As Halloween gets closer, the aisles and displays are towering with chocolate and sweets everywhere we turn, and the time is coming to start stocking up for the slew of adorable trick-or-treaters that will come ringing. While it’s easy to quickly grab a few bags of assorted candy and be done with the holiday shopping, I recently came across a project that made me think twice about the Halloween treats I offer at my house.
The Teal Pumpkin Project is raising awareness for how difficult Halloween can be for children with food allergies and dietary restrictions – not only the health risks involved, but also the social isolation they face in a culture that celebrates everything with food! They encourage you to think twice before buying your Halloween treats and plan ahead in order to include all children in on the fun of trick or treating, even if they have food allergies. Lots of times allergens can be in candy or food items you would least suspect, and there is such a wide range of food allergies, it’s hard to know what foods or ingredients to avoid. So, how can you help?
Participating is easy! The Teal Pumpkin Project suggests picking up a few Halloween toys or non-food items you think kids would enjoy and place a teal pumpkin on your porch (or display a free printed flyer from the Teal Pumpkin Project website) to show that you are supporting the project.
Faux teal pumpkins are on the shelves at Target – or your family can make your own by painting regular pumpkins and setting them out for kids to see!
Thinking of items to purchase might be a little challenging for some, so here are some ideas to help! This time of year, most seasonal sections should have Halloween party favors or small relatively inexpensive Halloween themed toys. If you aren’t able to find non-food items to give away like the classic spider rings, vampire fangs or witch fingers, here are a few ideas that you should be able to find year round.
Halloween Non-Food Treat Ideas
- Glow Bracelets
- Bouncy Balls
- Temporary Tattoos
Whether you are participating in a traditional Halloween going door to door, attending a trunk or treat event or celebrating at school, consider participating with some non-food options to support kids with food allergies this Halloween. Nobody likes to be left out!