If you have a child with food allergies, you know just how stressful and disappointing Halloween can be for them. Food allergies, celiac disease, diabetes, food intolerance and other special diets can really dampen the Halloween holiday for kids and parents alike.
Those little fun-sized candy bars often don’t list allergies or ingredients on the wrappers making them unsafe to consume for many. It’s no fun for parents and especially for kids!
The Teal Pumpkin Project
This year, teal is the new orange this Halloween for many families including my own. A national campaign called the Teal Pumpkin Project, is encouraging everyone to offer non-food treats in additional to traditional Halloween offerings for children with food allergies, and to mark our intent by placing a teal-colored pumpkin outside our home. Their goal is to make Halloween inclusive for everyone.
Why the Teal Pumpkin Project Was Created
Food Allergy Research and Education, a nonprofit organization that “works on behalf of the 15 million Americans with food allergies,” created the Teal Pumpkin Project to raise food allergy awareness and make sure that all kids get included in Halloween celebrations.
Over 50 states and 7 countries participated in the 2014 campaign and this year its back with the goal to reach 100,000 partaking homes. The goal is not to replace candy but a way to be inclusive and ensure that all trick-or-treaters who come to your door can leave with a smile. That’s totally something I can get behind!
How to take part in the Teal Pumpkin Project
To take part in the project, all you need to do is paint your holiday pumpkin teal to indicate there are allergen-friendly, non-edible treats at your home. You can actually pick up pre-made plastic teal pumpkins on Amazon, or at your local Target or Walmart.
And, if you need some ideas on what to hand out, think erasers, bouncy balls, water, hand stamps, necklaces, vampire fangs, pencils, etc. You can find some really great stuff at the dollar store too, don’t forget!
I know I don’t really cover these sorts of things on IDHT4T, but this project is really near and dear to my heart. I have seen first hand how awful it is for parents to have to rip away candy from their kids because they cant scan the ingredients to let them know if it’s safe or not to eat that piece of candy being unwrapped. The look on those kids faces is literally unbearable.
Will you help spread the word that Halloween isn’t just for kids who can safely eat peanuts, soy, dairy, etc. anymore, but for every kid.