Food Allergies and Halloween

Ahh…Halloween. So much excitement and fun to be had. The homemade costumes, seeing all your neighbors, costume parties, crisp fall air, and spooky cocktails. Rewind back to being a little one, getting ready for one of the best nights of the year, roaming the neighborhood with all your friends trick-or-treating. You’d come home and dump out your haul on the living room floor.. and if your mother was anything like mine, she would check for shady looking pieces, and the rest was yours to enjoy. Now imagine being that little kid dumping out all your treats from the evening and only getting to keep two pieces because of your food allergens. By no fault of their own, a child is unable to celebrate Halloween.

My child does not have these allergens; however, I can’t imagine reasoning with a 5-year-old why they can’t be the same as everyone else – luckily, the people over at F.A.R.E have created the Teal Pumpkin Project, which creates a safer and happier Halloween for all.

By placing a teal pumpkin near your door, hanging one of the free printables in your window, or donning your yard with one of the awesome free yard signs, you are signaling to children of all ages {and parents} you have non-food treats available.

You can paint your own pumpkin with a can of spray paint, a teal paint kit from Party City, or visit your local Micheal’s store in-person or online to pick one up. There are even some awesome decal listings on Etsy which will allow you to easily personalize your own!

decal by Michisota Designs – @Michisota_Designs

Common allergens such as milk, egg, peanut, wheat, soy, and tree nut affect people of all ages. This awesome project allows everyone to be inclusive on this fun holiday. F.A.R.E is even taking it a step further with an interactive map which allows parents of children with allergens to find houses near them who are participating {don’t forget to register your address if you will be providing non-food treats here}.

Some great ideas for non-food treats are:

  • Glow sticks, bracelets, or necklaces
  • Pencils, pens, crayons or markers
  • Bubbles
  • Halloween erasers or pencil toppers
  • Mini Slinkies
  • Whistles, kazoos, or noisemakers
  • Bouncy balls
  • Finger puppets or novelty toys
  • Coins
  • Spider rings
  • Vampire fangs
  • Mini notepads
  • Playing cards
  • Bookmarks
  • Stickers
  • Stencils

Just be aware, some non-food items still contain food allergens, such as moldable clay, which may contain wheat. Additionally, try to choose latex-free items. Latex is also a common allergy. You can either ask trick-or-treaters if they have any food allergies or give every visitor a choice of which treat they’d like: candy or a non-food item. FARE has signs to help you, including one that says “You Pick: Candy or Prize.”

So, head on out to the dollar store, or load up on some freaky Halloween handouts from Oriental Trading, Co. and do your part to make it possible for every child to experience the joy and tradition of trick-or-treating on Halloween!

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