When candies are more a trick than a treat
Redefining your options
Despite the controversy this festivity may cause, Halloween is still one of the oldest holidays celebrated by many people around the world. This is a wonderful Holiday to take out from storage your baking tools, cookies recipes and your joy of baking to create delicious Halloween desserts. But before looking for Halloween recipes and thinking of baking a cake, pies, cupcakes and more, take a minute to look at this Holiday in a different way.
If you are one of those who consider it a pagan tradition and choose to keep your children away from it or you are on the side of those who enjoy the whole process of preparing a costume for your kids or even for yourself, there is one thing you have in common. Your door will be knocked on October 31st by groups of trick or treaters looking for candies.
Once again, you are free to participate or keep your door closed. What we would like you to take into consideration this year is a group of kids with allergies under those costumes that will be receiving the traditional treats. In the United States, childhood hospitalizations for food allergy tripled between the late 90’s and the mid 2000’s.
The most common allergens according to the FARE (Food Allergies Research & Education) include: Milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, wheat, sesame among many others. It might not sound that bad, but if you recall your favorite candies or the ones you received in Halloween during your childhood you will find out that a lot of them have those ingredients.
That is the reason why the Teal Pumpkin Project was created. This movement, sponsored by the Food Allergies Research & Education, encourage people to raise awareness of food allergies. You can become part of it and contribute to make Halloween exciting again for these kids by placing a teal pumpkin next to your door to let them know you are offering alternative food and non-food treats.
Teal is the new Orange
“Every three minutes, a food allergy reaction sends someone to the emergency room”
Teal is the color used to raise awareness about this serious medical condition for 20 years. Food reactions can be Life-Threatening. FARE mentions that 40 percent of children with food allergies have experienced a severe reaction such as anaphylaxis (this causes the airways to tighten and leads to other symptoms).
Alternative Non – Food Treats
Not only candies make kids happy during Halloween, there are other options just as exciting to receive. Here are some non -food suggestions that can easily be found during this time of the year.
- Halloween Stickers / tattoos/stampers
- Vampire fangs
- Pumpkin slinky
- Glow in the dark bouncy balls
- Glow in the dark skeletons
- Halloween straws
- Creepy crawly bugs
- Spider rings
- Spider web glasses
Candies for all. In case you want to give alternative candies, there are many brands that offer a variety of food with no allergens, such as:
Gimbal´s fine candies, Amore di Mona, Sun Cups, Surf Sweets, Vermont Nut Free Chocolates, YumEarth Organic Candies, Mike and Ike, Peeps, Enjoy Life, Smarties, Skinny Pop, and many more.
Nevertheless non-food treats are still a safer way to contribute to this noble cause. It demands an effort, but it is worth it to be creative and empathetic with this particular group of people.
Looking for more information?
Showing a teal pumpkin outside your house is just the first step to become part of the project. In case you want to add your location in the map and be more active with this program, please visit the following page. https://www.foodallergy.org/education-awareness/teal-pumpkin-project
-FARE, Food Allergies Research and Education. Teal Pumpkin Project. https://www.foodallergy.org/education-awareness/teal-pumpkin-project
-Medline Plus. Anaphylaxis. https://medlineplus.gov/
-Chandler, K. (2016, October 14). Allergy-Free Candy and Non-Candy Ideas for Halloween. https://mykidsfoodallergies.com/
-Harris T. (2000, October 23). How Halloween Works. https://people.howstuffworks.com/