Halloween used to be the single most dreaded day of the year for me. It had nothing to do with the candy purchases, the costume selection (and mind-changing), the decorating, or the trick-or-treaters. It didn’t even have to do with toilet paper, eggs, or late night ringing-and-running. Halloween was the most dreaded day of the year because it was the most depressing for my son.
You see, my son was allergic to almost every food on the planet, and he could not have a Halloween like his friends. While we could work around or find ways to accommodate most other events, there was no escaping Halloween. Kid talked about their costumes prior to the parade at school, and then talked about their amazing candy stashes for days afterwards, often bringing in a few pieces at a time. Not only was it hard because of the sheer jealousy and wishing he could be like the other kids, we feared an anaphylactic reaction too.
Some years my son preferred to simply stay home and give out the candy. Other years we collected candy and then brought them to a nearby dentist who annually gave the kids $1 per pound of candy (and then sent all the candy collected to the troops overseas). And other years he barricaded himself in the TV room and tried his best to ignore it.
Then came along the Teal Pumpkin Project®, an easy and simple way to make a child like mine have a fun-filled Halloween. FARE’s Teal Pumpkin Project raises awareness of food allergies and promotes inclusion of all trick-or-treaters throughout the Halloween season.
How to Support Children with Food Allergies on Halloween
Every child should be able to experience the joy and tradition of trick-or-treating on Halloween. Kids with food allergies are often left out of the fun, since most candy is off limits to them. FARE’s Teal Pumpkin Project helps make sure all children will come home on Halloween night with something they can enjoy. It just takes one simple act of offering non-food treats as an alternative to candy.
Last year, households from all 50 states and 14 countries participated. This year, you can participate too. All you have to do is provide a non-food treat for your trick-or-treaters. Do you know what happened at our house the last couple of years? Several parents of young kids who knocked at our door with their child thanked us and accepted the non-food treats! No child of any age needs to be eating all that candy, and they were grateful for a house with a non junk food treat.
If you want to participate, you can also place a teal pumpkin in front of your home to indicate that you have non-food treats available. We bought our teal pumpkin at CVS with our Extra Bucks (and it lights up at night too), but you can also easily make your own teal pumpkin or display a printable sign.
So what types of non-candy treats can you give out in support of the Teal Pumpkin Project? Well, Oriental Trading is one of the project’s partners, and they’ve got you covered! Not only do they carry a Teal Pumpkin Yard Sign and Decorating Kit, they also have all of the Halloween toys & treasures that trick-or-treaters will love. These are perfect for classroom parties too! Personally I’m kind of partial to the light up toys because they are terrific for kids who are trick-or-treating after dark. Oriental Trading also carries a 100-piece assortment of Halloween items that is perfect for a kids party or for trick-or-treaters. And any non-candy items that are not given away on Halloween can be saved for the following year!
There are no words to say how much it would have meant to our family if there was a Teal Pumpkin Project on those Halloweens when my son was crying in his room about not being able to enjoy it like all of his friends. Please consider participating this year. It’s easy, inexpensive, and you may just help make Halloween not be someone else’s most dreaded day of the year.
Join the movement to create a safer, happier Halloween for all trick-or-treaters, and learn more about the Teal Pumpkin Project at http://www.foodallergy.org/teal-pumpkin-project/.
Looking for a deal at Oriental Trading? Visit their coupon page for the latest in sales.
Disclosure: As a proud supporter of the Teal Pumpkin Project, I am honored to have worked with Oriental Trading on this post.
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