Hosting a nut-free children’s Halloween party
Inviting guests with a ‘nut-free’ need to a children’s Halloween party can be daunting – especially if the allergy is a serious one. As well as a person’s safety, it is essential for your mini guests to feel welcome and included. So, here are some ideas to help you feel confident about hosting a nut-free gathering at Halloween.
What is nut-free?
The term ‘nut allergy’ is often used to mean an allergy to either peanuts or tree nuts (almond, Brazil nuts, walnuts, hazelnuts, cashew and pistachio nuts). If there is any doubt in your mind about what your guests are allergic to, it is best to be safe: go nut-free, and avoid all forms of nuts, including peanuts.
How to make a children’s Halloween party nut-free
If you usually have nuts in your house, it might be worth considering whether accidental ‘contamination’ could be a risk in your store-cupboard ingredients. Do you keep open packets of nuts and non-nut ingredients in the same box? If so, could you purchase and use new packets of nut-free ingredients for this special event?
Do you regularly use nuts in your cooking? Ahead of the party, take the opportunity to thoroughly spring-clean surfaces, crockery, cutlery and serving bowls with soapy water. This will give you peace of mind that you have removed as many traces of nuts as possible.
Peanut butter, or coffee and walnut cake, clearly contain nuts. However, it is easy to forget that chocolate spreads often include hazelnuts, and many items contain tree nuts or peanuts without it being clear from the main packaging. Do check the ingredients of anything you are unsure about. If you are still in doubt, ask the parent to check for you.
If you have a favourite recipe that includes nuts, perhaps have a couple of trial runs, replacing the nuts with other ingredients. Sultanas or other dried fruit often work well in cakes.
Healthy nut-free Halloween recipes
Pumpkins seeds can be lightly toasted in the same way as nuts. The toasting enhances their flavour, which can add depth to dishes, such as in this Hallowe’en pumpkin samosa recipe. The pumpkin seeds add extra body and texture to dishes, and they don’t even need chopping up!
You can also choose some colourful party foods for your little Hallowe’en party animals, and they won’t even notice that it is a nut-free gathering. How about some wraps with colourful fillings that look like green ghoul slime, aka Gooey Ghoulish Wraps or red vampire blood, aka Dracula’s Dinner Rolls, to start with? These wraps are made with vegetables that are high in vitamin C, K, A, folate and iron.
Next, are cakes with eyes, aka a delicious Pumpkin Tray Bake, that seem to follow your guests wherever they are. Made with squash, sultanas and oranges, they pack a lot of flavours. They contain little added sugar and are rich in nutrients such as vitamin A and D. You can make them ahead of the party and store them in the fridge.
My favourite miniature raspberry pies, aka Bleeding Heart Crumble, really do look like they are spilling their innermost parts…. The fruit filling is sweet without any additional sugar. You can use frozen raspberries, which are a less expensive alternative and serve with custard. Adding custard will further increase the nutritional value making this a good source of vitamins and calcium. You can also add a little more ‘innards’ by saving some of the raspberries to serve alongside the pie.
As well as being delicious and nut-free, all of these recipes have been carefully created to really add something to your and your child’s diet. Fruit and vegetables have been used to colourful effect, contributing to the 5-a-day recommendation. Where suitable, wholemeal flour has been used to add fibre along with other nutrients. All these recipes are full of flavour.
Enjoy trying out these recipes and have a very spooky (and tasty) nut-free Hallowe’en!
Written by Catherine McNeill, Nutrition Student
© 2021 The Caroline Walker Trust