A small step forward in awareness, I saw teal pumpkins at the local box store this week. Teal pumpkins, you ask? Yes. It is not the newest trend in fashion; Pantone did not declare October the month of teal! Nope. Teal pumpkins are a visual cue for those families tricking and treating about the neighborhood but cautious of which candies they receive because someone in the family has allergies.
Several million children in the United States currently struggle with food allergies. These may be one-product specific (milk or peanuts, for example), or allergies that are far more severe and life-threatening. With something so serious on one’s shoulders, it’s no wonder Halloween is more complex and cautious than fun for some families.
The Teal Pumpkin Project gets at exactly this issue by encouraging families to provide non-food treats as an option for those who can’t consume particular foods. Grab the glow sticks, pencils, kazoos, bubbles, and more! You can also garner information about the movement at large, craft and treat ideas, and more at their website. They have numerous printouts, including teal pumpkins to post at your door and a crowd-sourced map of allergy-friendly places in your neighborhood.
Also, by keeping your mind toward children who can’t consume the typical American Halloween treats, you also can provide for other children who, for a variety of reasons, cannot or do not eat dairy, nuts, or sugar.
If you want to also have candy to offer children a choice, be sure to keep it in a separate bowl. You can also choose candies that tend to contain fewer common irritants, like basic Tootsie Rolls, Smarties, Skittles, Dum-Dums, and others. Here’s to everyone enjoying the evening!
Lynette is a mom of three children from 20 months to age five. She has cloth diapered all three since birth and enjoys all things eco-friendly and mindful living.