I cannot imagine what life must be like with a food allergy. Or even worse – being the parent of a child with a food allergy. It is estimated that 15 million Americans have a food allergy of some sort. Thankfully, no one in my family possess any true allergy to anything, food-related or otherwise. But I have friends who deal with this, and it’s made me extremely aware of how limiting a food allergy can be.
Take Halloween, for instance. Tons and tons of candy being handed out by the handfuls, and since large percentage of it is made with milk or nuts (or is processed among candies with milk or nuts), most of it becomes taboo for kids with food allergies.
Enter the Teal Pumpkin Project.
Food Allergy Research and Education (FARE) is hoping to start a new tradition this Halloween, one that encourages families to add a teal pumpkin to the front of their home, indicating that they offer non-food items for any trick-or-treaters with food allergies. The goal is to raise food allergy awareness as well as promote safety and inclusion, making this a fun holiday for all who wish to participate.
As I have friends with food allergies, our home will be eagerly participating in this new tradition. We’ve already spray-painted our teal pumpkin (teal is the color of food allergy awareness), and we’ll be printing a sign to put beside it so that families will know that they can request a non-edible treat at our house. Of course, we also plan to have a bowl of candy for the kids who are able to eat it without worry… but why not make the night a little more fun for those kids who do have to worry? 🙂
Here are some suggestions of non-food goodies that you could hand out – just be sure to keep them in a separate bowl from the candy to avoid cross-contamination. 🙂
mini containers of Play-Doh
Besides – why wouldn’t I want a pumpkin on my porch that reminds me of Tiffany’s?