Halloween for All Kids

That teal pumpkin signals the sweetest treat alternatives

If you see teal-colored pumpkins in front of any homes when you take your children trick-or-treating this Halloween — relax. That teal is a good deal.

The soft blue hue indicates the house is safe for trick-or-treating by children who have food allergies or other medical conditions that limit their food options.

Due to the health risks that candy often poses, especially on Halloween, some kids are left out on the fringes, holding Charlie Brown’s sack of rocks.

“Food allergy is a life-altering and potentially life-threatening disease affecting 1 in 13 children in the U.S.,” says Veronica LaFemina, vice president of communications at Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE), which launched the Teal Pumpkin Project campaign in 2014. This year, seven and 50 states have jumped on board, with 100,000 families pledging to have “teal pumpkin” treats available.

“Pledging to participate in the Teal Pumpkin Project™ is an easy and tangible way to make a big difference for children in your community who are living with food allergies or other conditions that mean candy isn’t an option,” says LaFemina.

Halloween can be a very frustrating holiday for children dealing with food allergies.

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Jennifer Kuzdzal’s son has peanut allergies. Although he loves Halloween, it’s tough for him. “It does make it hard because they are seeing all the other kids collecting candy and it makes them feel different,” Kuzdzal told WXYZ-Channel 7 News in Detroit.

Friendly teal pumpkins on doorsteps is a welcome sign for kids with allergies. If you ring the doorbell, you’ll net fun alternatives to candy, like stickers, pencils, or small toys.

Friendly teal pumpkins on doorsteps are a welcome sign for kids with allergies.

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Here are some cool non-candy treats guaranteed to thrill any ghost, goblin, superhero or witch:

• Pencils, pens, crayons or markers, whistles, kazoos, or noisemakers
• Bouncy balls, finger puppets, or novelty toys
• Coins
• Spider rings
• Vampire fangs
• Mini notepads
• Playing cards
• Bookmarks
• Stickers

To be a part of the campaign, grab a pumpkin, paint it teal, and put it prominently on your stoop before trick-or-treaters come to call. You can still hand out regular candy — just have a separate bowl full of non-food goodies for those who can’t have candy.

Be careful, though. Some non-food items still contain food allergens, such as some brands of moldable clay, which may contain wheat, FARE cautioned on its website. Additionally, try to choose latex-free items, as some kids are allergic to that, too.

This season, for kids with allergies, teal can help them strike Halloween gold.

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