Diabetes can be a drag around Halloween. Back in “the day” (I can say that, right? 32 years ago is “the day” for me.), Halloween meant ignoring the call of the candy that was pretty much verboten back then. (Excitement was that 1/2 cup of vanilla ice cream for special occasions. Halloween wasn’t a special occasion.) There weren’t any handy-dandy lists of bite-sized candy carb counts like there are now.
Very few houses on my Halloween trick-or-treating route (although after I was diagnosed, I was almost too old to trick/treat) gave out anything but candy – I got a spool of floss one time. Oooh. Not cool.
The Teal Pumpkin Project™ raises awareness of food allergies and promotes inclusion of all trick-or-treaters throughout the Halloween season. I’m all for it, because let’s be real: it’s not just kids with diabetes that make Halloween a nightmare for parents. It’s kids with food allergies and kids with celiac disease.
Launched as a national campaign by Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE) in 2014, over 100,000 households in the United States are committed to offering non-food items to little ghouls and goblins. I’m going to participate this year and you can, too.
How do you participate?
1, Go here: The Teal Pumpkin Project™ website.
2. Download a pre-made sign to put on your door (or if you’re fancy, a poster) that lets people know you are offering non-food items as treats. (You can click on these images and go directly to the download page for these signs.)
Note: You can STILL OFFER CANDY. I know that some people are just hard wired to want to offer candy (And truth? Some Halloween candy gets purchased and put to use for low blood sugars in my house.)
3. You can paint a teal pumpkin to place outside your home. (I used this an excuse to go to Michael’s and get all crafty.) We painted pumpkins yesterday with neighbors and our kids, talking about why we are doing this with our four-year-olds.
4. You can share the information with your neighbors and get them involved. You can put your home on a “food allergy” crowdsourced map so people in your area can show they are offering non-food items.
5. On Halloween, offer non-food items to trick-or-treaters (or give them options…).
What are non-food items?
- Glow sticks, bracelets, or necklaces
- Pencils, pens, crayons or markers
- Halloween erasers or pencil toppers
- Mini Slinkies
- Whistles, kazoos, or noisemakers
- Bouncy balls
- Finger puppets or novelty toys
- Spider rings
- Vampire fangs
- Mini notepads
- Playing cards
If you come to my house, you’ll get glow in the dark bracelets and glow in the dark rings. (I might have purchased WAY more than we need. I’ll be glowing in November. You can have one.)
So join me in participating in this project… and help make Halloween a little more fun and a little less scary for all of us.
“The TEAL PUMPKIN PROJECT and the Teal Pumpkin Image are trademarks of Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE).”