Families throughout the US are coming together and painting pumpkins teal outside of their homes to signal that they are offering candy alternatives to children this year. Unfortunately, food allergies in kids are becoming more and more common these days, and ingredients aren’t always listed on individually-wrapped candy bars. Milk, egg, soy, and wheat allergies can make finding safe Halloween treats a difficult and exhausting challenge. To help combat this problem and to raise awareness for children with food sensitivities, the Food Allergy Research & Education organization is encouraging families and parents to “paint the town teal” this holiday season.
The Teal Pumpkin Project is a way for kids with allergies to trick-or-treat safely this season. To participate, simply place a teal-painted pumpkin outside your door if you will be offering non-food treats (things like small toys, stickers, and crayons). A flyer can also be printed out from their website. If you don’t want to purchase non-food items, it is helpful to separate allergy-free candy from candy that may trigger an allergic reaction if you’re handing out goodies on October 31. Cross-contamination is a concern, as many food allergies require only a small amount of the allergen to trigger a reaction.
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This year marks the first time the idea has been promoted nationally. “The Teal Pumpkin Project is an easy way to make a big impact in your community. Food allergies can be life-threatening, and they affect 1 in 13 children in the United States. This is a way to ensure kids with food allergies can enjoy a safe, fun Halloween experience just like their friends,” says Veronica LaFemina, spokeswoman for Food Allergy Research & Education.
If you want to participate in the Teal Pumpkin Project this year, grab some teal paint and visit their website to print out a flyer.
[source: cnn.com; foodallergy.org/teal-pumpkin-project] [images: cnn.com; koit.com]
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