Halloween is just around the corner, which means trick-or-treaters will soon be knocking on your door for something sweet. But for kids who suffer from food allergies, there’s something you can do to let them know they’re not out of luck.
About 16 million people have food allergies in the United States. KU student Sam Koca, who suffers from a peanut allergy, knows this all too well.
“I mean it was still fun going out and trick-or-treating, I just had to give my candy to either my dad or my brother or my friends,” Koca said.
Christine Ebert, a registered dietitian with KU Dining Services, said there are eight foods that make up these allergies and prevent kids, like Sam, from enjoying trick or treating.
“Peanuts, tree nuts, eggs, milk, wheat, shell fish, fish and soy,” Ebert said. “Those things hide all over in all sorts of our foods, but the nuts are especially concerning for Halloween and for candy.”
The Food Allergy and Research Education created the Teal Pumpkin Project to raise awareness of food allergies and promote inclusion of all trick-or-treaters.
The Teal Pumpkin Project started three years ago in Tennessee and last year, all 50 states participated in the project.
And it’s simple, all you need is a pumpkin and some teal paint to let trick or treaters know you’ll have a safe, non-edible treat so that all can enjoy a safe and fun Halloween.
You can donate to The Pumpkin Teal Project as well as find tips on how to participate on their website https://www.foodallergy.org/teal-pumpkin-project#.WAVIhDKZNPM