Halloween – the ultimate kids’ holiday. The costumes! The carvings! The candy! But, for the 15 million kids with food allergies, the holiday can be a different kind of scary.
Going trick-or-treating with a food allergy sufferer is a whole different experience. Instead of delighting at each piece of candy thrown in their treat bags, they look at it skeptically and ask “Can I eat this?” With each no, they get a little more deflated and lose interest in the trick-or-treating process.
I know many people wonder why this is such a big deal. Why can’t kids with allergies just eat what they can and give away the rest? It’s a valid question. But there’s something about looking into a kid’s eyes and seeing the disappointment door after door on what’s supposed to be the best night of the year to be a kid.
There’s a way to make sure every ghost, ghoul and goblin can safely enjoy the holiday – it’s called the Teal Pumpkin Project. Anyone who wishes to participate can buy non-candy treats, like pencils, stickers, tattoos or other Halloween knick-knacks. Then they decorate their homes with a teal pumpkin to let the kids know there’s a safe alternative for them at this house.
The Teal Pumpkin Project is in its second year. Last year, people in all 50 states and 7 countries participated. This year, the goal is to expand the initiative and get 100,000 households involved.
Think about it this way – one in 13 kids has a food allergy, so you’ve got a good chance one of them will knock on your door. You could just make their Halloween night!