Could you imagine that every time your child ate something, you had to worry that they could potentially die? Or what if it wasn’t even what they actually would eat, but what someone sitting near is eating, that could be a incredible danger to them? This is how families of kids with allergies live every single day.
If you’re a kid, or a parent of a kid, with allergies, Halloween can take on an entirely different level of scary.
My kids don’t have allergies, but many of their friends do. I’ve seen moms bring specific food for their kids to a birthday party or send their own snacks to school celebrations or playdates to guarantee they have something safe to eat. Last year, my daughter wanted to bake brownies for her school birthday celebration and made me call her friends’ mom from the baking aisle of the supermarket to find out what brands he would be allowed to eat, because she didn’t want him to feel left out.
Allergies can bring a whole new level of feeling left out to kids, especially younger kids who don’t fully understand the “why” of their differences. On Halloween, allergy kids can absolutely trick-or-treat with their friends, but when they get home, the can’t be allowed to eat any of the candy they just worked so hard to get.
What is The Teal Pumpkin Project?
This Halloween, FARE (Food Allergy Research & Education) has created the Teal Pumpkin Project to make Halloween more allergy friendly. Paint a pumpkin teal and put it outside your door to let families know that you have non-food treats available for their allergic trick-or-treaters.
What kind of non-food treats could I give to trick-or-treaters?
Candy is so easy to get for Halloween – go to the supermarket or Costco, buy a giant bag and you are done in about 5 minutes flat. Non-food treats can be just as easy – we’ve bulleted out a quick list below for you with suggestions. You can find so many of these items, in bulk, on Amazon.com or Oriental Trading. If you’re a Long Island local, visit Star Track in Farmingdale or a Michael’s Craft Store.
Any kid would love any of the list below-
- Glow bracelets or necklaces
- Pencils, markers, boxes of crayons
- Bouncy balls
- Holiday themed rings or vampire teeth
- Mini notepads
- Playing cards
What if I can’t paint a pumpkin teal?
If you can’t actually paint a pumpkin teal, do not worry! FARE has provided some printable posters and signs and that you can post on your door to notify your trick-or-treaters that you are supporting all kids with food allergies this Halloween.
What are your plans for Halloween? Will you be sporting a teal colored pumpkin on your porch?