Halloween for kids is a wonderful day, for they get to live up their fantasies by being whatever they want to. The preparation starts early on and they are super excited to be wearing costumes and I just love them enjoying trick-or-treating. Where on the one hand, it is all fun and adorable to watch the kids enjoy, there are some fears which run down deep in the hearts of parents with kids who have food allergies.
Food allergy is a serious issue in the US, where almost every one in 13 children has some kind of food allergy. According to Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE), around 15 million Americans suffer from food allergies. The candies and other food goodies given to kids when they go trick-or-treating can sometimes have adverse consequences and certain food allergies may even lead to a visit to the ER, and that visit can prove to be life-altering, or even life-threatening at times.
Ensuring a safer and happier Halloween
Halloween is supposed to be a happy time for all, especially the kids, who just want to have fun with their friends. The kids with allergies usually give out their candies to their friends, and may feel that they didn’t get enough goodies on Halloween. But The Teal Pumpkin Project is changing all this and is making Halloween, happy for every kid.
The Teal Pumpkin Project is an amazing initiative taken by the Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE), which encourages people to raise awareness on food allergies. The main aim of The Teal Pumpkin Project is to promote the inclusion of all trick-or-treaters during the Halloween season. If you want to give joy to every kid that comes to your doorstep, then you would like to have a teal pumpkin outside your house, which would mean that you have non-food treats, like glow sticks, sticker, small toys inside your home during Halloween. This is one of the best ways to ensure that all trick-or-treaters celebrate the festival safely and happily.
According to foodallergy.org, you can participate in this noble initiative by:
1. Having non-food treats in your home for trick-or-treaters.
2. Placing a teal pumpkin outside your home to show it to all the passersby that you have non-food treats this Halloween.
3. Displaying a free printable sign or a premium poster from FARE explaining the significance of the teal pumpkin placed at your door.
How did it all start?
The idea of placing a teal pumpkin and having non-food items for trick-or-treaters was the brainchild of Becky Basalone, from Tennessee. She has a son with severe food allergies and to let her child have a safe and happy Halloween, she kept a treat bucket in her house with non-food goodies in 2012. Becky Basalone, the leader of Food Allergy Community of East Tennessee (FACET), painted one of the family pumpkins teal, which is the color for food allergy awareness. Her local awareness efforts were noticed by FARE, and in 2014, they collaborated with her to make it a worldwide movement.
In 2015, all 50 states and 14 countries participated in the movement to make Halloween safer for all trick-or-treaters. Nancy Gregory, Director of Communications, FARE said, “The Teal Pumpkin Project promotes safety, inclusion, and respect for all those managing food allergies.” This year, the movement is growing and we urge you to spread this movement far and wide.
One of the most amazing aspects of this entire movement is that by changing the color of the pumpkins, parents are teaching their kids the importance of inclusion, community bonding and are helping them become more aware about the issue of food allergies. Let us all come together to create a safer and happier Halloween for all the kids, so that this joyous festival brings smiles all around.