With all the awareness around food allergies, we are careful about what we pack in our kids' school lunches. So why not apply that same caution (and inclusiveness) to Halloween?
That's the thought behind The Teal Pumpkin Project. Since 2014, this initiative encourages families "to place a teal-coloured pumpkin in front of their home to show they have non-food treats available for children with food allergies and other kids for whom candy is not an option."
In Canada, about 300,000 kids have food allergies. And it isn't just peanuts. Other common allergies include: tree nuts, seafood (fish, shellfish, crustaceans), egg, milk, sesame, soy, mustard and wheat.
By participating in The Teal Pumpkin project, Canadians will ensure that all kids can safely participate in Halloween. And for food allergy parents, this is a big relief.
"I noticed him looking at what treats people were giving him," remembers Rebecca Walters of past Halloweens. Her six-year-old son has many food allergies, which means a lot of candy is off limits.
"Each door we visited was a reminder to him of all the items he can't consume — and it broke my heart," the Ontario mom told the Hamilton Spectator.
She has a teal pumpkin and has stocked up on non-food items for Halloween. She's hoping more families will do the same for when her son goes trick or treating.
"I never want to have my son feel left out because of these allergies."
If you're planning to have a teal pumpkin this year, check out these awesome ideas.
Our #tealpumpkin is out and the #mailbox is ready for Halloween. #tealpumpkinproject #tealpumpkincontest. ~~~~~ Hi everyone! Halloween is a little under two weeks away and like us, you may still be decorating and preparing. Please consider taking part in the Teal Pumpkin project by providing non food treats for your neighbors with allergies. Our pumpkin is out at the mailbox as of today. We will have toys and treasures for our visiting trick or treaters. Who else is in? Follow the link below to learn more. @foodallergy https://www.foodallergy.org/teal-pumpkin-project