Trick-or-Treat: Give Me Something I CAN Eat

Zoe Goldman, Staff Writer

Every October, kids and teenagers with allergies across the country have to work their way around obstacles presented on Halloween. If you think about reasons to like this holiday, odds are that the candy most people get to eat guilt-free may come up. 

According to CBS, the four most-purchased Halloween candies across America are Skittles, Reese’s Cups, M&Ms, and Snickers. Three out of the four of these either contain nuts or are made in a facility that processes nuts. 

One of the biggest Halloween traditions is trick-or-treating. For people with food allergies, this becomes an issue. If they are handed candy that contains their allergen, they either have to deny taking the candy or keep it with them and throw it out later. 

Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE) has created the “Teal Pumpkin Project”. The concept is that during Halloween, families can put a teal pumpkin on their porch, which tells people with food allergies that they are offering non-food treats. These treats can include mini slinkies, bouncy balls, bubbles, vampire fangs, and more. For people with life-threatening allergies, seeing a teal pumpkin on somebody’s porch can be both a relief and a heartwarming thing. It is nice to know that not only does this house have things for them that are guaranteed to be safe, but they also took time out of their day to think about people who have a harder time finding things to collect that they can enjoy on the holiday.

Teal Pumpkin for the “Teal Pumpkin Project”

Another challenge presented on Halloween is going to school. Especially in elementary school, teachers often have candy to give kids. While this is a fun treat and makes the holiday more enjoyable, it can be stressful when kids with allergies cannot eat the given candy and have to deny the offer.

Buying candy every year can also bring a great challenge. Depending on the severity of their allergy, some people might not want to buy packs of candy that could possibly contain the food they are allergic to. Many people opt to avoid this issue altogether and buy packs of candy completely free of their allergen.

As difficult as it may be, people with life-threatening allergies have to deal with the struggles Halloween brings every year. Regardless of if they find it a hassle or not, it is something they have to deal with for the rest of their lives.