The Teal Pumpkin Project encourages people to have non-food treats on hand to give out on Halloween, an accommodation for kids with food allergies or who otherwise can't eat candy. Photo from Michelle Fandrich.
For the AJC
When you have a child with allergies, the fun and excitement of Halloween can become overshadowed by the haunting worry about hidden ingredients and undisclosed allergens in the candy your little one collects.
Some children with ADHD or autism also have certain dietary restrictions that prohibit eating candy, especially in the quantity involved around Halloween.
For these children, Halloween is a time of frustration instead of celebration.
FARE (Food, Allergy, Research & Education) and the Teal Pumpkin Project understand the challenges parents and children face during this candy-filled holiday, and have continued a nationwide movement to offer an alternative for children who cannot partake in the usual fare.
By encouraging families to offer non-food options this Halloween, like scented pencils, stickers, small toys and erasers, the Teal Pumpkin Project hopes to transform this holiday into something every child can enjoy and participate in.
Want to take part? Here's how you can have a safe and fun Halloween this year!
Paint and display a teal pumpkin, which shows that you support allergy awareness and a food-free Halloween. Make sure to print out a free sign from FARE to place next to your pumpkin.
Offer only non-food items at your door for trick-or-treaters this year.
If you really want to help take charge of Halloween, you can spread awareness of Halloween-related food allergies by holding your own fundraiser. The Teal Pumpkin Project suggests a few easy ways to raise money, including hosting your own pumpkin walk, a teal pumpkin painting party, a teal-painted pumpkin sale, neighborhood collections, and having a food and candy-free Halloween party.