You all know I write posts about food allergies from time to time & they are mentioned in my recipe posts quite often as I make substitutions for eggs & nuts among others.
But what you might not know is how very stressful Halloween becomes when you are the parent of a child with food allergies. It’s hard to explain, but know that I have been worrying about Halloween since June. Not so much about the costumes (Buddy has chosen to be a TMNT & Cali is going to be the cutest monkey ever!!!) but about the potential for a food allergy reaction that could put a very quick end to our trick or treat fun.
Last year we had the great trick or treat debate…do we let Buddy trick or treat? How can we make it safe for him? Maybe we just let him help us hand out safe (for him) candy at our house? It was a really difficult decision to make; one that my husband & I didn’t take lightly. We ended up carrying a bucket of safe candy around with us, explaining Buddy’s allergies to our neighbors, and allowing him to choose candy from our bucket at each house. It was awkward, but for the most part it worked for the few houses we visited. We had two houses that didn’t seem to understand. One gave him a pack of gummy something anyway (which turned out not to be safe for him & went in the trash) & the other tried to put candy in his bucket while I tried to explain our situation & I stuck my hand out & blocked it. Like I said, awkward, but you do what you have to do to keep your 2-year-old safe.
We haven’t decided 100% how trick or treating will look for us this year, but I know our house will be taking part in the Teal Pumpkin Project proposed by FARE (that stands for: food allergy research & education.) What’s the Teal Pumpkin Project? Oh I’m so glad you asked!! The Teal Pumpkin Project is the perfect way to help children with food allergies trick or treat safely by providing alternate, non-food “treats” at designated houses!
So how does it work/how can I be a part of the Teal Pumpkin Project?
Step 1: Purchase some sort of non-food items to give out on Halloween (feel free to get the traditional candy as well, just be sure to keep your non-food “treats” in a separate bowl or basket.) Think tattoos, stickers, glow sticks, bubbles, pencils…anything that isn’t food! Best part about these items? They don’t go bad! Any that are unused this year can be packed away with your decorations to give out next year…unlike that extra candy which will undoubtedly end up kicking off the annual holiday weight gain. 😉
Step 2: Get a pumpkin & paint it TEAL. (I painted a craft pumpkin I got on sale at a craft store so I can have it ready to use year after year.) Put this pumpkin on your front porch for all to see! Oh and after you paint your pumpkin, it’s a good idea to spray it with some sort of sealer/waterproof coating, especially if you used a washable/water-based paint.
Step 3: Visit the FARE website to print off a flyer to hang on your door stating that you have non-food treats available at your house.
Step 4: Share this with your family, friends, and neighbors so they can join in on the Teal Pumpkin Project too! (FARE even has a printable flyer that you can share with your neighbors, family, & friends explaining everything…now THAT’S easy!)
I hope you will join me in the Teal Pumpkin Project each year!
(Photo credit goes to my sis…thanks girl!)