Hey everyone. Regular contributor, Emily at So Damn Domestic is back and today she is talking about a topic near and dear to my heart. As you know my middle son (15) has life-threatening food allergies to many foods (dairy, gluten, eggs, fish and nuts) and I still remember how difficult Halloween was for us to navigate to keep him safe when he was younger. I had never heard of the Teal Pumpkin Project, thanks Emily for introducing me to it!
I’ve been in the Halloween mood lately!
The cooler fall air has hit Maryland, and we’ve pulled out our mittens and jackets. Autumn is one of my favorite times of year, and Halloween always seems like the official kick-off of the season.
We’re going to dress up (my daughter is going as a princess, and my 2-year-old son told me he wants to be “silly”), have a Halloween play date at our neighborhood playground, go trick-or-treating at a few houses, and then come back to watch Monsters, Inc. at home.
I always look forward to seeing the adorable trick-or-treaters. And I’m always curious about what costumes are popular each year, but my absolute favorites are the homemade ones.
But did you know that Halloween can be extra-scary for kids who have food allergies?
More and more kids have allergies these days. And no matter what your theory is about WHY that is, it’s reality. And for children with life-threatening allergies to peanuts, dairy, eggs, soy, and more, trick-or-treating can be a buzzkill. Or worse.
So this year, we’ll be putting out a teal pumpkin and handing out candy-free treats.
The Teal Pumpkin Project is an initiative to protect kids with food allergies by letting trick-or-treating families know that there are non-food or allergy-safe options at your house.
I’ll probably do a mixture of a few of these options, but you could just choose your favorite one. These are all candy-free treats that kids will love, and most of them are consumable (they’ll get used up) so they won’t add clutter to your friends’ houses either.
And if any of these goodies happen to be left over at the end of the night, they’re all things our kids will be able to use and enjoy (and use up), so we wouldn’t have to save them for next year (seriously, what do people do with their leftover plastic spider rings?) or feel bad about throwing them away.
Top 10 Allergy-Safe Halloween Treats
- Bead & string kits for making bracelets or necklaces.
- A small notepad with a pencil.
- Coins. A pinch full of pennies and nickels. Kids will love adding them to their piggy banks!
- Glow sticks. What kid doesn’t love these?
- Play-doh (homemade or purchased). Be aware that some kids with wheat allergies might not be able to safely play with play-doh, so if you choose this, make sure to have another option too.
- Temporary tattoos, not necessarily Halloween-themed.
- Bubbles. I’m going to look for the white wedding bubbles at the craft store, and make ghost faces on them!
- Sidewalk chalk. Who says sidewalk chalk is only for the summer?
- Mini coloring books and a small package of crayons.
My Food-Allergy mama friends on Instagram spoke up about the #TealPumpkinProject
@sehrhardreid – “I bought some super cute Halloween stickers to pass out this year. I feel so much better knowing that everyone can enjoy them and I’m not passing out unhealthy treats.”
@bustedbutton – “My kids are dairy free now, so we give our chocolate away 🙂 it’s no big deal because we love the fun experiences more than anything and are grateful for any little treats.”
@wilomum – “It is not only holidays that worry us but everyday. All 3 of my kids have nut allergies and it seems to be getting harder as they get older. Yes, they are understanding it more, but they are going more places without us. Luckily they all have fantastic understanding friends who know their reaction signs and what to do. They are aged 15,13 and 9 #hateallergies”
@danistonis – “This is a great idea! We don’t participate in Halloween but my son has a peanut allergy so I love to see this. I would give out glow sticks! That would be appropriate for trick or treating at night.”
@tiffany_hileman – “Our kids are allergic to dairy and soy and we don’t allow sugar. They’re 5,3,2,due any day. Holidays are hard! We don’t do Halloween but other food holidays aren’t fun.”
@momma2xander – “We do the Switch Witch! Since he can’t have practically any of it anyway it works out well. Even if he could have the candy we would still do the Switch Witch.”
(Switch Witch is an imaginary witch. The kids leave their candy for her by the door or on the table when they go to bed, and she removes it and replaces it with a cool toy.)
@brittlynnem – “My almost 2 year old has a peanut allergy and for now she doesn’t know that she’s giving up most of her Halloween treats. It’s harder on her big brother right now because he can’t have some of his treats around her. Despite the severity of her allergy (anaphylaxis on first known exposure) we are somewhat “relaxed” when it comes to her allergy – we are not a peanut free home and we do not restrict her involvement in any types of activities such as Halloween, birthday parties, church potlucks, etc. based upon her allergy though we do closely monitor what she eats at such events. With that said, I know in the coming years she will become increasingly more aware that what she can have at these activities is not the same as everyone else. Which is why I am so excited about the Teal Pumpkin Project; what a great way for kiddos with food allergies to feel included!”
@chabelita545 – “I’m super excited about the #tealpumpkinproject. What a fantastic idea! My 6th grade son is allergic to dairy, egg whites, PN, TN, peas, fish, shellfish, raw carrot and is now reacting to soy milk and soy beans. We are lucky that we haven’t had to worry about cross contamination issues. Made in a facility warnings are (so far) not a problem. So every year I buy red licorice, Skittles and StarBurst and trade all his chocolates when he gets back from trick or treating. When he was younger I could get away with fruit snacks, raisins and pretzels, but no more. This year we will have a teal pumpkin full of temporary tattoos, crayons, stickers and trinkets for any food allergic (FA) kids that come by. I have a feeling we won’t get many, but even if one FA kid takes a non-food treat, I’ll be thrilled to have made a difference in their night.”
Do you have a child with food allergies, or do you know one?
Step 1: Pin, share, and tweet this post to spread the word about the Teal Pumpkin Project and great allergy-safe Halloween options, to protect the kids you know.
Step 2: Grab your free Teal Pumpkin Project printable and post it on your door to let trick-or-treaters know that your treats are allergy-free this year!
Step 3: Have a great Halloween!
Emily Chapelle is an expert homemaker, having set up 7 homes in just as many years. She helps busy and overwhelmed women change their homes from chaotic to calm, 15 minutes at a time, so they can regain a sense of control and focus on what really matters. She shares home organizing tips, decluttering your life, time-management for homemakers, and other homemaking topics at So Damn Domestic. Her ebook, Finding the Awesome – 3 Steps to Doing More & Stressing Less, has been downloaded over 2,312 times, and you can get it for free.