As you are out running errands this weekend, shopping for Halloween treats may be on your mind. Instead of your usual purchase of bags of candy, this year consider giving out a non-food treat and hanging a teal pumpkin sticker on your door.

Through its Teal Pumpkin Project, the Food Allergy Research & Education organization is attempting to promote the availability of alternative treats for children who experience food allergies. By placing a teal pumpkin or sticker on your porch, it is an indication that you are supporting their efforts and have non-food treats available.

Examples of treats could be decorated pencils, light sticks, miniature toys, shaped erasers, coins or temporary tattoos. The goal of the project is to promote inclusion for children who are unable to eat nuts, sugar, wheat or other treat ingredients.

Over 15 million Americans experience some sort of food allergy, and awareness has heightened in all types of venues about the dangers present in trigger foods. Now in its third year, the movement is gaining national sponsors and increased exposure.

It is no surprise that the project was inspired by a mom whose child experienced allergies, but it is more unexpected that it has taken this long for a coordinated effort to begin given the number of children impacted.

So whether you hand out all non-food items or just have a supply on hand for your special visitors, this Halloween make an effort to give treats that all your trick-or-treaters can enjoy.

beth triplett



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