I loved Halloween growing up! I was never into the spooky, scary, or creepy aspects of the holiday but I REALLY enjoyed going door-to-door and loading up a pillowcase full of candy. Halloween was my Super Bowl!
Sadly, that’s not the case for every child these days, specifically those children who have to watch what they eat due to severe food allergies. That’s why the Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE) founded the Teal Pumpkin Project. It’s an opportunity to raise awareness of food allergies and promote inclusion of all trick-or-treaters throughout the Halloween season!
Participating in the Teal Pumpkin Project is simple! All you have to do is paint a pumpkin teal and place it on your front porch during the fall season. That way, trick-or-treaters know that you have non-food goodies to pass out on Halloween. If arts and crafts isn’t your thing, use this link to print a sign from the Teal Pumpkin Project and place it in front of your home.
FARE suggests going to the dollar store and making a separate bowl for kids who might have food allergies. You can purchase things like costume jewelry, crayons, bubbles, etc.
You can add your house to the Teal Pumpkin Project map so that families in your neighborhood know that you are a Teal Pumpkin Project supporter and they can collect a safe treat from your home on Halloween.
FARE also recommends families managing food allergies keep the following safety tips in mind:
- Enforce a “no eating while trick-or-treating” rule, so that you have time to review all food labels.
- Avoid candy and treats that do not have an ingredient label.
- Always have an epinephrine auto-injector available, if prescribed.
- Keep in mind that the mini-size, fun-size, or bite-size version of candy may contain different ingredients than their full-size counterparts. Make no assumptions, and read all labels carefully.
- Keep the emphasis on the fun, rather than the candy.
- Remember that a candy that has been safe for your child in the past may now have different ingredients. Read the label every time.