Making Halloween Safe for All: How to Participate in the Teal Pumpkin Project

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Putting a teal pumpkin on your stoop means you’re handing out non-food treats this Halloween

There’s something new on some Halloween stoops. Over the past few years, you may have noticed a painted teal pumpkin tucked between ghosts and scarecrows and flickering Jack-o-Lanterns. These pumpkins are a sign that the house is doling out non-food goodies for Trick-or-Treat.

“It’s a clever idea and helps increase awareness of the challenges faced by kids with food allergies, especially on holidays,” says Heidi Quinn, M.S., R.D., L.D., C.D.E., Nutrition and Diabetes Educator in the Adolescent and Young Adult Section of Joslin Clinic. It promotes the inclusion of all trick or treaters, including kids with diabetes who can also have trouble with this tricky holiday.

Interested in joining in this new way of making Halloween fun for everyone? Here are some suggestions from the pediatrics team at Joslin.

Ideas for non-candy treats

  • Stickers
  • Yo-yos
  • Halloween tattoos
  • Light sticks
  • Spider rings
  • Vampire fangs
  • Bouncy balls
  • Halloween playing cards
  • Find more ideas on org

Allergen Safe Candy

The teal pumpkin is meant to indicate you have non-food options available for Trick-or-Treaters.

But if you want to give out allergen-safe sweet treats on Halloween night, here is a list of candies that are free of the top eight food allergens, which include milk, egg, peanuts, tree nuts (almonds, cashews, walnuts), fish, shellfish, soy, and wheat. This list is intended only as a guide; it is recommended that the manufacturer be contacted for any specific manufacturing questions with regard to potential cross contamination due to shared facility/shared equipment. Note that corn is not one of the top 8 allergens so if your child has an allergy to corn some of these candies may not be suitable. It is important to check the label for corn ingredients if your child has an allergy to corn.

Amanda’s Own
Halloween and fall-shaped chocolates in bags and totes
Chocolate bars with Halloween wrappers
Chocolate lollipops in Halloween and fall shapes

Enjoy Life Foods
Halloween Chocolate Minis
Mini Chips and Morsels Snack Packs
Chocolate chips and morsels for candy molds

Free2B
Sun Cups, Caramel Cups and Mint Cups in dark or rice chocolate

Gimbals Gourmet Jelly Beans
Jelly beans
Sour jelly beans
Licorice Scotties

Mondelez International
Sour Patch Kids
Swedish Fish

No Whey! Chocolates
Halloween-shaped lollipop
Pumpkin Ganache Pralines
Halloween figurines
No Fear Chocolate Pea”not” Cups

St. Clair’s Organics
Organic Sweet Candy
Organic Sour Tarts

Strawberry Hill Candy
Halloween novelty suckers – bats, brains, ghosts and pumpkins (no corn syrup)

Surf Sweets
Halloween Treat Packs of Organic Fruity Bears
Spooky Spiders
Gummies – Bears and Worms
Jelly Beans
Sour Gummies – Bears and Worms
Fruit Rings

Wrigley/Mars
Skittles
Starburst
Life Savers

Yum Earth
Gummy bats and Jack o lantern
Halloween variety packs

This candy list was adapted from kidswithfoodallergies.org. Food Allergy Network is another valuable resource for questions regarding candy and food allergies.

If you want to make some fun treats that are diabetes-friendly you can follow these recipes, which are complete with a nutritional breakdown.

Instead of candy, hand out non-food treats like bracelets or fake tattoos

What to Do with Your Child’s Candy Haul

If your child comes home with a bag full of Snickers and Reese’s, you might be ready for a visit from the “Switch Witch,” a sort of tooth fairy for Halloween.

“The kids can leave out their candy on Halloween night for the ‘switch witch’ who takes it and leaves a non-candy gift in return (toys, gift cards, books, games, etc.),” suggests Quinn. The anticipation of the witch’s visit should dampen any disappearing candy disappointment.

There’s no need to get rid of all of the candy, though. Here are some more tips from Joslin Pediatrics on how to work a few pieces of candy into your child’s meal plan.

 

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