Help Create an Inclusive Halloween: Offer Non-Food “Treats”


Halloween is a day away – and if you are like me, you are JUST getting prepared for trick-or-treaters now. Also, if you are like me, you are not looking forward to all the candy that is sure to create some sugar crashes for all. Luckily, there are alternatives to handing out candy that will reduce the sugar load, AND create a more inclusive Halloween for all. Consider getting non-food trick-or-treat treats to help children with food allergies feel included in Halloween. 

Allergies are a serious issue for many children; in fact, the Food and Allergy Research & Education (FARE) reports that approximately 5.9 million children under the age of 18 have a food allergy. In an effort to make Halloween more inclusive and enjoyable for all children, FARE created the Teal Pumpkin Project. 

How does the Teal Pumpkin Project work? You simply have non-food treats to provide to trick-or-treaters and hang a picture of a Teal Pumpkin in your window to show you are providing allergy-friendly treats. You can also sign up with FARE to be included on their Teal Pumpkin Project Map. Visit FARE’s webpage on the Teal Pumpkin Project to learn more.

Several Non-Candy options (found online or in store):

  1. Stickers
  2. Glow Sticks
  3. Bottled water 
  4. Stamps
  5. Small coloring books

The Target Dollar Section or the Party Section has great party favors for kids too. Or the Dollar Tree has good finds that are non-candy options! 

Even if you decide you want to offer candy, having a few non-food treat items on hand for children in your neighborhood that may have food allergies can help make this holiday more inclusive. Another idea is to offer fruit, like clementines with a pumpkin face drawn on the side of it! 

Please note though, if you do choose to offer both candy and non-food snacks, FARE recommends keeping them in separate bowls and asking trick-or-treaters if they have food allergies. Additionally, please note that some products, like play dough, may contain gluten. Be sure to check ingredients. 

What are your ideas for non-food treats for Halloween?

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