Most kids love Halloween. What is there not to love, they get to dress up and eat lots of candy.
But what about the kids with food allergies or with any other type of food intolerance? For these kids, Halloween is not as much fun.
That’s why more families are joining the Teal Pumpkin Project. By placing a teal colored pumpkin at your doorstep on Halloween, you are letting trick-or-treaters know you have non-food treats available.
Most Halloween treats have ingredients that are considered allergens. Like milk or peanuts. With the Teal Pumpkin Project, you can now offer smalls knickknacks instead of candy.
Kids love small things like stickers, coloring books, and crayons.
The project was started in 2012 by the Food Allergy Research and Education, FARE. The organization found that 1 in 13 children has a food allergy. The purpose of this national campaign is to promote safety and inclusion for all kids.
Susan McArthur’s daughter, Samantha, has a chronic disease of the esophagus called Eosinophilic Esophagitis, EoE. The condition makes Halloweens not so exciting for Samantha.
A person with EoE has trouble swallowing food because white blood cells, or eosinophils, builds up in their esophagus. The buildup causes inflammation in the esophagus, which can lead to food getting stuck in their throat.
“Halloweens were awful,” said Susan McArthur. “She really enjoyed picking out her costume, she wanted to trick-or-treat with her friends but it was when you get home, and you spill out the bag of candy, you feel terrible, here is this little kid looking at all of her candy and she can’t have none.”
You can buy plastic teal pumpkins at major retail stores. If you don’t want to purchase one, you can go to foodallergy.org and print out a teal pumpkin to place on your door letting kids and parents know there are alternative treats.
You can also add your home to a map to connect with other families that are in the area participating in the
Teal Pumpkin Project