There’s something deliciously scary about roaming the neighborhood and collecting candy on Halloween, but for kids with food allergies, no so much.
Most of the candy available at big box retailers presents cross-contamination concerns due to shared equipment, and can’t be eaten, or even collected depending on the severity of a child’s allergies.
Let’s change that.
This year, the Food Allergy Research & Education organization (FARE) is encouraging communities to start a new tradition that is more inclusive of kids with food allergies.
Called the Teal Pumpkin Project, the campaign encourages people to paint a pumpkin teal (the color of food allergy awareness) to place on their porch, post a free printable sign indicating participation, and have non-food treats available for trick-or-treaters.
Available at dollar stores and party supply stores nationwide, low-cost items can be handed out to all trick-or-treaters, or made available in a separate bowl from candy if you choose to offer both options.
My oldest has life-threatening nut allergies, and while we still trick-or-treat every year, he knows that he can’t touch a single treat in his bucket until his dad and I sift through each piece, carefully reading labels and swapping out everything he can’t eat with packs of fruit snacks we’ve picked up ahead of time.
We know we’re not the only ones, and are looking forward to taking some of the pressure off kids and their parents this year by setting aside a cauldron filled with spooky non-food fun for those who need it.
Photo credits: FARE