The kids say “trick or treat!” and grab their favorite candy – the Halloween tradition is simple! But as we have become more aware of young people diagnosed with food allergies, trick-or-treating can get… tricky. Food allergies shouldn’t get in the way of the fun and ease of trick-or-treating. Keep up with modern trick-or-trick etiquette by putting a teal pumpkin on display next to your traditional orange pumpkin this Halloween.
One in 13 children have a food allergy. Putting a teal pumpkin on your doorstep means you have nonfood treats available, such as glow sticks or small toys. It’s hard to imagine not handing out Halloween’s favorite candy, but this simple act inspired by The Teal Pumpkin Project promotes inclusion for trick-or-treaters with food allergies or other conditions.
What can you give the kids on Halloween instead of candy? What are allergy-friendly candies or treats? Consider some of these items:
- Glow sticks, bracelets or necklaces
- Pencils, pens, crayons or markers
- Halloween erasers or pencil toppers
- Mini Slinkys
- Whistles, kazoos or noisemakers
- Bouncy balls
- Finger puppets or novelty toys
- Spider rings
- Vampire fangs
- Mini notepads
- Playing cards
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 5 percent of all children in the US suffer from food allergies. Food Allergy and Research Education (FARE), the association behind the Teal Pumpkin Project, advises that Halloween treats be kept separate from teal-pumpkin treats to avoid cross-contamination, and to simply ask the costumed carousers if they would prefer a nonfood treat.
Have a happy, safe and healthy Halloween!
The Teal Pumpkin Project began in Tennessee as a grassroots effort before it launched nationwide by FARE in 2014. FARE works on behalf of the 15 million Americans with food allergies, including all those at risk for life-threatening anaphylaxis. FARE’s mission is to improve the quality of life and the health of individuals with food allergies, and to provide them hope through the promise of new treatments.