As a kid I remember there was always a dentist on my Halloween route. He handed out toothbrushes every year which would elicit groans from the kids and whoops of joy from parents. Most kids want to come home with a bag of candy but many children won’t get to experience the real joy of Halloween this year due to food allergies. These can include nuts, dairy, gluten, egg, soy and more. It’s becoming common to offer non-food treats so children with allergies can still be excited about a pillow case full of goodies they can actually enjoy.
I recently learned about the Teal Pumpkin Project by FARE (Food Allergy Research & Education). This project promotes handing out non-food items and letting kids know you have this option available by placing a sign on your door with a teal pumpkin. They can then request the non-food items from you. Offering non-food treats doesn’t have to be any more expensive than a box of mini chocolate bars. Here’s a list of ideas, most of which can be bought from your local dollar store.
Non-Food Halloween Treats
- Glow sticks: Buy a variety of colours, crack them all so they light up and keep them in a glass so kids can choose their favourite colour
- Bouncy balls
- Plastic jewellery such as rings, necklaces, bracelets, etc.
- Mini bubbles
- Mini Play Doh – I noticed my local Costco carries an 80-pack in the Halloween treat section
- Notepads with fun themes including Halloween
- Fun pencils, pens or erasers
- Temporary tattoos
- Noisemakers like kazoos, whistles, etc.
- Fake mustaches
- Mini colouring books
- Toy cars
- Paper or foam airplane kits
- Plastic flower leis
- Vampire teeth
- Plastic bugs
- Sidewalk chalk
- Bottles of water
- Fun straws
- Silly Putty
- Jump ropes
To get more information on The Teal Pumpkin Project, visit foodallergy.org. You can print out this flyer from FARE (Food Allergy Research & Education) to put on your door if you will be offering non-food treats this Halloween. I know all the kids with allergies will thank you greatly for it!
If you want to paint your own pumpkin, simply pick up a bottle of teal acrylic paint and go to town! I used a sponge brush to apply the paint heavily. I purchased the paint and brush at my local dollar store. You could also use spray paint. Some folks even decorate their pumpkin or turn it into a teal Jack-O-Lantern! I also came across this teal picture frame which I thought was perfect to accompany my pumpkin. If you’re not as adventurous, simply print the flyer (link above) and post on your front door.
Andrea can always be found with a new craft in front of her, a form of technology on her right and a coffee on her left. This is how she survives suburbia with her two crazy toddlers in tow.