Child Food Allergies? Have a Safe Halloween with Teal Pumpkin Project and Allergy-Free Candies

Teal Pumpkin Project fro Food Allergy Safety

Trick-or-treating is supposed to be fun. Kids dress up, run around, knock on doors, and feast on a sweet candy bounty. But for 15 million Americans—including one in 13 kids—Halloween is a dangerous and disappointing event. To give every child with allergies and conditions the ability to enjoy Halloween, FARE’s Teal Pumpkin Project® was founded. Today, this movement promotes safe trick-or-treating alternatives for kids with food allergies, so the only scary part about Halloween is the costumes.

Teal Pumpkin Project for child food allergies and allergy free Halloween candyWhat Teal Pumpkin Project Is All About

Teal Pumpkin Project was inspired by a group in Tennessee, and launched as a national campaign by Food Allergy Research & Education in 2014. In 2015, it was incorporated by people in all 50 states and 14 countries. Now, Teal Pumpkin Project is a bonafide worldwide food safety initiative that helps raise awareness about child food allergies and make Halloween a positive experience for everyone.

How to Get Involved

Anyone from any country can participate in Teal Pumpkin Project when you do one or all of the following.

  • Put a teal pumpkin outside your home on Halloween night to show it’s open to children with all dietary needs
  • Download a Teal Pumpkin Project poster for your window or door
  • Stock up on non-edible trinkets to give out to trick-or-treaters like slap bracelets, Koosh balls, and other toys
  • Spread awareness on social media by using #tealpumpkinproject on all your food safety posts
  • Change your social media cover photo
  • Support the movement by buying merchandise and wearing it in public
  • Host a fundraising event
  • Make a donation

Other Food Allergies to Watch Out For With Halloween Candy

While Teal Pumpkin Project focuses mainly on nut allergies, we know plenty of other food allergies affect kids. From Celiac Disease to lactose intolerance, there are a multitude of things to watch out for when it comes to food safety. If you’d like to hand out safer candy for most children, here are some to try (based on ingredients in candy as of September 2016):

Gluten-Free Candy

When shopping for gluten free candies, make sure to verify the factory it’s made in doesn’t contain gluten. This will be clearly labeled as FDA certified gluten-free on the label. If it’s not, don’t buy it. Yummy Earth, Surf Sweets, and St. Clair’s Organics all have allergy-free candies, but here are some gluten-free brands you can find in most stores:*

  • Andes Mints
  • Carmel Apple Pops
  • Charm Blow Pops
  • Cry Baby Extra Sour Candy
  • Dove Chocolate
  • Dubble Bubble (all flavors)
  • Dum Dum Lollipops
  • Hersey’s Milk Chocolate
  • Hershey’s Kisses
  • Jelly Belly jelly beans
  • Junior Mints
  • M&Ms (although some holiday brands contain gluten)
  • Mike and Ike Jelly Beans
  • Mike and Ike Hot Tamales
  • NECCO Wafers
  • Peeps
  • Reese’s Pieces
  • Saf -T-Pops
  • See’s Candy (all of it!)
  • Skittles
  • Sugar Babies
  • Tootsie Pops
  • Tootsie Rolls

Dairy-Free Candy

Dairy rarely causes people to go into anaphylactic shock, but it can wreak havoc on their digestive tracts. Here are some dairy-free candies that are safe for Halloween:**

  • Airheads
  • Atomic Fireballs
  • Big League Chew
  • Brach’s Cinnamon Hard Candy
  • Brach’s Orange Slices
  • Brach’s Root Beer Barrels
  • Brach’s Star Brites
  • Charms Blow Pops
  • Chew-ets Peanut Chews
  • Chick-O-Sticks
  • Cry Baby
  • DOTS
  • Dum Dum Lollipops
  • Hubba Bubba
  • Jelly Beans
  • Jolly Rancher Hard Candy
  • Jolly Rancher Lollipops
  • Jujubes
  • Jujyfruits
  • Lance Peanut Bar
  • Mamba
  • Mary Jane
  • Mary Jane Peanut Butter Kisses
  • Now & Later
  • Red Vines
  • Skittles
  • Smarties
  • Sour Patch Kids
  • Super Bubble
  • Swedish Fish
  • Twizzlers

Nut-Free Candy

Nut allergies are one of the most terrifying. They can cause children to go into anaphylactic shock and die. So whether you’re handing out candy, have an allergy, or are a parent of a child with nut allergies, stay alert. The list below shows nut-free candies as of September 2016, but ingredients can change, so always read labels and look for a certified nut-free label.***

  • Divvies (anything made by Divvies)
  • Haribo Gummi Candies (anything made by Haribo)
  • Surf Sweets natural gummies & jelly beans
  • Vermont Nut Free Chocolates
  • Skittles
  • Peeps
  • Swedish Fish
  • Altoids Mints (original & cinnamon, not chocolate )
  • Mike and Ike’s
  • Hershey’s chocolate bars (not king size or minis)
  • Hershey’s Kisses (not king size or holiday/seasonal bags)
  • Wonka’s Nerds & Nerds Rope
  • Laffy Taffy
  • Runts
  • Dubble Bubble gum
  • Tootsie Pops & Tootsie Rolls (anything made by Tootsie)
  • Junior Mints
  • Lifesaver Gummies
  • Smarties
  • Sour Patch Kids (all varieties)
  • Whoppers
  • Sweet Tarts
  • Dum Dum lollipops
  • Bottle Caps
  • Pop Rocks
  • Now and Laters
  • Zours
  • Hot Tamales
  • Red Vines
  • Jolly Rancher hard candy, lollipops, and gummy candy
  • York Peppermint Patties
  • Twizzlers
  • Rolos
  • Starburst fruit chew, lollipops and jelly beans
  • Kraft Marshmallows

Vegan Candy

Some children might follow vegan diets. Here are some candies that don’t stray from that path:****

  • Airheads
  • Atomic Fireballs
  • Big League Chew
  • Brach’s Cinnamon Hard Candy
  • Brach’s Orange Slices
  • Brach’s Root Beer Barrels
  • Brach’s Star Brites
  • Charms Blow Pops
  • Chew-ets Peanut Chews
  • Chick-O-Sticks
  • Cry Baby
  • DOTS
  • Dum Dum Lollipops
  • Hubba Bubba
  • Jolly Rancher Hard Candy
  • Jolly Rancher Lollipops
  • Jujubes
  • Jujyfruits
  • Lance Peanut Bar
  • Mamba
  • Mary Jane
  • Mary Jane Peanut Butter Kisses
  • Now & Later
  • Red Vines
  • Skittles
  • Smarties
  • Sour Patch Kids
  • Super Bubble
  • Swedish Fish
  • Twizzlers

Thanks to conscientious people like you, Halloween can be safe and fulfilling for every child. Remember, use this guide as a stepping stone for candy to offer children with all dietary needs, but don’t follow it blindly. If your child has a serious allergy, always carry an EpiPen® and read labels yourself. It’s better to be safe than sorry!

Disclaimer: CandyStore.com is in no way offering medical advice and isn’t licensed to do so. These are simply guidelines you can use to make Halloween safer for every child. To stay 100 percent safe, you should always read ingredient labels and consult a doctor before feeding your child questionable candy.

Sources:

* https://www.csaceliacs.org/glutenfree_holiday_candy.jsp
** http://www.godairyfree.org/ask-alisa/dairy-free-candy-halloween
*** http://www.peanutallergy.com/lifestyle/peanut-allergy/list-of-nut-free-candies-for-halloween
****http://www.petakids.com/food/vegan-candy-dandy/

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