At our home, among our beautifully hand-carved pumpkins, you will find a teal pumpkin. Why a teal pumpkin?
Last year, the group Food Allergy and Research Education (FARE) started the Teal Pumpkin Project, as a way to let families know when a home is offering allergen-free treats.
It’s not something you would really think about unless you have a loved one with allergies. Many children on the spectrum are on special diets and Halloween is already tricky enough with the sensory issues of costumes and breaking routines and going against anything literal they may have in their heads. Add on, that they can’t even eat half the candy that they get, it becomes a tad pointless and many parents wonder whether they should even both with the yearly tradition.
Food allergies, along with many learning disabilities and disorders, are on the rise in American children and the CDC reports 3 million children having allergies (from a 2007 study).
You don’t have to break the bank to offer non-food treats. I went to the Dollar Tree and bought skeleton rings, gross stretchy bugs, and eyeball bubbles and spent less on my non-food treats than I did on my candy for the other trick-or-treaters!
Consider getting your own teal pumpkin and making a memorable night for ALL the trick-or-treaters this year! Happy Inclusive Halloween!