When October rolls around, the kids start getting excited about all things Halloween! Our boys have always loved going out as a family to a local pumpkin patch and picking out their own pumpkin to carve. They love choosing a costume and dressing up, and of course…they love trick-or-treating! Halloween definitely gives kids plenty of fun things to look forward to, but if you’re a parent of a child with a food allergy, trick-or-treating can be stressful. Our boys don’t have a food allergy or intolerance, but I do. I know what it’s like to watch everyone else eat all these amazing treats and all I can do is, well, watch. As an adult it’s pretty rough. So, for a child…it must be even worse. Luckily though, allergy awareness has come a long way.
You may have heard of The Teal Pumpkin Project in recent years. It’s an initiative that raises awareness for food allergies and the goal is to make trick-or-treating safe and more inclusive for the many children who have food allergies, intolerances, and other conditions. It’s quite simple to participate too! Just place a teal pumpkin on your doorstep to let trick-or-treaters with food allergies know that you also have non-food treats to give out that are safe for everyone. Need some non-candy ideas? We’ve made a list of some great ideas that you can find at most dollar stores. Remember to keep them in a separate bowl from candy if you’re planning on giving out both.
- Glowsticks or glow necklaces.
- Pencils, pens, or markers
- Halloween erasers
- Bouncy Balls
- Playing Cards
- Halloween rings
There are also some other things to keep in mind this Halloween if you have a child with a food allergy. If this isn’t your first rodeo, you’ve likely considered all the things listed below. If your child has been recently diagnosed however and this is your first Halloween navigating an allergy, you might find some of these tips quite helpful
– Consider making a “no eating until we get home” rule. Foods you might think are safe, might not be. It’s best to wait until you get home to check everything before eating. Some candy has ingredients you wouldn’t think they would have. For example, candy corn has egg whites in it, and licorice has wheat! Plus, some candy doesn’t have a label, so you have no idea what’s in it.
– Keep the emphasis on how fun the whole experience is, not just the candy.
– Pick up some non-food items to keep at home so your child can trade in their unsafe candy.
– If trick-or-treating just seems too stressful, skip it! Instead, celebrate Halloween with a party at home or a spooky family movie night with allergy friendly treats!
The Teal Pumpkin Project has been a huge help in raising awareness, and promoting safety, inclusion, and respect for those with food allergies. If you want to help make Halloween safe for all the little ghosts and goblins, you can buy some teal paint and paint a pumpkin to set on your doorstep. You can also find teal pumpkins for sale at stores in your community. If you want to learn more about this worldwide initiative, simply google The Teal Pumpkin Project and you’ll find plenty of great info!
Wishing you a safe and happy Halloween!