Growing up, I always loved fall. I can’t pinpoint why I have always loved fall so much: was it because it was my family’s favorite time of year? Could it be because all the sports are playing at the same time? It wasn’t until I became an adult that I realized why myself and many other Arizonans love fall so much is not because it’s the beginning of the holiday season, but it’s because it’s the season that concludes the hot weather.
Since changing my lifestyle to help aid in my fight against Hashimoto’s Disease and venturing into the food allergy and food restriction community, different questions came to mind. What places are safe for me to eat at with my food restrictions? How do kids with food allergies and restrictions enjoy the holidays like Trick or Treating on Halloween?
If you have been shopping for fall decor, among the pretty orange pumpkins you might see some shades of different pumpkins like an off white and even teal. Little did I know that the teal pumpkins are more than just a pretty pumpkin that sits on the shelf, there’s more meaning behind the pretty exterior. The teal pumpkin is a symbol of joy for those in the food allergy world.
The teal color has been associated with food allergies for awhile now. Leaving a teal pumpkin outside your door gives the signal to those who have food allergies to know they can safely trick or treat at your house because you have alternative to traditional candy available. You can still hand out traditional candy, but be sure to separate the traditional candy and the other candy or treats to ensure no cross contamination.
Some ideas for non candy items include, but aren’t limited to: stickers, pencils, glow sticks or bracelets and bubbles. If you do want to provide a candy alternative, EnjoyLife is an awesome company whose products are free of 14 common allergies and have cute mini size of their chocolate bars during the holiday season. Nevertheless, if you want to ensure no one gets excluded from the spooky fun, providing non-food items is a safe way to go!
If you are a family with a kiddo with a food allergy, on the FAQs Page of the Teal Pumpkin Project, you can add your house to the map as a place where you have alternative trick or treat options for those with food allergies and restrictions.
Halloween is such a fun time of year with the seasons changing and the beginning of the holidays. Every child deserves the opportunity to trick or treat and have an enjoyable experience! I plan on leaving a teal pumpkin outside my door and I hope you will join me. Let’s make this spooky season an unforgettable one for everyone.
To learn more about the Teal Pumpkin Project, check out FARE (Food Allergy Research & Education).