Masks have a different meaning this season.
As each holiday comes to pass since the coronavirus pandemic began, we have wondered if we will be able to “celebrate like we are used to.” So far, that answer has been a resounding “no.” Halloween is quickly approaching, and we are asking the same question. In grocery stores, we see themed-candy being sold and spooky decorations on display, but we still don’t know if trick-or-treating will be a reality this fall season. Los Angeles County has already put out their regulation and recommendations, but for the rest of us, we don’t know what the rules will be this October 31st.
Of course, for food allergy kids, Halloween has always looked a bit different. Trick-or-treating with an allergy is a mixed bag. If you cannot eat peanuts, tree nuts, wheat, eggs, or dairy, half the candy you receive from trick-or-treating is not safe. It can feel isolating watching your friends eat their candy stash and you cannot partake. For that reason, FARE established the Teal Pumpkin Project in 2013.
What is the Teal Pumpkin Project?
Teal is the color of food allergy awareness and pumpkins are pumpkins, the mascot of Halloween! If you see a Teal Pumpkin on porch steps, that denotes a participating house in the Project, offering non-food treats such as glow sticks or stickers to trick-or-treaters. The idea is to make Halloween more inclusive to those with dietary restrictions, without taking out the fun of the season. You can learn more about it at foodallergy.org/teal-pumpkin-project
Starting with just a few households, the Teal Pumpkin Project has spread rapidly across the nation since its conception. FARE provides a map of participating homes each year. The 2020 map has still not been released, and given the current circumstances it might look different than years past. However, there are still ways to celebrate the season in a socially distanced environment. Here are some ideas we have come up with:
- Going all out on yard decorations
- Having a spooky-themed dinner with your family
- Organize a neighborhood car parade showcasing your costumes
Let us know what creative ideas you come up with!