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TIPS to Create a Safe & TEAL Halloween

by Stacey Stratton, FAACT’s Publications Manager

Teal Pumpkins are such a great way to include children with food allergies and help them enjoy a “safe” and happy Halloween. Besides helping children with food allergies, it’s also helping include so many other children with different dietary restrictions too!

Here are some TIPs to help increase safety this Halloween:

  • Read ALL labels – sometimes smaller sized candy is manufactured differently than other sizes. Also, ingredients & manufacturing often change…NEVER assume an item is safe, just because it was safe before.
  • Discuss a NO Candy Rule – have an incentive & once they get home, they can switch items out for safe candy, toys or even money.
  • Discuss candy to avoid – It’s one thing to say avoid candy with peanuts, but do they know what the wrappers look like so they don’t accidentally grab it?
  • Consider gloves – Can they wear gloves with their costume to help avoid direct contact?
  • Consider awareness items – Buttons, Stickers, tattoos, or other awareness items to help inform/remind others about the allergy.
  • Be aware of their surroundings – Look at the other items in the bucket and don’t grab if surrounded by nut candy, etc. Also watch what other kids are eating around them and any candy/wrappers that are thrown on the ground.
  • Speak up for themselves- If they see a candy they know they can have, have them ask for it. If someone offers something they can’t have, say “No thank you, I have a food allergy”.
  • Drop off to neighbors – Earlier that day, place some safe candy at the neighbors so your small child can go there & get it. It also gives you a chance to help educate others on food allergies.

Bring a new tradition to Halloween:

Why not put the focus on “giving” to others and bringing them joy. Whether your child stays home & passes out the allergy friendly items, or your child goes trick or treating & donates all the loot - both are great ways your child can help others. If you’re looking for a place to donate, some dentists have a “Halloween Candy Buyback” and they send the candy to troops overseas. You can even send a letter of encouragement to our troops too!

Or make it a family holiday…Have something fun for dinner, dress up costumes or silly looking pajamas, and eat your favorite treats while watching a movie together.

The KEY here is…The excitement you bring to the idea, will determine their excitement for doing it! You could say it like…

“I have a great idea. What if we make Halloween…Famoween (or something silly). We can watch all the kids come to the door & see all their cool costumes...it will be like a parade that comes right to our door! We can even pass out flyers that tell parents about food allergies. Then when it’s all over, we’ll make some popcorn, eat a bunch of your favorite candy, and watch your favorite movie together.”

Not only would this be fun & safe, it would build some lasting memories.

Create more food allergy awareness:

And lastly, consider printing out flyers to give the parents about food allergies and teal pumpkins, or have something posted at your house. Who knows, maybe you’ll increase your neighbors understanding of food allergies and next year have a neighborhood filled with teal pumpkins!

FAACT has a great flyer that you can download for free and pass out to the parents: 10 FAACTs about Food Allergies. Start preparing now!

About the Author:
Stacey Stratton is FAACT’s Publications Manager, and also the Founder of the AllergyFreeZone.com. Her site focuses on providing helpful Food Allergy “TIPs” – Tools, Ideas, and Products for food allergies.