Halloween is my favorite holiday and every year I look forward to the neighborhood kids showing up dressed in their favorite lion, princess, or superhero costumes. We would go all out, decorating our porch with pumpkins galore, flying bats, and spooky fog. The courtyard transforms into a haunted graveyard, complete with dancing skeletons hanging in the trees.
And elaborate treat bags were always lined up and ready to go- in fact, we’d often have to do a last minute run to the store, because many of the treats mysteriously disappeared before October 31st! My husband’s alibi? “We must have Nargles.”
When I was diagnosed with a gluten allergy several years ago, I had to change a few things. While I could still decorate with abandon, many of my traditional Halloween treats were off the menu. Coincidentally I worked at a nut free school that year- kids in my class were allergic to seemingly everything, and Epipens followed us out to the playground everyday.
It got me thinking about when I was a kid, and I could go trick or treating and dig into my candy before I even got home without worrying, as long as the packaging was intact. (Yes, frowned upon, but you know you guys did it too!) So many kids now don’t have that luxury, and they probably won’t be able to eat even half of their candy haul.
Did some research, and lo and behold, I am not the only person who has thought of this problem. There’s even a symbol, if you decide to provide treats for kids who have food allergies. All hail the teal pumpkin!
If you place a teal pumpkin on your porch, it signals kids with allergies that you have safe options for them. I finally went to JoAnn’s today, and grabbed a foam pumpkin and some paint. One pumpkin makeover, achievement unlocked!
It’s long past due. We’ve actually been a candy-free house for the last few years. Hear me out folks, I know, this sounds like crazy talk.
We’ve added healthy-ish edible treats this year- gummy bears and gummy worms from Yum Earth (purchased at Target). In the past, we’ve given out stickers, Halloween pencils and erasers, temporary tattoos, glow sticks, mini bubbles, bouncy balls, spider rings- all kinds of stuff.
Not only have we NEVER been egged (fingers crossed), but kids seem really excited about something a little different. And parents accompanying them? They’re typically thrilled.
Even if you’ve already loaded up on mini-Snickers, having a pack of Halloween erasers on hand that you bought at the dollar store could seriously make some kid’s night. What’s Halloween about, if not a little magic?
Bonus- you won’t mysteriously gain 5 lbs. of candy weight thus fall and have to blame that on the Nargles too! You also don’t have to worry what to do with the leftover loot at the end of the night. Our non-edible stuff gets packed up with the rest of the Halloween gear, and as long as it’s still in great shape, it goes out again the next year.
I was born in Fresno and grew up here, as did my husband and my parents. I'm thrilled to be raising my young son here too! I've gone away for school and spent brief periods in other parts of California, but have always ended up homesick for my hometown.
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