To Dye For: Halloween Isn’t So Scary Without Food Coloring

I wanted to launch this food dye sensitivity blog on All Hallow’s Eve because it’s one of my favorite holidays, and, it seemed appropriate.  I mean this is the time of year when we get to indulge openly in our childhood comfort foods (and then secretly in the days that follow).  This is the scariest time of the year for parents –
stores are filled with bags of colorful treats, and parents are bemoaning the coming sugar fits.  But I’m hopeful and excited, even looking forward to letting my kid stick her head into that treat bag.  Bring it!

Trick or treat, smell my feel, give me something good to eat!  If you don’t, I don’t care, I’ll pull down your underwear!

How will you keep YOUR undies intact this Halloween? What treats will you give out, and secretly raid after the kids are passed out?  Apples? (Mmm, quercitin!), um, no.  We made a deal with our child to trade her traditional trick or treat stash for an awesome toy and dye-free candy.  I found some tasty treats at online shops such as, The Squirrel’s Nest, and  That last one also sells natural food colorings and sprinkles, too, for all you bakers out there.  India Tree food dyes are all natural, too.  Trader Joe’s offers great dye-free cookies and fruit snacks.  Whole Foods has a terrific bakery with a selection of dye-free cupcakes and cookies, AND you can ask the bakery for small amounts of natural liquid dyes to take with you, for free.  We like Florida’s Natural “nuggets” – teeny fruit chewies in individual packets – found at Target.

One thing I never considered as a parent of a dye-sensitive kid was face paint.  Store-bought face painting kits contain FD&C dyes, and can cause skin rashes in dye-sensitive people (See Colorful Language for a list of dyes and side effects).  For all I know, it could absorb into the bloodstream and cause an epic freak-out that will haunt you long after Halloween.  Luckily, there are dye-free face paint kits available these days, such as Terra Firma Cosmetics and Luna Organics.

You can find more alternatives to your kids’ favorites at the Feingold Association’s site.  Check out Green Halloween’s site too, for loads of information, events, and ways to get involved.

I’m including a video of a mom talking about their “Best Halloween Ever” without food colorings.

 Happy Haunting!


We got these dye-free candies to trade for traditional trick or treat stash.





3 Responses to “To Dye For: Halloween Isn’t So Scary Without Food Coloring”
  1. Jaimie says:

    Very cool Rebecca! This is awesome info for those with food dye sensitivity! I haven’t really gone to the lengths that you have to see if any of my kids have a negative reaction to food dyes, but reading your info here and on FB, has peaked my interest for sure! =) Kudos!

  2. Leigh Ann says:

    I had the HAlloween witch come and exchange a gift for all their candy. Something they were really looking forward too. My kids happily gave their candy up after I let them indulge a little. I was not anti dye at the time but anti-sugar, glucose/fructose JUNK really. Thanks for your site! An eye opener.

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