According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1 in 13 children (or about 2 students per classroom) have a food allergy. This can make holidays tricky to navigate but the Teal Pumpkin Project aims to make Halloween more inclusive for all children.
In 2012, the Teal Pumpkin Project launched to reassure children and parents that they can have safe trick-or-treating experiences. By placing a teal pumpkin on your doorstep, families know your home offers non-food treats or trinkets that are safe for all trick-or-treaters. For example, glow sticks, stickers or toys can be fun alternatives to candy.
For families affected by food allergies, Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE) provides the following tips to have a safe trick-or-treating experience:
- Pack a self-injectable epinephrine and fully-charged cell phone. Accidents can happen – so be prepared!
- Emphasize the fun of the experience, rather than the candy.
- No eating until you’re home. It can be tempting but wait until you’re home to properly read labels to make sure the treats are safe to consume.
- Avoid homemade goods.
- Read labels! Some mini candy bars may contain different ingredients than regular-size candy bars.
- Have a stash of safe treats or prizes at home. When your child pulls an unsafe treat out of their bag and is disappointed they can’t eat it – you’ll have a safe alternative ready for them.