Chow Town

Making Halloween less spooky for children with food allergies

For kids, Halloween is meant to be scary fun. For children with food allergies, it can be just plain scary.

Nuts, chocolate, gluten and dairy lurk in the treats that are handed out at events, and in the bowls of treats offered little monsters when they haunt their neighborhoods.

Food Allergy Research & Education, an organization in McLean, Va., suggests offering nonfood treats. The group urges homes that give out treats to paint a pumpkin teal or hang a Teal Pumpkin Project poster to let families know alternative treats are available.

FARE suggests glow bracelets or necklaces, pencils, markers, boxes of crayons, erasers, bubbles, whistles or noisemakers, bouncy balls, coins, spider rings, vampire teeth, mini notepads, playing cards, bookmarks, stickers and stencils.

A local FARE chapter recently organized a fundraising and awareness walk in Shawnee. Click here for that chapter’s Facebook page.

About 15 million Americans have food allergies, including many at risk for a life-threatening reaction, anaphylaxis.