Food Allergies on the Rise, Teal Pumpkins to the Rescue!
You probably know someone with a food allergy, considering the rates of food allergies in developed countries have skyrocketed in recent years. “Allergic conditions are among the most common medical conditions affecting children in the United States”, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and food allergies in children have increased more than 50% over the past 15 years.
Eight foods/food groups make up 90% of all serious allergic reactions in the U.S.: milk, wheat, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, soy, fish, and shellfish. Unfortunately, most Halloween candy contains at least one of these ingredients, which is a big bummer for a growing number of trick-or-treaters. But wait! Turn that frown upside down and keep your eyes peeled for teal pumpkins!
If you see a teal-colored pumpkin on someone’s doorstep this year, it likely means that household is participating in The Teal Pumpkin Project™, a national campaign launched last year by Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE). This groovy project is aimed at raising awareness of food allergies and promoting the “inclusion of all trick-or-treaters throughout the Halloween season.” You can join the movement by putting a teal pumpkin outside of your front door and pledging to provide non-food treats for trick-or-treaters.
Trick-or-Treat without the Sweet!
We’ve written previously about pulling off a Paleo Halloween as well as some pre-packaged, Paleo-friendly Halloween treats for kids. I was hesitant to write this blog, because I knew I’d be linking to a bunch of junk that’s made in China, and I go to great lengths to avoid purchasing or promoting wasteful packaging and low-quality junk. HOWEVER, as with anything in life, there is a time and a place. The reality is that the majority of us want to purchase a lot for a little, which is why people buy the economy bag of candy at Walmart to pass out at Halloween. I get it. However, I personally refuse to knowingly hand out what should be (in my opinion) classified as a DRUG to our young and growing children. I would ideally give them healthy treats that are homemade, but that is a social no-no. I would rather support my local economy and give them quality locally-made goods, but I just can’t afford that. So yes, I will be setting my Paleo pride aside and begrudgingly supporting China to make it affordable to participate in the Halloween tradition, sans sugar and allergen-free. You can be frugal without resorting to candy! This year, I’m making a point to order items in bulk in an effort to reduce packaging, and several of the items below are also available in larger bulk sizes.
A Big ol’ List of Non-Food Halloween Treat Ideas
Halloween is an opportunity to INSPIRE our future generations (rather than poisoning them with junk food). You don’t have to hand out candy to prevent your house from being toilet papered! Below I’ve listed several options for trick-or-treaters that will inspire creativity, fun, safety, and an all-around healthy Halloween! If you order soon, they’ll get to you well before Halloween does.
- Finger Flashlights – Super bright, instant party!
- Glow sticks – that transform into bracelets & necklaces
- Whistles – The parents may hate you for this one ;)
- Paint sets – Mini party favor paint sets for kids come with paint pallet & brush
- Pencils & Pens – Mini rocket pens — Dinosaur pencils
- Stencils – Check out these awesome dinosaur stencils and this practical alphabet ruler stencil.
- Tiny notebooks – Mini notebooks for the mini people!
- Crayons – Crayola crayon small boxes or Halloween-themed crayons
- Stamps – What kid doesn’t love to stamp things?
- Halloween bubbles
- Jack-o’-lantern Slinky!
- Jack o’-lantern sticky hands
- Spider rings – A classic.
- Stickers! Design your own pumpkin face — Assorted Halloween Stickers
- Treats in bulk – Mega assortment Halloween Gifts — Halloween Party Favors Toy Assortment — Halloween Party Favor Pack
- Mini Halloween Coloring Books
- Halloween activity pads
- Halloween crayons
- Monster Finger Puppets
- Fortune Teller Miracle Fish Magic Trick
- Magic wands – Abracadabra, Alakazam!
- Magic tricks – An assortment of individually packaged magic tricks.
- Magic growing water creatures – Grow a dinosaur or order Swelling Water Sea Creatures in bulk.
- The Classics – Spinning tops — Yo- Yos — Silly putty balls
- Bubbles! Bubbles = Joy. Princess Bubbles — Dinosaur Bubbles — Halloween Bubbles. All the bubbles.
- Glow in the Dark or Bust! Glow in dark bouncing balls — Glow in the dark bugs — Glow in the dark anything pretty much rocks!
- Foam Gliders – Lots of styles available, but these Dinosaur Foam Gliders look like they would fly well. :)
- Sticky toys – Sticky hands — Sticky Stretchy Toys
- Slinky! Everyone loves a slinky! Classic metal or plastic Halloween-themed.
- Slap bracelets – Let’s bring back the 1990’s!
- Musical inspiration – Kazoos — Mini hand clappers
- Dish out Dinosaurs! Vinyl mini dinosaurs — Dinosaur Skeletons — Grow a Dino!
- Caveman Action Figures – made in USA (this is what I’ll be handing out this year, along with glowstick bracelets! :)