Tips for Hosting a Happy, Healthy and Inclusive Halloween

Oct 21, 2022

There’s so much about Halloween that makes it one of the most celebrated holidays in America. For starters, it’s one of the few times you can dress up as something wacky, spooky even outlandish without getting glared at—fun for the whole family, right? It’s also the one night a year a kid can knock on someone’s door and ask for a treat—again, pretty great, right?

But while the biggest concern on many of our children’s minds this year is whether or not they hit the Halloween Jackpot by finding the house with the king-size candy bars, a growing number of kids—1 in 13, to be exact—will worry about potentially life-threatening food allergies this Halloween. And when you consider that many popular Halloween candies contain some of the most common allergens (think peanuts, tree nuts, milk, egg, soy or wheat), it’s easy to see how food allergies could make for a not-so-happy Halloween for children with food allergies.

Luckily, awareness is growing, and more resources are available to ensure that everyone can enjoy Halloween safely. And as your local hometown grocer, IGA wants to be sure that they are doing their part to help the community enjoy the magic of Halloween.

Be sure everyone can participate this Halloween by having non-food treats on hand for children with food allergies.

On Halloween 2012, single mother of two boys, Becky Basalone, decided to paint one of her pumpkins teal—the color of food allergy awareness—to let trick-or-treaters know she had non-food treats available for them. Little did she know this small act would generate a global movement, now known as the Teal Pumpkin Project®. Today, Food Allergy and Research Education (FARE), an organization whose mission is to improve the quality of life and the health of individuals with food allergies, is helping to raise awareness of the program and how Americans can get involved this Halloween.

According to FARE CEO Lisa Gable, “Halloween is a cornerstone of the American childhood experience, and the Teal Pumpkin Project helps ensure that all children with food allergies feel included and can safely celebrate this fun holiday.”

Teal Pumpkin Display With Signage

Participating in the Teal Pumpkin Project® is simple:
  • Provide non-food treats in a dedicated bowl (separate from candy) for trick-or-treaters
  • Place a teal pumpkin in front of your home to indicate to passersby that you have non-food treats available
  • Add your home to the Teal Pumpkin Project® map
  • Spread the word! Share the Teal Pumpkin Project® with your friends and family

And if you don’t happen to have a teal pumpkin handy, that doesn’t mean you can’t have non-food treats at the ready.

Turn to your local IGA grocer for Halloween-inspired toys like:
  • Glow sticks, bracelets, or necklaces
  • Pencils, pens, crayons or markers
  • Bubbles
  • Stickers
  • Halloween erasers or pencil toppers
  • Bouncy balls
  • Spider rings
  • Vampire fangs
  • Mini notepads
  • Playing cards

Best part is, if you don’t end up giving away all your treats, stash them away and you’ll be one step ahead of the game for next year.

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