Trick-or-Treating, Kids and Food Allergies

Have you heard of the Teal Pumpkin Project? It is a movement through FARE (Food Allergy Research & Education) to make trick-or-treating more enjoyable and safer for kids with food allergies, since most candy contains nuts, dairy and other ingredients which are red flags to kids with allergies. Instead of passing out candy, you pass out a fun non-food item, of some sort. The following is a list of my favorite novelty toys to pass out for Halloween and also for stuffing Easter Eggs, Advent Calendars, and party favors for birthdays. This post contains some affiliate links.

Here are some of our favorite ideas, non-food items, to pass out, AND what items are leftover, I use to stuff in our handmade German Advent calendar, or Easter Eggs and or give as part of our party favors for my son’s birthday parties. So these multipurpose novelty toys can be used for more than just Halloween treats.
1) Toothbrushes (This is explained in my post from last year about the Teal Pumpkin treats via my dad as a dentist)
2) Glow bracelets wands,  necklaces,  flashing LED bumpy ring (This is a way better deal than the $1 store)
3) Slap bracelets,  Mini slinkie
4) Super Bouncy Balls,  Fun Erasers (These items are also the perfect size for stuffing Easter Eggs)
5) Airplane gliders
6) Monster Pop Ups (Also great for stuffing Easter Eggs)
7) Spider rings
8) Clappers, Mini Hand Clappers; Actually, I have collected a couple of these and love them. I keep them around the house, and in my diaper bag, to clap and let my boys clap randomly, when I just need that extra distraction when changing a diaper, sitting at the doctor office, or traveling
9) My favorite: Spinning Tops, I really love spinning tops, and the fact that they help children develop fine motor skills.
10) Toy Asssortment (100 Pc) Whistles, Masks, Porcupine Balls, Squeeze Balls, Puzzles, Paddle Balls, Toy Dinosaurs and more
11) Another novelty toy assortment: (124 Pc) Sticky Hands, Flying Frogs, Disc Shooters, Mustache Lip Whistles and more

I’m one of those moms who has always been very sensitive to the diet of my children, as my own family struggles with a history of allergies and so I’m a huge advocate of allergy awareness. Like the ALS ice-bucket challenge, even if you didn’t donate or pour a bucket of ice on your head (our family did both) these challenges are a way to help bring awareness of causes needing more support to the public. Which, by the way, as a direct result of support during the 2014’s ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, scientists discovered a new ALS gene, NEK1, known to be among the most common genetic contributors of the disease. Discovering this gene has helped researchers have a new target for drug development.

Families supporting the Teal Pumpkin Project:
Paint or decorate your orange pumpkins to the shade of greenish-blue to show support and to show that you will be offering non-food treats. Also, here is a free printable sign, via FARE, to post outside your door and or along with your teal pumpkins to let others know you have non-food items.

Pumpkin painting party and my boys wearing blue and painting blue in support of the Teal Pumpkin Project!
Pumpkin painting party and my boys wearing blue and painting blue in support of the Teal Pumpkin Project!

I know some are against this Teal Pumpkin Project. I’ve heard some remarks such as the ever dreaded “change” word and also “Food allergy hysteria will destroy Halloween.” Or maybe they are some of the damaged ones from being forced to pick up toothbrush treats from my house? Well, for those neophobes, I’m sure there will always be people passing out candy. Besides, I remember as a child also getting small treats instead of candy in my trick-or-treat bag. That was the best, spinning a spindle top while sucking on a lollipop after walking the neighborhood with all the glow sticks, entertainment and excitement. I think a bag full of sweet treats and fun goodies is the best. So America, if enough of us do the Teal Pumpkin Project then we will help make Halloween all the more enjoyable for all kids and families.

Now, I’m usually the mom who does the opposite of what most in the ‘norm’ seem to do but when it comes to challenges and bringing awareness to a good cause; I’m all about jumping on the bandwagon of support and awareness. So pour that ice bucket over my head and paint my pumpkins teal because I’m all in for the novelty fun of adding non-perishable items for trick-or-treating. This year will actually be our third year to be participating in the Teal Pumpkin Project and passing out non-perishable hands-on-goodies; or toothbrushes! Happy Trick-or-Treating!!

What do you think about passing out fun novelty toys instead of candy? Have you heard and or participated in the Teal Pumpkin Project? If not, will you join me in taking the Teal Pumpkin Project Pledge for Halloween this year?

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