I know how tough it can be for me to participate in social events centered around food. Things like parties, picnics, and family dinners can be tough because I can’t just eat whatever I want like everyone else. I hate being different in that regard and sometimes worry that people think I am being difficult or annoying. Plus, it’s such a bummer when everyone is raving over the birthday cake and you sit there with nothing in front of you.
Now imagine being a kid with a food allergy during a holiday that is centered around candy…candy that you can’t have because it is a health risk. What kid does not get excited about trick-or-treating?! That’s where the FARE’s Teal Pumpkin Project comes in. FARE (Food Allergy Research & Education) is, according to their website, “the leading national organization working on behalf of the 15 million Americans who have food allergies, including all those at risk for life-threatening anaphylaxis.”) One of their initiatives is the Teal Pumpkin Project which promotes a safe and inclusive Halloween for all. The idea is to offer non-food items as a treat option for those with allergies so they can enjoy trick-or-treating too!
How can you participate? Start by placing a teal pumpkin outside your home to indicate that you’re offering non-food treats. You can also download signs here. Optionally, you can enter your address here to make it easier for families to find safe homes.
What are some non-food treat ideas?
- Beaded necklaces
- Bouncy balls
- Spider rings
- Fake eyeballs
- Glow sticks/bracelets/necklaces
You can find a lot of neat ideas at the dollar store or even the Target Dollar Spot/Bulls-eye Playground. Have fun with it! Just try to choose latex-free items (no balloons, etc.) since some kids have latex allergies. Additionally if you would like to support FARE and/or don’t have the time to get to the store you can shop for a kit here.
How else can you help? You can donate to FARE here. FARE works tirelessly to make sure that your donations help improve the quality of life, and the health of those with food allergies, as well as advocate for them too. (They earned a 91/100 on Charity Navigator – Your Guide to Intelligent Giving.)
Let’s help make Halloween fun and safe for ALL!
Tell me in the comments: Will you be participating? What non-food treats will you be offering?