Last year I heard about a fabulous idea. Due to food treats being given out at Halloween events and during house to house trick or treating, many children had to skip the fun. After all, it is not worth the risk to possibly expose a highly allergic child to nuts, gluten, milk, or other allergens. So this year I am supporting the Teal Pumpkin Project and I hope you will consider joining me in offering non-food items if you celebrate Halloween.
This got me thinking, why do we need food treats anyway? Don’t many of us complain about our child’s sweet tooth? What about children who cannot eat certain foods, or perhaps any foods, due to other medical issues like the need for a feeding tube? Yes, it is a great idea to hand out treats that are not food for a variety of reasons.
So candy and other food items are out. What is in? Here is a short list of items I found at Amazon, Oriental Trading, the local dollar store, and the Target dollar bin. Feel free to share this and your ideas with others. Word of mouth is a powerful tool.
Sheets of stickers
Small crayon sets
Mini handheld microscopes
Back, now, to allergies since this is the reason for having teal pumpkins. I have listed some information below about this idea from the original source and from other links. Please consider using a sign or poster and teal pumpkin theme to let families know that your home is giving out non-food treats so that children living with allergies can enjoy a safe, fun holiday just like every other child. I fully intend to do the same this year.
The Teal Pumpkin Project
Teal Pumpkins Try to Change Halloween for Kids with Food Allergies by Sara Cheshire on CNN
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
by Abby Olheiser on Washington Post