By Beth Hillson
Many children with food allergies will look for teal pumpkins on doorsteps this Halloween. The unusually colored pumpkins are meant to signal that the home has allergen-free items for trick-or-treaters. It’s part of a new initiative from Food Allergy Research & Education, called the Teal Pumpkin Project.
Displaying a teal pumpkin or a painted pumpkin on your front porch will let kids know you’ve got allergy-free treats for them.
Participating households may also have non-edible treats on hand for kids who might not be able to eat many popular and traditional candies. Items such as glow sticks, spider rings, playing cards and stickers are substitutes that your trick or treaters will welcome.
In a quote carried in the Washington Post, Veronica LaFemina, vice president of communications with FARE said, “Food allergies can be life-threatening, and they affect one in 13 children in the U.S.,”. “Chances are, there’s a child in every neighborhood managing food allergies….Children managing other diseases in which candy represents a problem – like diabetes and celiac disease – also benefit.”
One of the big questions many parents are asking is, “Can I still pass out candy to the other kids if I participate?” Sure, just do it safely, says the FARE web site. “The point of the Teal Pumpkin Project is to make trick-or-treating as inclusive as possible. You can keep the experience safe by keeping your food treats and non-food treats in separate bowls, and by asking trick-or-treaters if they have any food allergies or giving them a choice of which treat they’d like: candy, or a non-food item.”
You may not have your own teal pumpkin on display, but you may notice other teal pumpkins around the neighborhood, Know these are safe places for your child to trick or treat with celiac disease or food allergies.