Trick-or-treating can be more bitter than sweet for kids with food allergies. It's fun to dress up in a great costume, and all the festivities are very, well, festive. But collecting candy that is anything from possibly cross-contaminated to virtual poison for a child with food allergies can be anxiety-producing, scary, and downright heartbreaking.
That's why the Teal Pumpkin Project was started. Families who want to include kids with food allergies in the trick-or-treat fun can do so by deciding to hand out non-food treats (glow sticks, small Halloween-themed toys, bracelets, stickers or temporary tattoos are good options.), and then displaying a teal (the color of food allergy awareness) pumpkin outside the house to let others know there are safe treats inside.
Another option for families with food allergies is the Switch Witch. The product was created by Audrey Kinsman after she noticed her son's disappointment at not being able to eat his Halloween candy due to his food allergy. She wrote a story about witches who need kids' help because they need the magic of candy to survive through the winter. After reading the story, kids are encouraged to set the Switch Witch doll out somewhere in the house to make sure they're behaving throughout Halloween season (think Shelf Elf). Then, after trick-or-treating, the child can set out the candy with a note to the Swtich Witch, go to sleep, and in the morning, find an awesome new toy in place of the candy. It's a fun way for kids who can't eat a lot of the candy of the season to still have a treat on Halloween.
For more information about the Teal Pumpkin Project, visit foodallergy.org.
For more information about the Switch Witch, visit switchwitches.com.