With the bags full of candy and fun costumes, Halloween is an exciting time for youngsters. But for the parents of the approximately 500,000 children across Canada who live with food allergies, it can be incredibly stressful.
Because of this, the Teal Pumpkin Project was started in 2014 by Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE) as a way to include all North American children in the fun and festivities of Halloween. To participate, families simply place a teal-coloured pumpkin outside their door, and offer non-food treats for trick-or-treaters. Milk, nuts, eggs, soy, and wheat are all common allergens included in candies.
If you're looking to DIY your own teal pumpkin — an excellent weekend craft with the kiddos — your best bet is to paint a white pumpkin with your choice of teal paint, as it will cover the gourd more easily than the typical orange pumpkins.
You can also purchase one online, or simply print out a sign to hang in the window. Plus, you can add your house to the Project's participation map so that families can plan their trick-or-treat route.
The good news is, you don't have to spend a fortune on allergy-friendly trick-or-treat items, as you may only see a handful of kids who need an alternative.
Having a few options on hand is especially meaningful for youngsters with food allergies, and latex-free items are also appreciated. Here are 11 allergy-friendly Halloween treat ideas.
Fun for kids of all ages, temporary tattoos make a great allergy-friendly option and are often quite reasonably priced. You'll have no trouble finding choices that will please any trick-or-treater.
Like temporary tattoos, stickers are a awesome allergy-friendly treat idea for kids of all ages, and pack a real budget-friendly punch. An entire sheet is still an economical choice.
This kid-favourite is available in several size and colour options, making it an excellent choice for big and small kids alike. It does contain wheat ingredients, but is suitable for those with nut allergies.
Dubbed the "original fun in a can," this classic is available in a number of colours, and is perfect for little hands to hold. Kids will get a kick out of it long after the costumes come off.
Glasses, wands, bracelets, and more -- there's no shortage of fun glow-in-the-dark toys kids would enjoy finding in their trick-or-treat bag. Any leftovers can be used to add some flair to a family movie night or birthday loot bag.
Have a couple of options on hand piece-wise for both younger and older kids. You should be able to find many options at your local party supply store or discount retailer.
Pick up a few pieces of costume jewelry from your local discount retailer for a dazzling option any food-allergy kids can choose from. Keep with the spooky theme of the night by sourcing spider or skull rings.
You can easily pick up a bag of marbles at your local toy or dollar store for around a buck or two. This classic children's toy is making a comeback, so you'll be right on trend too. Best for older kids.
Gift a little one their new favourite bedtime story in pocket-sized form. You can find different iterations, but we love Robert Munsch's timeless stories.
Stretch it, bounce it, stamp it, shape it, then do it all again with this classic children's toy. Best for kids over the age of four, you can find many colours and even glow-in-the-dark versions.
Great for use both indoors and outdoors, we haven't met a kid yet who doesn't get a kick out of blowing and chasing bubbles.