From the PTA Blog:
From classroom parties and Trunk-or-Treats to ghosts and goblins knocking on your door, Halloween puts snacking front and center. But for youngsters on restricted diets, the holiday’s focus on foods they can’t eat puts a big damper on trick-or-treat fun.
One in 13 U.S. children has a food allergy. That’s about two kids per classroom. For many, just touching the wrong food causes hives and the smallest taste can be life-threatening. Other students have different health needs that require a special diet, including diabetes, celiac disease and many digestive disorders. Like every other child, these children deserve a fun, inclusive Halloween.
Join the Teal Pumpkin Project to make Halloween happy and safe for all children—including those who can’t eat a chocolate or candy treat.
Why teal? Teal is the color of food allergy awareness. When you display a teal pumpkin (or a Teal Pumpkin Project sign), you’re letting kids and their families know that you have non-food goodies to share.
Launched by Food Allergy Research & Education in 2014, the purpose of the Teal Pumpkin Project is inclusion.
- You don’t need to choose between offering either snacks or trinkets, so long as the food and non-food treats are kept in separate bowls.
- Toys and prizes won’t go to waste, since they’re popular even with kids who love candy.
- Some of these kid-friendly items are useful as well—such as glow sticks and glow jewelry that make trick-or-treaters easier to see at night or Halloween-themed pencils and erasers that come in handy as spare school supplies.
Learn more about the Teal Pumpkin Project and find a free coloring activity sheet on the One Voice Blog.
Get Halloween safety tips for the family so you can keep your celebration fun.
Want to keep your kids from overloading on sugar? Read how to tame your child’s sweet tooth.
And get some alternative treats for kids with allergies and diet restrictions.
Lois A. Witkop is Chief Advancement Officer for Food Allergy Research & Education. She is proud mom to two teens and is a parent member of the Robinson Secondary School PTSA in Fairfax, Va.