Make trick-or-treating accessible to kids with allergies

The Teal Pumpkin Project encourages families to hand out other products apart from candy

For many parents and children, goblins and ghosts are the least frightening aspects of Halloween. Some children cannot enjoy trick-or-treating because of life-threatening food allergies, which is why Food Allergy & Research Education (FARE) has launched an initiative to let all kids enjoy the fun of Halloween.

The campaign is dubbed the Teal Pumpkin Project, and encourages people to raise awareness about food allergies by providing non-food treats in lieu of chocolate and candy. Those participating are asked to paint a pumpkin teal, the colour of food allergy awareness, and place it outside their house in order to signal that they are providing alternative treats. If you don’t have time to paint a pumpkin, FARE also offers free printable signs you can put outside your house.

Not sure what kind of treats to get other than candy? Here are a few things you can pick up at a dollar store:

  • glow sticks
  • bracelets and necklaces
  • bubbles
  • notepads and playing cards
  • Halloween pencils, erasers and pencil toppers
  • vampire fangs
  • stickers

Even if you want to continue to give out traditional Halloween sweets, consider making two bowls: one with typical fare, the other with non-food treats. The gesture can go  a long way in making Halloween an inclusive experience.

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