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A Halloween Party for Kids with Special Dietary Needs

 Halloween has always been an incredibly challenging holiday in our home due to special dietary needs, anxieties, and fears. 

Trick-or-Treating is not an option.

Instead we throw a Halloween party for our kids that allows us to meet all of their dietary needs, calm anxieties, and avoid scary things that they fear.

This tradition is one that our children LOVE and look forward to.

A Halloween Party for Kids with Special Dietary Needs

A Halloween Party for Kids with Special Dietary Needs

Each year we choose a different theme for our Halloween party. This particular year we chose "A Charlie Brown Halloween" theme. 

Sunshine was in love with the movie It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, watching it on a daily basis. She's extremely sensitive to scary content, so I loved that the theme was one that was not scary.

Halloween Party Decorations

Our tabletop decor came from Pottery Barn Kids. Just because all of our kids have special dietary needs, doesn't mean that we can't make the act of eating extra special. A fun table cloth, plates, etc. usually does the trick!

A couple of things to make mention of...

I use fabric table cloths because my kids have a sensory aversion to plastic ones.

I use fabric napkins due to tactile sensory issues. It's pretty normal to have a freak out over using a paper napkin here.

I use melamine plates and cups because my kids aren't fans of paper plates, due to their flimsiness. Melamine is also much less breakable compared to glass or ceramic options.

You'll notice Halloween pillows in our reading nook, behind the table. These pillows are indoor outdoor pillows from Pottery Barn.

I am a HUGE fan of indoor/outdoor pillows because they're more durable and usually don't have buttons, snaps, or zippers. In other words, my kids can't destroy them. Lol.

I also love that indoor/outdoor pillows don't fade, even in a room full of windows where everything else does!

Halloween Party Attire

Since we don't go trick-or-treating, we are usually pretty flexible with Halloween attire. Some years we go with a simple new outfit, like shown above. Other years we may find a way to dress up. The kids were thrilled with these outfits as they all glowed in the dark.

For the longest time, none of our children enjoyed face paint due to how it felt as it dried and allergy issues. It's pretty impossible to eat in masks. Other than special Halloween hair accessories (if the girls are in the mood to use them), we don't do much with faces.


Our Halloween dinner plans almost always include pizza. It's a meal everyone will eat AND we can find diet-friendly alternatives for crusts, sauce, and cheese.

Click HERE to see our favorite diet-friendly pizza crust recipe, using raw honey or other sugar alternative for Sunshine. One batch makes two personal pan pizzas.

We've found No Sugar Added Prego Sauce works great for our pizzas. For those who can't have dairy, we've found Daiya shredded mozzarella cheese to taste the best. It helps that it melts!

Our kids are huge fans of Hormel Turkey pepperoni, which is safe for everyone in our home. I usually opt for a ham and pineapple pizza, but that's just me. Lol.

Besides pizza, I usually put a few diet friendly candies in a cute container, like the pumpkins shown in the image above and below.

Each child has their own assigned seat at our dinner table. This makes it easy to ensure that each kiddo receives only candy that's diet friendly for them.

I love giving candy with dinner on Halloween because it helps curb the anxiety and excitement related to Halloween candy.

After dinner the kids are given their Halloween candy. This is always a highlight of our night as the kids already know what they're receiving and love to trade with siblings when possible.

Why do they know what they're receiving?

Before Halloween, we take the kids to our local Walmart and let them each pick out two bags of candy that are diet friendly, that they'd like for Halloween.

This is a Halloween tradition they look forward to every year.

Once the candy bags are handed out, the kids sort their candy, and the trading begins where possible.

(This Halloween party occurred before Sunshine was put on a dairy-free and gluten-free diet.)

The sorting and trading process usually takes quite a while, but when all is said and done, everyone has sorted their candy at least once and enjoyed a few pieces.

After dinner and candy bags, we usually watch a Halloween movie together. Sometimes we do a Halloween dance party in the living room. Other times we may play a Halloween game. It all just depends on the kids.

After the night's entertainment, the kids put on their new Halloween pj pajamas and take one more picture.

Halloween pajamas are a big deal in our house. The kids look forward to them every year, especially ones that glow in the dark. Lol.

There is always a way for kids with special dietary needs to enjoy Halloween, even if it looks different than it might for others.

So long as they enjoy it, that's all that matters!

For those who are looking for more holiday and special dietary needs resources, be sure to subscribe to our free newsletter by clicking the link below.

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A Halloween Party for Kids with Special Dietary Needs

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