Jena DeMoss: Teal Pumpkin Project and FARE

Published 5:28 pm Tuesday, October 11, 2022

One in 13 children in the U.S. is living with food allergies, and many others are impacted by food intolerances and sensitivities.

The symptoms can vary from mild, like itchy skin, to severe and even life-threatening. Cow’s milk, peanuts, tree nuts, soy, wheat and egg are the most common allergens that appear in popular Halloween sweets, especially in chocolate candies. Sesame oil is less common, but is still found in some treats like candy corn. Many candies and Halloween treats also contain artificial colors and dyes, which may be allergens for some kids.

The Teal Pumpkin Project and Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE) aim to make Halloween safer and more inclusive for everyone. To participate, place a teal pumpkin on your doorstep to signal that you have a small non-food gift or allergy-friendly treat available to kids with food allergies. You can also join the Teal Pumpkin Project map by visiting www.foodallergy.org to let your neighborhood know you are participating.

Follow these helpful tips to ensure you are ready with safe options for all of your trick-or-treaters when they coming knocking!

• Carefully read all food labels and look for common allergens. The Food and Drug Association (FDA) requires manufacturers to clearly identify the sources of major allergen foods.

• Keep allergen-friendly treats in a separate bowl from other treats.

• When kids and parents come to the door, let them know you have allergen-friendly candies or non-food gifts as an option.

• Offer some non-food treats like small toys, games or stickers.

Check out these great allergy-friendly treat options!

• YumEarth Gummy Bears: YumEarth organic treats like fruity gummy bears or worms are free of the top 9 allergens.

• Enjoy Life Minis: Mini snack-size chocolate bars are a fun treat and free of gluten and major allergens.

• Zollipops: Sugar-free and allergen-friendly and available in fruity flavors. Not to mention this tasty treat helps keep teeth clean and healthy!

• Free2b Sunflower Butter Cups: Made with creamy dairy-free chocolate and nut-free sunflower butter.

• Annie’s Organic Fruit Snacks: Organic gummies made with real fruit and vegetable juice with no major allergens or synthetic colors.

Serve up a delicious and safe Halloween treat with this recipe from Enjoy Life Foods:

Monster Mash

Krispie Treats

Makes 8-10 squares

All you need

• 1 box Enjoy Life Foods Crunchy Double Chocolate Cookies, crushed

• 3 cups Enjoy Life Foods Sea Salt Lentil Chips, crushed

• 4 cups rice cereal

• 3 tbsp vegan margarine

• 1 (10-oz) bag allergy-friendly mini marshmallows

• 1/3 cup Enjoy Life Foods Chocolate Mini Chips

• Optional frosting or sprinkles for decoration

All you do

1. Set aside a few tablespoons of crushed Crunchy Double Chocolate Cookies and crushed Lentil Chips for the garnish.

2. Combine rice cereal, remaining crushed cookies and crushed Lentil Chips in a large bowl.

3. Melt the vegan margarine in a medium saucepan over medium heat.

4. Add marshmallows and stir for 3-4 minutes or until completely melted and smooth.

5. Pour marshmallow mixture over the rice cereal mixture and stir to combine.

Press mixture into a square pan (either 8×8 or 9×9 will work).

6. Sprinkle the top with reserved crushed cookies and Lentil Chips plus the Mini Chips.

7. Let cool for 1 hour and cut into bars or squares.

Decorate as desired and enjoy!

Recipe source: Enjoy Life Foods – https://enjoylifefoods.com/blogs/content/monster-mash-krispie-treats

Looking for more information on how to shop for someone with a food allergy? Visit

www.hy-vee.com/health/hy-vee-dietitians to learn more about our virtual nutrition tours to navigate common food allergies in the grocery aisles.