Halloween might be all about the treats, but that can be tricky for children with food allergies. After all, a child might not know if that candy bar that’s given to them by a well-meaning neighbor has nuts or other allergens that might make eating it unsafe. That’s why CVS has partnered with Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE) to create a more inclusive Halloween for all trick-or-treaters.
It’s estimated that 1 in 13 children in the U.S. is living with a food allergy, according to FARE research. That means that 32 million Americans have food allergies, whether it’s to milk, egg, peanut, tree nuts, wheat, soy, fish, and shellfish. And if you’ve ever eaten a candy bar, you know that some can contain allergens, making it a scary situation for kids who simply want to trick or treat on Halloween.
That’s where the Teal Pumpkin Project comes in. This yearly initiative allows people to participate in safer trick-or-treating practices by placing a teal (not orange) pumpkin on their doorstep. This shows that the goodies being handed out from that home are safe for all children. It might mean that the person is handing out anything from safe candies to stickers or pencils, or other food-allergy safe items.
But if you want to participate in the program, how do you know where to find those edible and safe items? Well, this year CVS, in conjunction with FARE, is offering nearly 50 convenient and affordable food-allergy safe items in 4,500 stores, with select available on CVS.com and many under $5.
“Many typical Halloween sweets aren’t safe for children with food allergies and contain top food allergens such as nuts, milk, egg, soy, wheat, and sesame,” says Sung Poblete, PhD, RN, CEO of FARE. “The number of children with food allergies has risen dramatically over the past 20 years, and our Teal Pumpkin Project will be amplified this year through CVS’ ability to help parents and caregivers identify safe treats and reach even more children by making it easier to find these options at select store locations.”
Starting on October 1, shoppers can head to participating CVS stores and find the Teal Pumpkin Project items that they can give to every little ghoul who comes to their door on Halloween. You can also find participating CVS store locations on FARE’s interactive neighborhood map, which also features homes and events across the U.S. that offer alternatives to traditional Halloween candy.
This Halloween, you can creep it real by ensuring that every kiddo can get treats that are tasty and safe for them by being a part of the Teal Pumpkin Project — and that’s no trick.