With Halloween right around the corner, families all over Canada are preparing for this fun occasion. While deciding to buy candy is the more popular option, it may also put some children with food allergies in danger. Many Halloween snacks have ingredients that children may be allergic to, including milk products, tree nuts, peanuts, egg, wheat products and soy. So, when buying candy this Halloween, why not also pick up some non-food treats?
This is the main idea of the Teal Pumpkin Project run by Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE). They have created an initiative that promotes a safe and inclusive Halloween by encouraging families to provide a non-food option for kids. To participate in this initiative, just place a teal pumpkin at your doorstep. All you would need to do is to either paint a pumpkin teal or print out a sign found on their website at: https://www.foodallergy.org/education-awareness/teal-pumpkin-project/free-resources.
You can also add your home to the ‘Teal Pumpkin Map’ from the Teal site (example below). This will make it easier for kids to find your house on Halloween night.
Need some ideas for a non-food treat? Here are some great ones:
- Spooky school supplies
- Toy jewelry: bracelets, rings or necklaces
- Glow sticks
- Whistles, mini slinkies, super balls
- Halloween themed stickers or vampire fangs
- Or even bubbles
There are some non-food treats that should be avoided as they contain allergens. Some examples include clays made with wheat or toys that contain latex. In the end, the teal pumpkin a great way to bring awareness to food allergies and keep kids safe. This way, everyone can enjoy Halloween! For more ideas: