Trick or Treat: Candy My Kid Can’t Eat

orange and blue pumpkins
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Costumes, candy, and crisis.

Wait, crisis??

Well, it could be crisis for children with food allergies.  A night filled with excitement, imagination and candy treats is awesome for most kids but can be a nightmare for kids with food allergies.  Most candy treats just aren’t safe for them to eat.  Parents can’t read the labels of the candy to verify their safety, so the candy is taken away…that is, if the kid even gets to trick or treat.  Bummer.

One in thirteen children in the U.S. has food allergies, according to recent studies.  It’s time we take notice.  It’s time we include them.  Holidays are especially difficult for food allergy families due to the centrality of food at holiday celebrations.  No one wants to end up at the hospital on a holiday.

There is a way to make this a fun filled night for food allergy kids.  The Teal Pumpkin Project was created to include *not exclude* children with food allergies.  It’s pretty simple.  You just display a teal pumpkin outside your door to alert food allergy families that you have non-food treats.  Easy, inexpensive items to purchase are plastic spider rings, pencils, little rubber bouncy balls, etc.  Dollar Tree and Oriental Express are great places to purchase these treats affordably.  And here’s an important tip-keep them in a bowl separate from the candy you offer other kids to avoid any cross contamination.

You can purchase a plastic teal pumpkin to use year after year, or just paint your orange pumpkin teal.  It’s a fun project with the kids.  Use that opportunity to educate your children about food allergies and food safety.  Who knows, maybe one day they will save their friend’s life.

Thanks for reading and thanks for supporting children with food allergies!

“Act justly, love faithfulness, walk humbly with your God.” Micah 6:8

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