencoe District 35, which will not allow food at classroom parties this year.
In Oak Park, parents and teachers are encouraged to carefully plan classroom party menus to maintain a three-to-one ratio of healthy snacks to treats. The Irving Elementary School PTO sent a letter to parents reminding them of the dangers of food allergies as they plan for classroom parties and the school's Halloween parade.
"This is a fun and enjoyable time for all, however, it can be a time of worry for children with food allergies and their families. In order to provide a safe celebration environment for the students at Irving, ALL classroom celebrations will be NUT FREE with a focus on healthy snacks and treats for the children," the letter reads.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an estimated four to six percent of children under age 18 have food allergies. About 16 to 18 percent of those kids with allergies have allergic reactions in school.
Oak Park District 97 Chris Jasculca said Wednesday most of the D97 schools are having food at their Halloween celebrations, but "with an eye toward nutrition and the safety of our students who have food allergies."
The schools are required to comply with the district and state wellness policies that emphasize healthy practices.
Fresh fruits and veggies are always allowed in class, and "should be promoted," Irving PTO wrote, and any foods that are made in factories should not be served due to the potential for cross contamination. Please consider labeling the food items for easy identification by students.
The organization also recommended that parents label food for easy identification.
For more Halloween safety information, go to the CDC website here.