Halloween is one of our favorite holidays to celebrate! Decorating, costumes, spooky movies, haunted hayrides (even with my allergies!), and, of course, CANDY!!! Oh, the memories of eating too much candy…many of us know that feeling! I end up with a massive sugar headache and A LOT of regret after raiding Theresa’s Halloween candy! But candy can actually be a real issue for some trick-or-treaters! There are children with food allergies, dietary restrictions, or other allergies that might knock some of the fun of Halloween down several levels. And…in our house…it’s not that I steal all of Theresa’s candy…it’s that she doesn’t eat candy…BY CHOICE!!! I know. It makes me question if I’m really her mother! I’m a CANDY FIEND!!! She’s never had an interest in trying it, and she trick-or-treats for FUN with her friends – but the REAL SCORE has been when someone in the neighborhood gives out NON-CANDY items at the door! One neighbor gives out small containers of PlayDough – and she is ecstatic! (Although, I realize there are some kids who could be allergic to some items like PlayDough that could contain wheat.)
If you haven’t heard about the Teal Pumpkin Project® – it’s FANTASTIC!!! FARE – the Food Allergy Research & Education group created the Teal Pumpkin Project® to bring awareness to food allergies and how it effects some children’s fun of Halloween. They provide information, ideas, printable flyers, decoration ideas (like painting a pumpkins TEAL and putting them outside your door) – AND a site where you can sign up your home on the 2018 TEAL PUMPKIN PROJECT® Map so local Trick-Or-Treaters with food allergies can find you and fun items on Halloween!
FYI – Teal is the color associated with food allergy awareness!!!
If you haven’t picked up all of your “treats” yet for Halloween – think about picking up some “Non-Food” items as an option for some children!
Where do you find “Non-Food” treats that will make the kids (and their parents) happy?
Head to your local dollar stores or party supply stores and pick up some:
- Glow sticks, bracelets, or necklaces
- Pencils, pens, crayons or markers
- Halloween erasers or pencil toppers
- Mini Slinkies
- Whistles, kazoos, or noisemakers
- Bouncy balls
- Finger puppets or novelty toys
- Spider rings
- Vampire fangs
- Mini notepads
- Playing cards
AND a few things to AVOID for your “Non-Food” treat collection:
- Moldable clay (Some may contain wheat)
- Any items containing LATEX – (LATEX-FREE items are considered ok.)
Setting up for HALLOWEEN:
Separate your Food “treats” from your “Non-Food” treats in different containers/bowls so they don’t come in contact with each other.
Then you can ask the kids when they come to hour door if anyone has any food allergies – so you can determine who gets which treat!
OR – simply give every Trick-Or-Treater a choice when the come to the door if they want a candy treat or a non-food treat!
Want to make it even easier??? Check out the different fliers you can print off and post at your door from FARE – Food Allergy Research & Education!!!
The Teal Pumpkin Project® wants to have fun on social media along with you and hopes you’ll spread the word! Be sure to use the hashtag #tealpumpkinproject whenever you post!
Most of all – have a FUN and SAFE Halloween!!!
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I’ve always participated thinking (and seeing) the children love to get other things besides candy/snacks. I’m so delighted that this project has launched. I put my teal pumpkin out. Some parents in our neighborhood didn’t even realize this program existed and were thrilled as their children have allergies. I love this and hope many more families will consider other options. (I also watch the age of the child a what I give—don’t want them swallowing a spider ring or something small).