The Teal Pumpkin Project Shines a Light on Trick-or-Treating with Food Allergies

By Adam Campbell-Schmitt |

© Food Allergy Research & Education

During the Halloween season, it's easy to get caught up gorging ourselves on every candy imaginable. If you're anything like me, you buy a few bags of Reese's or Kit Kats for the neighborhood kids to enjoy because, honestly, that's what you want to eat. It's rare that we take into consideration the tricks our treats will play on kids who have food allergies. That's why the The Teal Pumpkin Project was started in 2014 by Food Allergy Research and Education (FARE).

The idea is to let all children, regardless of dietary restrictions, enjoy the thrill of trick-or-treating without worry. Supporters are encouraged to take a pledge and place a teal painted pumpkin on their porch along with a flyer letting ghouls and goblins alike know that they offer safe goodies. The website for the project also features a crowd-sourced map of food-allergy-friendly households, which is expected to top 100,000 this year.

But with candies being manufactured in facilities that process nuts and so many types food allergies to consider, what is there left to give out on Halloween? FARE suggests toys, stickers, glow sticks and bracelets. After unabashedly devouring bags of fun-size chocolate bars and suffering the November 1 sugar hangover, a few non-food surprises would be welcome in my trick-or-treat haul. Plus, glow sticks are always awesome.

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