In the United States, 8% of children have a nut allergy. Halloween can be tricky to navigate. Consider this; Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups was the top candy for Halloween in 2013. I love those. And I’m sure my son would too if it weren’t for the asthma attack and hives. But after 2 reactions and one expensive E.R. visit, “Are there nuts in this?” seems less annoying.
This year we learned about the teal pumpkin project. People who are aware of growing food allergies in children will display a teal pumpkin on their porch signifying they offer alternative treats. Some may give out the dreaded and frightening toothbrush or pencil! Others may hand out the worst candies to give on Halloween; licorice, raisins and candy corn. But guess what? Those are awesome to a kid with food allergies! No nuts and likely no dairy. Other alternatives to hand out are stickers, little plastic toys and gum.
The project by FARE – Food, Allergy, Research and Education started last year. I don’t expect to see many teal pumpkins in my neck of the woods and that’s OK. It is ultimately my responsibility to monitor what my kid eats. But to know that neighbors and even strangers are willing to accommodate kids with food allergies, well, that’s not scary at all.