The holiday season is about to begin, and that means many events and gatherings revolving around food. For folks with food allergies, it can be extremely stressful to navigate through this all. Halloween kicks it all off with the excess of candy, much of which is not allergy friendly. Peanuts, tree nuts, milk, wheat, egg, and soy are common components of many candies and 6 of the top 8 allergens. Kids really enjoy dressing up and trick or treating with friends, but some kids with allergies are not even able to participate if their allergies are severe. For those that do, they often can’t keep much of what they come home with. School parties are another place that the non-allergy friendly treats come out. While many of us parents have figured out how to handle these situations well, it seems like there could be a better way.
In an effort to promote a safe Halloween for all, FARE (Food Allergy Research and Education) developed the Teal Pumpkin Project. It is a way to draw awareness to food allergies and include all trick or treaters. Those who choose to participate put a teal pumpkin or teal pumpkin sign outside their door for Halloween. This indicates that this house has non-food, allergy friendly treats. Participants can even add their address to the map so that trick or treaters can plan out their routes. This movement is getting bigger and bigger, and it is so encouraging! Check out www.tealpumpkinproject.org for more information.
Here are some of my ideas for non-food Halloween treats:
I know not every family has food allergies. From those of us who do, I want to tell you how much we appreciate when you include our kids and learn about their allergies. It gives these kids a feeling of community and belonging. It gives us parents a feeling of safety and relief.
So thank you, it means the world to us.