There are more scary things on Halloween than just witches and ghosts for parents of kids with food allergies. For them the treats are the scariest things because those treats could pose a life threatening threat to their kids. In fact many kids with extreme food allergies don’t even go trick-or-treating because they can’t eat the candy that they’re given and in certain cases they shouldn’t even be around it. Ever since we discovered Nick’s food allergy I have been extra aware of them, and I do not buy any candy that actually contains peanuts. That being said if you look on the packaging the majority of it will at least say that it could possibly contain nuts or was made in a factory that makes nut products. For a child with a severe peanut allergy these candies still aren’t safe, but I always like to try to buy safer food allergy choices. From now on though we’re going teal to show that we will be an allergy safe house on Halloween!
Go Teal! – Teal Pumpkin Project
Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE) is asking homes to go teal for Halloween to show that they are a safe house for kids with food allergies to go trick-or-treating at. To do this they are asking people to display teal pumpkins. You can do that by painting your pumpkin teal, or you can display a special sign in your window with a teal pumpkin. To be considered to be a food allergy safe home you need to have treats available that are 100% free of any food allergies. I’m sure there are some food treats out there, but to play it safe I recommend going with non-food treats. FARE cautions though to be aware of the non-food treats you are supplying because certain treats can still contain food allergens. For example Play-Doh contains wheat.
The one thing to remember is that cross contamination is a big deal with food allergies. To keep your allergy free goodies safe you should put them in a separate bowl than any candy you’re handing out that could possibly contain a food allergen.
A Big Thank You
Going teal this Halloween does not mean that you have to stop giving out candy, or that you can’t give out the kind of candy you used to. It just means that you also have an allergy free treat to hand out. I know a lot of people still don’t understand food allergies or why such measures need to be taken. I can tell you though that this simple gesture will make a big impact to the kids that have food allergies. This will allow them to safely enjoy trick-or-treating like everyone else, and they will be able to enjoy the treats they get. There’s nothing worse than having a bag full of candy and only being able to eat two things in it. So as a parent of a child that has had a life threatening food allergy I say thank you for remembering that it’s everyone’s Halloween! Take part in the Teal Pumpkin Project by printing your sign off.