For 2.6 million Canadians, including 500,000 kids, Halloween can be quite scary…and not because of the costumes and gore of the holiday! It’s time to Think out of the Pumpkin! No kid should be left out! Help make Halloween this year a positive experience for ALL KIDS!!!
How? Let me explain.
First, know that there is a project called the TEAL PUMPKIN PROJECT® that was launched in 2014 by the Food Allergy Research and Education (FARE – Foodallergy.org) which promotes safety, inclusion and respect for individuals managing food allergies. This movement offers an alternative for kids with food allergies, as well as other children for whom candy is not an option, and keeps Halloween a fun, positive experience for all.
Paint your pumpkin or a wooden pumpkin sign or the like in TEAL. Amazon has some pretty cool pumpkins you can buy too. Display it outside so that those with allergies know its safe for them to visit. You may want to tell others, whether by facebook or in talking to your neighbours, family and friends that you are doing this, as it is not yet widely acknowledged and can be difficult to find these Teal pumpkins.
Food Allergy Canada (foodallergycanada.ca) has a fundraising campaign called Shine a Light which is to help food allergy awareness and spark conversations on how everyone can support kids with food allergies for Halloween. This project involves buying a Teal light to shine on your porch. Replace it with your regular light bulbs.
For Those giving out candy:
If you are giving out candy, please make sure your packages all have ingredients on the outside of the package. Without any, it is impossible to know if one can eat it or not.
If possible have 2 bowls for giving: one with candy and one with non-food treats. Hopefully the candy you give has some peanut-free, gluten-free options. There are many of them available at your local dollar store or supermarket. For the non-food items, go to a discount chain store or dollar store to find glo sticks, pencils. Erasers. Bracelets, bouncing balls, fake mustaches, pirate eye patches, mini notepads, novelty sunglasses, etc…
For those of you who are allergic and visiting houses:
• Make sure you or your child has their epipen on them. Accidents do happen.
• Refrain from eating candy until you are home. This will give you a chance to wipe down the outside of the bags and make sure no cross contamination occurs.
• After the candy picking: Let your kids trade their candy at the end with their friends, or if this is not possible, switch their candy for something that is safe. This will require you to plan ahead and make sure you bought something safe in advance. You can always choose to donate the candy you cannot eat. There are food banks and community centres that could really benefit!
If you plan to make Halloween sugar cookies this year, here are some recipes that are glutenfree and vegan (without egg or dairy) Hope you all enjoy this fun holiday safely!