The Teal Pumpkin Project
The number of people who have food allergies is growing. It’s estimated that 4% – 6% of children in the United States are affected by food allergies. About 4 out of every 100 kids. The most common being an allergy to peanuts, gluten (wheat), or soy. Sometimes they are affected by multiple things. This kind of takes the joy out of trick or treating on Halloween. It can be disheartening when your parents have to search through your candy bag and take most of it away because you are allergic to the peanuts in Snickers and Reese’s cups or to the gluten in Kit Kats and Twix. Reactions range from the merely uncomfortable with hives or an upset stomach, which includes damage to the digestive system, to the more serious with anaphylactic shock, where the child’s airways constrict until they can no longer breathe.
That’s why I encourage everyone to join the Teal Pumpkin Project. It’s a pretty simple idea. When parents see a teal pumpkin out on your porch, they know that this house will be food allergy friendly. Plain chocolate will be free of peanuts or gluten but it’s pretty hard to avoid soy. Even M&M’s or Hershey’s Kisses have soy in them. Then you have to worry about cross-contamination. This is where a candy that is technically allergen free is made on machines that handle other candies with those allergens. A candy made on a machine that makes something else with peanuts will often trigger a reaction in those allergic to peanuts. It’s a dangerous world for those with serious allergies.
That’s why I suggest a nonfood item for trick or treating. A small toy from the dollar store or, for a more Halloween feel, some small party favors. PartyCity has a lot to choose from but any store selling Halloween stuff will have small games, toys, and other things a kid with food allergies can play with. Target had maze games and spy glasses, the type with fake glasses and mustaches, which would be fun.
Having options for kids with allergies will insure that everyone gets to enjoy Halloween. So, paint a pumpkin teal and be sure to set it out Halloween night to let people know you have allergy friendly treats available.
Posted on October 26, 2015, in Uncategorized and tagged FARE, food allergies, food allergy, halloween, nonfood treats, teal pumpkin, teal pumpkin project, trick or treating. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.