Halloween can be a difficult holiday for families managing food allergies. Many popular Halloween treats aren’t safe for children with food allergies to consume. Enter the Teal Pumpkin Project. The project started in 2014 by the Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE) organization, with the goal of increasing awareness for and inclusion of children with life-threatening food allergies.
According to FARE, one in 13 children has a food allergy. That means about two in every classroom. For these children, even a tiny amount of their allergen could cause a severe reaction.
The project encourages households to purchase and give out non-food treats during Halloween trick-or-treating. It allows all children to enjoy a safe and fun Halloween. Here are some links to tips for participating and spreading the message in your community:
How to participate:
- Purchase inexpensive toys to giveaway during trick-or-treat (stickers, pencils, small toys that come in bulk -- there are many options to choose from).
- Print out a free sign from the FARE web site or purchase a teal pumpkin from a local retailer to place on your door or front porch to alert others you are participating.
- Spread the word in your neighborhood. The FARE website has all kinds of information about the project, how to communicate about food allergies and how to participate in the program in your community. You can even share images and teal pumpkin ads on your social media accounts.
- During trick-or-treating, offer children options of candy or non-candy treats from separate bowls and give them a choice when they arrive.
This Halloween make sure you think teal and plan ahead for your trick-or-treaters. And here are some other tips to keep in mind when preparing for Halloween festivities: