Posted on Oct 10, 2016 9:00am PDT

If your child has one or more food allergies, how do you manage trick-or-treating at Halloween? With an entire holiday built around receiving candy and treats, it is especially important to monitor the kinds of foods your children are exposed to. Common food allergens like gluten, dairy, nuts, seeds, and soy are common in fun-size candy bars, which means trick-or-treating may not be a safe bet for your child.

Even the smallest amount of an allergen can have serious or even life-threatening consequences, and candy that is processed on the same machinery as an allergen can be equally problematic. Without ingredient labels on many single-serving Halloween candies, it can be difficult to determine what is and is not safe to eat.

Thankfully, a new initiative created by Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE) recognizes the needs of kids with allergies and offers parents a way to ensure that Halloween is still fun and safe for their children. The Teal Pumpkin Project™, a national campaign to raise awareness of food allergies and accommodate all trick-or-treaters at Halloween, is a great way to make sure that your kids can still have fun trick-or-treating.

Those who wish to participate are asked to paint a pumpkin teal and display it on their doorstep along with signs indicating that non-food treats are available. Participants can also include their home address in a crowd-sourced map to let other families in your area know that their house supports the project.

Some examples of non-food items to offer trick-or-treaters include:

  • Stickers
  • Pencils
  • Small toys
  • Glow Bracelets

Examples of items to stay away from include modeling clay, which may contain wheat, or latex balloons, as some children may have latex allergies.

Join us in support of the Teal Pumpkin Project this October 31st.The Atlanta allergists at the Center for Allergy and Asthma of Georgia wish you a happy and safe Halloween! If you have questions about allegeries, including pediatric allergies, give us a call to learn how we can help!