Halloween, a time with costumes and candy; lots and lots of candy. For someone with food issues, Halloween is a holiday where they do not look forward to knowing they’ll most likely won’t be able to get food they can safely eat. Luckily, I developed food sensitivities during adulthood, so I didn’t have to deal with getting candy I might not be able to eat while trick or treating, but I could’t imagine what it’s like for a child with food problems. Usually kids get pretty excited about Halloween because they get to dress up and receive free candy; a bucket load of candy, but I’m sure it’s a lot different for someone with dietary restrictions.
Even as an adult, last year was a struggle for me being surrounded by candy I can’t eat, especially at school when professors were handing out candy and I had to awkwardly deny without saying anything and watch others eat the candy. I couldn’t even eat any candy that was leftover after Halloween; I could only stare at it and watch the people around me enjoy every bite. If that’s hard for me as an adult, I could only imagine it being harder on a child watching the other kids enjoy some delicious candy they can’t eat. It’s not fair for a kid with food allergies to have to miss out on the holiday because they can’t eat the candy because they have allergies not under their control.
This year I want to have allergy-friendly options, so everyone can have a safe, happy, and enjoyable Halloween, allergies or not. I just recently learned about the Teal Pumpkin Project, which I want to participate in and I recommend you do the same; think about the children with food allergies who want to enjoy Halloween as much as everyone else does. Teal is the color for food allergy awareness, so in order to participate you have to place a teal pumpkin on your doorsteps along with a sign stating you have allergy-friendly food and/or non-food items, so people with allergies know you have allergy-friendly and/or non-food options. Then you get some allergy-friendly candy like Enjoy Life Foods’ chocolate and/or non-food items like stickers, pencils, bubbles, glowsticks etc… and hand it out to the kids on Halloween night. You can also handout regular, non-allergy-friendly candy, just keep it separate from the allergy-friendly and/or non-food items. It’s that easy and I hope you consider participating, so everyone can have a great Halloween. I’m excited to do so and hope it makes a difference, especially for food allergy awareness and acceptance.