A new Halloween tradition is gaining in popularity...one that is all-inclusive, easy and fun.
Just paint a pumpkin teal, then put it on your front stoop. This signals trick-or-treaters that you will provide a nut-free, non-food goodie to any child with food allergies.
Started by a group in Tennessee, the campaign is now supported by national organization FARE, Food Allergy Research and Education. The "safe houses" can still provide candy to kids without dietary restrictions but are also creating an alternative for children with dangerous food allergies.
Halloween night can be a difficult time for kids and parents in the food allergy community. "Lots of the treats aren't safe for children with food allergies," says Gina Mennett-Lee, a food allergy consultant in Branford. "I like that it's not trying to change an old tradition but, add to it and supplement that tradition."
The concept is being embraced by families across the nation.
"I think that's the most exciting part of it, watching people who don't have children with food allergies take this on and participate," says Mennett-Lee. "For me, as a parent of a child with a food allergy, it's really heart-warming to see people show that they care."