Halloween is right around the corner, which means that it’s time to start seriously thinking about your costume. Are you going to opt for a tried-and-true classic and dress up as a superhero? Are you going to be fun and quirky and dress up as a minion? Or are you going to be relevant and dress up as Barb from Stranger Things?
Not only do you have to decide on your costume before Halloween rolls around, you also have to decide which candy to hand out to trick-or-treaters. Whatever you do, don’t be one of those weird people who make homemade Rice Krispie treats. Every single parent will make their kids throw your treats away. So why is this still a thing that happens?
Now if you want your home to be a welcome haven for kids with food allergies on Halloween night, there are two simple things to do: Hand out non-food items instead of candy and put a teal pumpkin in front of your house.
So what are some of the non-food items that kids would love to get on Halloween night? Things like small toys, coloring supplies, stickers and bouncy balls. Not only are these goodies safe for kids with life-threatening allergies, they are also items that kids will be able to enjoy much longer than they would a candy bar.
5. You Could Make Trick-Or-Treating Fun For Kids With Allergies
Heather Krieger, mother to a 5-year-old son with severe food allergies, put out a teal pumpkin last year and was surprised to discover that it really did make a huge difference for several kids.
“It made my night last year when a little boy and his dad came to our house — the little boy grabbed a couple of stickers and was so excited,” Krieger recounts. “His dad explained the boy had food allergies and each year they had ended up donating all of his candy. He went on to say how excited his son was to have something he could keep.”
FARE (Food Allergy and Research Education) is behind The Teal Pumpkin Project, which launched last year. If you don’t have time to paint a pumpkin teal, FARE can help. Simply head to FARE’s website and print out a free sign so kids with food allergies know that your home is a safe place to trick-or-treat.
Halloween can be a sad time for children with food allergies. Some of the most common food allergies include milk, soy, eggs and wheat… and these ingredients are found in a majority of Halloween candy. This means that kids with food allergies often have to give away nearly all of their Halloween loot, which can be a disheartening thing for a 6-year-old kid.
Fortunately, kids with food allergies finally have a chance to really enjoy the experience of trick-or-treating thanks to the Teal Pumpkin Project.
“Food allergies can be life-threatening, and they affect 1 in 13 children in the United States,” says Veronica LaFemina, spokeswoman for FARE. “We are thrilled to see so many people embracing the Teal Pumpkin Project as a way to ensure kids with food allergies can enjoy a safe, fun Halloween experience just like their friends.”
If you still want to hand out candy to trick-or-treaters — it’s a Halloween tradition, after all — you can find allergy-free candy that could just make the night of some young trick-or-treater. Just be sure to separate the allergy-free treats from the other treats to prevent cross-contamination.
If you’re the parent of a child with food allergies, there are several steps to make sure they are safe this Halloween. While trick-or-treating, it’s a smart idea to carry around an epinephrine auto-injector just in case your child is exposed to an allergen. You should also tell your child to wait until you get home to eat any of the treats so that you can carefully read the labels before they indulge.
By taking certain precautions and participating in the Teal Pumpkin Project, you can ensure that children with food allergies have a happy and safe trick-or-treating experience this Halloween.