Trick-or-treating is a childhood tradition, but many kids suffer from food allergies that make Halloween difficult to enjoy. Food allergies affect roughly 1 out of every 13 children in America! Allergic reactions to food can be very serious, even fatal. Halloween candy poses significant risks to children with food allergies, which usually forces them out of the Trick-or-Treat fun.
Halloween candy may contain common allergens such as nuts, soy, milk, eggs or wheat. Mini-versions of brand-name candies can also have different ingredients than full-size bars. Since bite-sized servings do not have ingredient labels on individual packaging, there's no reliable way for parents to identify "safe" candy.
The Teal Pumpkin Project * was launched in 2014 by the Food Allergy Research and Education foundation to help kids with dietary restrictions enjoy safe Trick-or-Treating. It's easy to participate!
Just display a teal pumpkin on your porch, or display a flyer which you can obtain online and print out. Then, have some non-food items available in a separate bowl for handout. You have the best of both worlds; non-food goodies for children on restricted diets, and Halloween candy for the masses. Yes, it's a little more work and expense, but the smiles and happy childhood memories you create are well worth it!
Here are some ideas for non-food treats:
- Glow bracelets or necklaces
- Small dry-erase marker boards with marker (school locker size)
- Halloween novelties, such as small toys or decorations - pencil toppers, stampers, ect.
- Retail store gift cards good for a small dollar amount
- Small prizes such as those used in birthday party "goodie bags" - check your store's party aisle
- Activity books
- Travel-size puzzles and games
If you haven't seen teal pumpkins or FARE flyers in your neighborhood yet, now's the time to help get the word out! Please visit foodallergy.org for more information!
Happy Halloween from everyone at RealSupport!
Copywriting & Marketing Specialist
*The TEAL PUMPKIN PROJECT and the Teal Pumpkin Image are trademarks of Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE).