Be aware, not scared of food allergies during trick-or-treating

Raise awareness of food allergies by being a part of FARE’s Teal Pumpkin Project.

Trick-or-treating can be scary, especially if you have food allergies. Last year homes in all fifty states joined the Food Allergy Research and Education (FARE)’s Teal Pumpkin Project. A splash of teal, a pumpkin and some non-food treats can help to spread awareness of food allergies.

FARE, a non-profit organization, “works on behalf of the 15 million Americans with food allergies, including all those at risk for life-threatening anaphylaxis. This potentially deadly disease affects 1 in 13 children in the United States – or roughly two in every classroom.” Its mission is to “improve the quality of life and the health of individuals with food allergies, and to provide them hope through the promise of new treatments.”

This year for Halloween and trick-or-treating, consider joining FARE and Michigan State University Extension challenges you to help make this time of year less scary for children with food allergies. The hope of this project is to “raise awareness of food allergies by providing non-food treats for trick-or-treaters and painting a pumpkin teal - the color of food allergy awareness.” Place your teal pumpkin and a free printable sign from FARE to indicate that you have non-food treats available. You can also print a flyer to help to increase awareness of this project and encourage others to join.

As the mom of a child with a peanut allergy, I have closely checked my child’s treats for peanut products. Candy and other food treats are a fun part of trick-or-treating, but providing alternatives can be helpful to parents and less stressful for the kids. Suggested nonfood treats to include this year may be goodies like glow critters, sticks, necklaces or bracelets, bubbles, stickers, pencils, tattoos, or even character band aids.

Participation in the Teal Pumpkin Project does not have to be difficult. Grab a few nonfood items to have at hand and paint a pumpkin or print a flyer to post at your home or at a Trick or Treating event. Help to keep a child with food allergies safe this year and spread awareness of food allergies. 

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