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Halloween: Beyond the Candy

By Breanna Callahan, Marketing Coordinator

Halloween is such a fun time. The cool, crisp air. The crunchy, beautiful gold and orange leaves. Scary movies. And of course, costumes! From fairies, superheroes (and villains), and historical figures to cute farm animals. There is a lot to enjoy. And who can forget about trick-or-treating?

One of my fondest memories of trick-or-treating when I was young was when I would get all dressed up every year, doing my very best to disguise myself. Then I would walk to my grandparent’s house to see if this would be the year I would “trick” them or if they would (again) recognize me under all the makeup and crazy hair that my mom had put so much time and effort into. Spoiler alert: they always recognized me because of my “smiling, dark chocolate brown eyes” they said.

Is candy really a part of the memory? Not so much. So let’s explore a few ways that we can make trick-or-treating just as special without all the sugar but keeping the fun memories.

The Teal Pumpkin Project

Halloween is an exciting, fun, spooky good time. At least it should be. For those with food allergies, it can be a stressful, downright scary time (and not because of the ghosts and goblins). Imagine walking up to a house, not knowing what candy they are giving out or if contact with it will cause an allergic reaction- that could be life threatening. Not fun. How common are food allergies? One in 13 kids in the U.S. struggle with them.

What can you do to help those with a food allergy still be able to partake in the excitement and fun of trick-or-treating? Paint (or buy) a teal pumpkin and participate in the Teal Pumpkin Project! Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE) began the Teal Pumpkin Project in 2014 as a way to help children with food allergies enjoy the holiday. Those who are giving out non-food treats can display a teal pumpkin on their doorstep. This will let those with food allergies know that they can visit your house without fear.

Once you have painted your pumpkin, it’s time to think treats. A few examples of non-food treats to give away include:

  • Glow sticks
  • Bubbles
  • Large bouncy balls
  • Finger puppets
  • Stickers
  • Pencils, crayons, erasers
  • Bookmarks

For more information about the Teal Pumpkin Project, visit www.foodallergy.org .

The Candy Fairy

 Kids have a blast getting dressed up for Halloween and cruising the neighborhood for candy. Then they come home, eat tons of candy, get on a sugar high, and for the next month are begging for more candy. Not ideal? There is a fun option you can try out this year! What, you ask could be nearly as fun as a bucket full of candy? Exchanging candy for other non-food goodies. To make it fun, the exchange is performed by the Candy Fairy or the Switch Witch, whichever you prefer!

The Candy Fairy (or Switch Witch) visits when the kids have gone to bed. Their candy is swapped out for a special, non-candy treat. A few examples of non-candy surprises could include dolls, art supplies, trading cards and books.

What then, do you do with all of that candy?

  • Donate it to troops overseas. For more on this idea go to www.operationgratitude.com
  • Take to your work and share with coworkers
  • Toss in the garbage
  • Freeze it for use in special treats (think milkshakes and desserts) throughout the year
  • Use it for science experiments (Search for ideas on Google or Pinterest- there are some great ones!)

Make some memories, have a scary good time, and have a happy, safe Halloween!

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