By Candice Gregg
With the leaves falling and the cooler weather brewing, Halloween is right around the corner. While a lot of us are wondering what costumes we’re going to scramble to buy or put together, a lot of parents have to caution their children what to expect if they go trick-or-tricking. Why you may ask? 1 in 13 children have a food allergy of some sort. Imagine daydreaming about what you’re going to be for Halloween, get dressed up and go out with your family and friends to ask for treats, only to be able to eat a small amount of the treats you received if any at all. It’s safe to say that this can put a damper on trick-or-treating. Luckily the Teal Pumpkin Project, a nationwide movement, is hoping to change all of that!
So what exactly is the teal pumpkin project and why the color teal? In case you didn’t know, teal is the color for food allergy awareness and has been so for over 20 years! The Teal Pumpkin Project raises awareness for food allergies and the importance of making all children feel included when Halloween comes around. With some candies being made in the same factory as those with nuts, milk, eggs, and other allergens, it sadly isn’t an option for everyone. The Teal Pumpkin Project has a list of allergy-free options to inspire a list of goodies everyone can enjoy.
With this information, you may be asking yourself, “how can I help or show support for the Teal Pumpkin Project?”. There are quite a few ways to help the cause or contribute to helping everyone have a safe and happy Halloween. You can start by spreading awareness on your social media by changing your profile picture or sending out a status update with information about the organization. If you plan to give out treats for Halloween and would like to provide options for children with allergies, you can add your home onto The Teal Pumpkin Project Map which is a useful tool for parents to use when planning the Halloween festivities for their family. Setting out a teal pumpkin or even a sign that you have goodies that are free of allergens helps too.
The bottom line is all children want to feel included. As adults, it is our responsibility to make sure that kids don’t feel left out of all the fun. Making a pledge to provide non-candy treats for trick-or-treaters makes a difference one house at a time. Please help by spreading awareness to your neighbors, organizers of your church’s trunk-or-trick event, or your children’s teachers.
Have a safe and happy Halloween!