Halloween! For some it's a time for pumpkins, dressing up, and trick-or-treating. For others it's a time of vigilance for food allergens and disappointment at needing to give up most of their candy. You can help kids with food allergies have more options when trick-or-treating this year by participating in the Teal Pumpkin Project for this week's Be Better Challenge.
This week's #bebetter52 challenge is to participate in the Teal Pumpkin Project this Halloween. All you have to do is provide non-food treats for trick-or-treaters that have food allergies or intolerances, celiac disease, Eosinophilic Esophagitis, Food protein-induced enterocolitis syndrome, feeding tubes, or other special diets.
Place a teal pumpkin in front of your home to indicate you have non-food items available, and/or display a sign saying you have non-food items (Free download sign here). You can also add your house to the Teal Pumpkin Project Participation Map which will show trick-or-treaters with food allergies or those on a special diet where they can go to receive a treat they can fully enjoy because it doesn't have a potentially life-threatening allergen.
Options for non-food items are endless! Glow sticks, mini bubbles, erasers, pencils, and plastic teeth are all great alternatives to candy. Stores like Target and Party City have "goody bag" toys which would be a great start. It doesn't have to be much, but when most candies have nuts, milk, egg, soy, or wheat, this option will be a way to make an impact on those with food allergies who would otherwise need to give away their candy at the end of the night. When trick-or-treaters come, you can either ask if they have a food allergy and offer a non-food item or offer the usual candy.
Learn more about the Teal Pumpkin Project
If you or someone you love is new to food allergies, start with the basics of understanding the condition, as well as how to prevent and treat reactions.