Every child should be able to experience the joy and tradition of trick-or-treating and other activities around Halloween. But kids with food allergies are often left out of the fun, since most candy is off limits.
Did you know that in the U.S., one in 13 children has a food allergy – that’s roughly two in every classroom. For these children, even a tiny amount of their allergen has the potential to cause a severe reaction.
Through the Teal Pumpkin Project, FARE (Food Allergy Research and Education) is striving to raise awareness of food allergies and promote the inclusion of all trick-or-treaters throughout the Halloween season, helping to make sure all children come home from Halloween events with something they can enjoy.
Many retailers across the nation, including some Harmons stores, are utilizing the Teal Pumpkin Project to better inform the public of this issue, and offering allergy-free options for families.
Individual families are strongly encouraged to take part as well. In a just a few simple steps, you can help make Halloween fun and inclusive for all trick or treaters –
Place a teal pumpkin in front of your home (or print a free sign from the FARE website) to indicate you have non-food and/or allergy-free treats available.
Provide non-food treats for trick-or-treaters.
Add your home to the Teal Pumpkin Project map on the FARE site.
Spread the word! Share the Teal Pumpkin Project with your friends and family! Check out this website for more how-to’s and free downloads.
To help children understand the challenges faced by their peers with food allergies, try asking them these questions:
“Would you eat:
A piece of candy that fell into the mud?”
A piece of cheese that had green mold all over it?”
Something your mom or dad told you was bad for you and said you should not even touch? “
“Why would you not eat those foods? Because they could make you sick, make your tummy hurt, or even make you have to go to the hospital.”
Explain to the child/children that this is the same for kids with food allergies. They can’t eat or often times even touch certain foods because they are bad for them.
So why not consider following the Teal Pumpkin Project tradition and offer allergy-free treats at your home this Halloween? And be sure to stop by your local Harmons store for trick-or-treating on Halloween day – and while in the store, be on the lookout for teal pumpkins and accompanying allergy-free treats!
Teal Pumpkin Project is a registered trademark of Food Allergy Research and Education (FARE) tealpumpkinproject.org