GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOTV)- Halloween is a tricky time of year for families who deal with food allergies. Imagine how hard it is to explain to a child who is all dressed up in their favorite costume that they aren’t allowed to eat nearly any of the treats they worked so tirelessly to collect? Trust me, its brutal.
My son was diagnosed with a life-threatening peanut allergy at 18 months old. At the age of 4 he is now cleared of his allergy and “in remission“. This will be the first Halloween he can actually eat his candy. For the past three years he’s had strict rules that include wearing gloves the entire time so that his skin didn’t accidentally come into contact with a peanuty treat.
My other “trick” is when we’d get home he’d put on his pajamas and I’d quickly empty his trick or treat basket and refill it with a swap of pre-bought items that were peanut-free and safe. This way he still got the joy of dumping his bag out and discovering all sorts of goodies without the disappointment.
Teal Pumpkin Project
A new project aims to help kids and parents avoid the scary unknowns of trick or treating with the Teal Pumpkin Project. This nationwide effort is about making Halloween safe and fun for all kids. It’s easy to participate! Simply paint a pumpkin blue, display it by your front door and instead of purchasing candy this Halloween put together a basket of “non-food items” to pass out. The teal pumpkin is a sign to families that your house is proudly serving non-food items for trick-or-treaters.
It’s easy to participate! Simply paint a pumpkin blue, display it by your front door and instead of purchasing candy this Halloween put together a basket of “non-food items” to pass out.
Trust me, there are more kids than you know who will be thrilled to see your blue pumpkin. As of matter of fact, F.A.R.E. states at 1 in 13 kids suffers from a food allergy. While many people think it’s just peanuts, it can also be allergies to all sorts of things like milk, eggs, tree nuts, wheat and more.
If you’re the parent of a child with food allergies try getting the whole neighborhood on board! F.A.R.E. has some great resources on their website that you can download. I personally like the neighborhood flyer. This project is all about creating awareness. Once someone understands food allergies they often are more willing to accommodate.
Non-food treat ideas for trick-or-treaters
Looking for some inspiration? Try one of these easy ideas from F.A.R.E.
- Glow sticks, bracelets, or necklaces
- Pencils, pens, crayons or markers
- Halloween erasers or pencil toppers
- Mini Slinkies
- Whistles, kazoos, or noisemakers
- Bouncy balls
- Finger puppets or novelty toys
- Spider rings
- Vampire fangs
- Mini notepads
- Playing cards