This Halloween, Teal and Blue are the new orange for parents of children with food allergies, and autism.
Recently, I learned of two newish movements that merit recognition for championing the health and happiness of children while trick or treating. Both choose pumpkins of different shades of blue to alert the public to their causes.
Teal Pumpkins Help Children with Food Allergies Participate in Halloween Fun
How difficult Halloween must be for parents of children with food allergies! Imagine taking your favorite Disney character or Marvel superhero trick or treating, only to remove almost the entire loot from their buckets or bags at home, because most trick or treat candies contain allergens like dairy products, peanuts, dyes, etc. It must be heartbreaking to have to explain to your child again why they can’t eat the same goodies other kids do.
The Teal Pumpkin Project offers an inclusive alternative for children with food allergies at Halloween. By placing a teal pumpkin outside your door, you signal to children with food allergies and their parents that you are giving out non-food items for treats. The website creates neighborhood maps of homes offering non-food item treats, and you can add your home. Or, simply paint a real pumpkin from a pumpkin patch or grocery store teal, and put it on your doorstep or windowsill.
Here’s a list of inexpensive non-food items from their website:
Glow sticks, bracelets, or necklaces
Pencils, pens, crayons or markers
Halloween erasers or pencil toppers
Whistles, kazoos, or noisemakers
Finger puppets or novelty toys
They do caution that some modeling clay products may contain wheat, and avoid products with latex. Age appropriateness and avoiding choking hazards should also be considered.
Blue Halloween Pumpkin Buckets: Be considerate of children, teenagers, and young adults with Autism enjoying Halloween
This Halloween, you may notice children, teenagers, and young adults carrying blue plastic pumpkin buckets. This became a thing last year when a mother wrote a social media post that went viral, asking people to please not require her non-verbal three year-old to say, “Trick or Treat!” to receive candy. She went on to explain that Halloween can be an engaging social event for children, teenagers, or young adults with autism, so be considerate of those who don’t respond verbally, or appear to be a bit “old” for trick or treating. This is good advice even if a person isn’t carrying a blue Halloween pumpkin bucket, because by showing kindness to strangers some have entertained angels unawares.
Blue pumpkin candy buckets can be purchased online.
Celebrations are more enjoyable when no one is left out. I’m grateful for opportunities to make Halloween activities fun for all.