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Happy Halloweens for All (without the candy!)

Does having all the Halloween candy in the house scare you? Do you or your family members have food allergies, which makes trick-or-treating stressful or frustrating? Have no fear-a safe and fun solution is here!

The Teal Pumpkin Project, part of Food Allergy Research and Education, has been a resource and support network for foods-free Halloweens to help reduce the stress for families with food allergies. It allows families who need to avoid candy treats because of allergies to find houses that will provide other goodies. This helps the kids and adults enjoy the holiday by removing the risk of coming in contact with an allergen or a food they can’t eat or come in contact with. Check out the benefits of non-food treats and the steps to get involved!

Here are some of the benefits of passing out non-food items to trick-or-treaters!

1) Everyone gets to be involved. No kids have to feel left-out from the fun because non-foods treats are fun for kids of all ages.

2) Non-food goodies won’t go bad. Halloween candies can last a long time but sometimes spoil or melt and make a mess. With non-food items, they won’t make as big of a mess if they hang around a while.

3) Fewer dental concerns and upset bellies! Most kids love to eat a lot of Halloween candy while they are out and this can cause belly aches and sugar-coated teeth. Toys and other trinkets won’t bother the bellies and teeth.

4) Less temptation to eat all the candy! The less candy that enters the house, the less temptation and avoidance you have to do to prevent overeating it.

5) Got leftovers? If some of the treats remain in your house, you can hold on to them for next year.

What to give out: Stickers, bouncy balls, plastic jewelry, sunglasses, bubbles, pencils, erasers, trinkets, books, stencils, finger traps, bookmarks, notepads, fancy pens, mini musical instruments, clappers, glow sticks, mini slinkies, silly straws, crayon packs, mini coloring books, vampire fangs, mini nail polishes, mini craft kits, stress balls, hair scrunchies, mini stamps, play-doh, toy cars, masks, and mini water bottles are great options. These types of goodies can be found in the party section of dollar stores,

How to get involved: The Teal Pumpkin Project got its name from the presentation of a teal pumpkin to signify non-food items available. Decorating your front step with one or hanging a poster of a teal pumpkin (found on the website) are great ways to remind trick-or-treaters about non-foods items. You can also register your location on the website to make it more well-known that you have non-food items available.

For more information or to register, check out

Happy (and safe!) Halloween!

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