Creating Awareness, Safety, and Fun This Fall Season

October 1, 2020

by Caroline Moassessi, FAACT’s Vice President of Community Relations

Whimsical teal ghosts magically leap from the ground as gourds and orange and teal-colored pumpkins line welcoming stairs leading into the home of FAACT President and CEO, Eleanor Garrow-Holding. Undeterred by the COVID-19 Pandemic and determined to “make it the best Halloween possible,” explained Ms. Garrow-Holding as she set the stage for Halloween 2020. Garrow-Holding shared, “Families managing food allergies are masters of creating a safe and fun holiday, and this October is our time to shine! But this year, the Pandemic added a new challenge.”

Recently, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) released recommendations for Halloween 2020: trick-or-treating and trunk-or-treat events are not advised. The CDC explained these events, including indoor parties and haunted houses, are considered high risk while preventing the spread of COVID-19. Socially distanced outdoor pumpkin carving parties and decorating your home, apartment, or room were a few of the low-risk suggestions shared by the CDC.

Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) is a multi-day Mexican holiday where family members gather to remember and celebrate deceased loved ones through prayer and feasting. The CDC has recommended against hosting high-risk events such as sizeable indoor celebrations or hosting multiple families from various geographic regions. 

Note: please speak to your family physician to better understand the safest and most appropriate approach to the holidays.

As a parent of children with food allergies, Halloween was my most dreaded time of year. But, as I learned how to manage food allergies and wear my food allergy mom hat, everything changed. I learned how to make Frankenstein heads out of marshmallows, mummies from hot dogs, and dough and egg-free sugar skulls. I soon realized that Pinterest was packed full of allergen fun ideas, and we created life-long memories.

Our little ghosts and goblins need us this year to keep our spirits high, to pull out decorations, or break out a can of teal paint to create an incredibly special Halloween of 2020 memories. 

To rev up your creativity, here are a few ideas from the CDC and your FAACT team:


  • Creating allergy-safe Halloween goodie bags for your family are fun to make and enjoy - be sure to look for FAACT’s Teal Ghost labeled Non-Food-Fun party favors in the Halloween section at your local Walmart.
  • Hosting a virtual Halloween costume contest can bring giggles, especially if grandma and grandpa join in, and do not forget your furry family members, too!
  • Planning a Halloween-themed scavenger hunt where children look for Halloween themed items, such as witches, teal ghosts, or pumpkins.
  • Challenge family members to learn how to perform the dance from Michael Jackson’s Thriller video.
  • Compete for the title of the Best Halloween Spookiest Dessert or Dish.

Día de los Muertos:

  • Cooking and baking traditional dishes for family members or neighbors who may be shut in or at high risk for COVID-19 and plan a no-contact delivery.
  • Hosting a virtual family celebration.
  • Decorating an altar to honor the deceased with homemade items.
  • Playing your deceased loved one’s favorite music.
  • Make Sugar Skulls with your children using aquafaba instead of egg whites or meringue powder.

Visit FAACT’s Pinterest page for more Allergy-Friendly Halloween ideas. Some of our most cherished Halloween moments were made with paper, crayons, and scissors. 

Life with food allergies sometimes pushes us to go outside of the norm. Despite no trick-or-treating or family gatherings, food allergies cannot stop our spirit or resilience from approaching each holiday during the Pandemic with the same love and caring, which we carry in our hearts.

Wishing everyone a safe, allergen-friendly, and fun Fall season!