Though an IC diagnosis may seem like a horror story that will keep you from having fun ever again, it isn’t. You can still have fun and celebrate. You are more than your bladder! And that’s true even for a holiday that often revolves around chocolate candy. Halloween with IC doesn’t have to be horrific. From food to activities to costumes, we have some spooktacular ideas for you!
Let’s start with something IC patients often stress about at Halloween: candy. Figuring out what sweet treats won’t turn your bladder into a screaming banshee might take just a bit of planning, but it’s possible! If you are trying something new, be sure to try it in small quantities first. Also remember that you might be able to tolerate a small amount of something, but larger quantities would be bothersome. Halloween season can actually be a good time to give some confections a try since so many treats are available in small portions. Just proceed with caution!
- Chocolate: Milk and bittersweet chocolate are in the foods to avoid category of the IC diet, but white chocolate is worth trying as is high quality dark chocolate. A great chocolate alternative is carob. Carob is a legume that feels and tastes like chocolate. Give mint carob cups a try! Mainstream candy makers have quite a few white chocolate options available that you can try with caution.
- Chewy candy: Chewy candy takes longer to eat, so you can eat less while feeling like you had more! Caramel is usually bladder friendly and can be a great Halloween sweet. Look for plain caramel candy cubes or make your own soft caramel candy. Licorice is worth a try as well. Sour candy and red hot-type cinnamon candy are usually bothersome.
- Hard candy: Hard candy may not be as popular at Halloween time, but maybe this is the year it makes a comeback — at least at your house! Butterscotch and mint are IC friendly. Grab some hard candy treats and enjoy the sweet taste .
- DIY treats: Divinity is an IC friendly sweet you can easily make yourself. Divinity usually includes some kind of nuts. Pecans are popular and are in the “foods worth trying” category. Almonds, cashews and peanuts are all usually IC friendly and could be good alternatives as well. Try this recipe from Betty Crocker.
You can find lots of fun Halloween-themed snack recipes online. Some take the skill of a professional decorator, but many are easy enough for the rest of us. Even better, a lot of them are IC friendly and just waiting for you to make them and have a spell-binding Halloween!
- Sweet, festive popcorn: This is a throwback recipe from yesteryear, but sweet, festive popcorn is easy to make and yummy to snack on. Even better, you can make it ahead of time. Pop some popcorn (homemade is the most IC friendly, but “all natural” microwave popcorn without added flavors, preservatives or colors is usually IC friendly). Spread it out on parchment paper. Melt some vanilla candy melts in the microwave and then pour the candy melts over the popcorn. Easy and delicious!
- Jack-o-lantern ham and cheese: Made with a pie crust, ham and cheddar or Swiss cheese, these jack-o-lantern sandwiches are yummy and adorable! Ham is in the “worth trying” category. Go for lunchmeat that is filler, gluten and color free for it to be most IC friendly. Cheddar cheese is usually IC friendly while Swiss cheese is in the “worth trying” category.
- Crescent mummy dogs: A twist on pigs in a blanket, crescent mummy dogs are cute and easy to pull off for a Halloween snack or even dinner. Uncured and preservative free hot dogs are usually bladder friendly. Mildly seasoned hot dogs are in the “foods worth trying” category.
- Caramel apples: It doesn’t get much more autumnal than caramel apples! Caramel is IC friendly and mild apples like gala, Fuji and pink lady are, too. You can easily make your own caramel apples at home to be sure everything is IC friendly. If you like your caramel apples coated in nuts, use peanuts, which are also IC friendly!
- Spider peanut butter sandwiches: This is probably the very easiest option on the list. All you do is make a peanut sandwich with your favorite peanut butter and bread. Cut it into a circle (you can use a glass to do so if you don’t have a biscuit cutter) and then put four pretzel sticks on each side. And that’s all there is to these spider peanut butter sandwiches! Organic, natural peanut butters and most bread are IC friendly.
With or without trick-or-treating, Halloween can be a fun evening for all ages. You can do various activities based on what you like, your family, the weather and how you’re feeling.
Trick-or-treating and Alternatives
If you have young kids you’re celebrating with, trick-or-treating is probably one of their favorite activities for Halloween. But what if trick-or-treating isn’t safe (you know, due to a global pandemic) or what if you’re in the middle of a horrible flare? You can alter trick-or-treating a bit and still have a fun Halloween for the kiddos.
- Stay in the car: If you’re kids are older, consider driving them to where they want to trick-or-treat and stay in the car. You can be within a couple houses of them and move as they do to keep an eye out.
- Trunk or treating: Participate in a community or organization’s trunk-or-treating. These usually take place in a parking lot or other designated area and don’t require nearly as much walking.
- Visit only friends and family: Hit up only the homes of your friends and family. Drive your family from place to place and avoid having to walk for long periods or coming into contact with more germs.
- Plan a monster egg hunt: Pull out your plastic Easter eggs and decorate them with Halloween stickers or a Sharpie or both. Fill them with candy and hide them around your house for your kids to find so that you don’t have to even leave the house. (I did this last yea