“Many families with food allergies participate in the Teal Pumpkin Project, which provides safe locations for children with food allergies to trick-or-treat,” says Allie Osborn, clinical and outpatient dietician at Intermountain Riverton Hospital.
Families can participate by painting a pumpkin the color teal and putting it on their front porch. That is a signal that their home is also giving out non-food trick or treat items, such as small toys, stickers, glow sticks, pencils, erasers, etc., in addition to candy. The project currently exists in 50 states and 14 countries.
The project works two ways. Families and friends of children with food allergies can add their home to the
crowd-sourced map. WAalopMrLBI, which identifies houses in their area that cater to those with food allergies. Parents can also use the website to find other participating homes in their area, so they can know where to take their child with a food allergy to trick-or-treat.
Osborn adds these trick or treat cautions for parents of children with food allergies. “Common allergens like milk, nuts, wheat, eggs, or soy are often found in candy given out on Halloween night,” says Osborn. Many fun-size versions of candy contain different ingredients than the full-size versions, and many may not have labels, so it is difficult for parents to know which items are safe for their child to eat.
“Parents should thoroughly sort through their child’s candy if their child has a food allergy,” says Osborn. “When in doubt, throw it out or give it away,” she adds.