We all knew which houses not to go to on Halloween -- you know, the houses that gave out apples or *shudder* floss. There was a house in my neighborhood that routinely gave out raisins on Halloween night. Like, I put on four hours of princess makeup for this? No deal, Janet.
While kiddos will recite the standard “Trick or treat!” when approaching the front doors of participating houses on Oct. 31 every year, it’s not like we take the “trick” part seriously. These kids expect candy, and candy they shall get!
But the people behind Food Allergy Research and Education (FARE) realized that some kids are a bit restricted when it comes to those treats. According to FARE, one in 13 children have food allergies, the most prevalent of which are peanuts, tree nuts, milk and eggs. Parents have been getting creative over the years in an attempt to protect their kids from potentially dangerous Halloween treats.
Between buying allergy-safe candy ahead of time to swap with anything their children can’t eat and creating “Halloween Fairies” that gift the kids with allergen-free options to munch on while they accompany their friends house to house, parents must be vigilant in making sure trick-or-treating is a danger-free experience for their kids.
Which is why the Teal Pumpkin Project has been gaining some traction. The initiative calls for neighbors to place a teal-painted pumpkin on their doorstep come Halloween. The pumpkin will signify that their house is stocked with non-candy treats for the neighborhood kids with allergies, like glow sticks, noisemakers, coins or stickers.
FARE encourages any household looking to pass out candy on Halloween to also grab a pumpkin, paint it teal (the color of food allergy awareness) and pop it on their doorstep to let their neighborhood’s kids know that it’s safe to collect treats there.