To participate in the project, simply provide non-food treats for trick-or-treaters and place a teal pumpkin on your doorstep to indicate that you have non-food treats available.
The Food Allergy Research and Education nonprofit reports that one in 13 children have food allergies. By participating in the project, FARE said, you are promoting inclusion for trick-or-treaters with food allergies or other conditions.
Additionally, project participants can add their homes to The Teal Pumpkin Project Map, making the experience easier for non-food trick-or-treaters.
“The more houses added to the map, the more inclusive (and therefore more fun) we can make Halloween,” the project states.
Allergy-safe tips for trick-or-treating
Every year, millions of children look forward to Halloween, according to FARE, but kids with allergies have to approach the fun with extra caution. Many treats are off limits for these children, either because of allergens in the ingredients or because of cross-contamination.
To make trick-or-treating a safe experience, FARE offers the following tips:
- Stock up on safe treats or inexpensive trinkets/toys to trade for any unsafe candies your child might receive while trick-or-treating. You can also use sorting through your child’s candy as an opportunity to teach him or her about hidden allergens and reading labels.
- Enforce a “no eating while trick-or-treating” rule, so that you have time to review all food labels.
- Avoid candy and treats that do not have an ingredient label.
- Always have an epinephrine auto-injector available, if prescribed.
- Keep in mind that the mini-size, fun-size, or bite-size version of candy may contain different ingredients than their full-size counterparts. Make no assumptions, and read all labels carefully.
- Keep the emphasis on the fun, rather than the candy.
- Consider starting a tradition by allowing their kids to leave their unsafe candies out for the “Good Witch” to collect and leave behind small gifts and safe treats.
- Consider making small and safe “goody bags” for neighbors to give to your child. Deliver the bags in advance and describe your child’s costume to your neighbors. Encourage your child to trick-or-treat at the houses in which you’ve delivered the bags.
- Consider skipping trick-or-treating, and have a Halloween party instead, featuring safe and delicious treats. Or, skip the treats altogether by replacing them with other fun Halloween toys, games, or party favors.
- Remember that a candy that has been safe for your child in the past may now have different ingredients. Read the label, every time.