For children who have food allergies, the scariest part of Halloween would be to sort through candies after night of tricking or treating for finding something that wouldn’t shock them after being eaten.
Even a small fun-size candy bar could force kids for getting an insulin shot. One such example is that of Nate Robertson, a nine-year old kid who was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in the last year. Whenever this boy from Missouri, Mexico gets an treats or candies, he has to ask permission from his mom for having them.
Nate’s mother, Sara Robertson says that he gets lots of treats and we have to decide if it is shot-worthy. An effort is being taken by Robertson as well as other parents in the Northeast Missouri community about making Halloween inclusive for children who have food allergies.
FARE or Food Allergy Research and Education, the National Advocacy Organization started the Teal Pumpkin Project last year for raising awareness about those children who have life-threatening and serious food allergies, so that they feel included during this holiday. A goal of around 100,000 households has been set by FARE for participating and placing pumpkins of teal-colored on their lawn or porch or by printing out official sign from the website of FARE by placing in the window or front door to say that there are non-food treats for those who cannot eat candy.
“I think it’s very positive,” Becky Wieberg, registered nurse at Audrain County Public Health Department, said of the project. “It can make them more sensitive to it by taxing the immune system,” she said.
Teal color was chosen for this project since it is used for signaling food allergies for around 20 years. Robertson said that there are many holidays that are centered around food. You don’t wish to take away the original purpose, but yet an opportunity is provided to children for participating without having to give back on everything. It would help them in feeling normal. Robertson had heard about this project from a cousin whose child was suffering from a severe allergic reaction to various food ingredients including sesame, wheat, dairy or eggs.