Top 8 Free Halloween Candy + Teal Pumpkin Project Tips
Did you know that there are many children who are unable to go trick-or-treating? Did you know that it could be deadly to them? Food allergies are life-altering and can be a life-threatening disease that affects 1 in 13 children in the US. For children with food allergies, even a tiny amount of their allergen could cause a severe reaction. I didn't have to worry about food allergies as a kid...
I must be honest with you, Halloween isn’t my favorite Holiday, (I prefer Christmas. only 78 days until then) though I do enjoy the Fall months, the autumn leaves, the cooler weather and the Halloween tradition that I have with my Mommy. Yes I still call her “Mommy,” and I will be 30 in roughly 35 days. When I was 9 years old, my mom and I dressed up as cats and took this first photo...
In 2012 I had the idea to recreate the photo, and since then we have taken the same photo every Halloween. And yes, I am wearing the same kitty mask that I did when I was 7 years old in all of the photos above.
This is what I love about Halloween… a family tradition that I have with my Mama Bear.
I did grow up trick-or-treating. I remember going door-to-door getting candy from strangers — a concept that is totally frowned upon and discouraged rest of the year! I was allowed 5 minutes to sort my candy and eat a few pieces before the rest of it went in the trash or in the freezer to be used as a future treat. I was always excited about the candy because it wasn’t something that I was able to eat all the time. We didn’t have candy in our house… ever. It was used as a rare treat or during the holidays.
The Teal Pumpkin Project launched with kids with food allergies in mind. It started with the idea that children with food allergies should feel included while tirck-or-treating. To participate, it’s pretty simple. You just need to place a teal colored pumpkin outside your door so that your house is recognized by the food allergy community. If you don’t have time to paint a pumpkin teal, you can purchase a teal pumpkin. There are even free printables available here.
Just place it outside your home to show you have non-food treats hand out. Small toys such as glow sticks, glow necklaces, mini lego sets, pencils and stickers are recommended. Please refrain from items such as play-dough or moldable clays which contain wheat. Also, choose latex-free items, as some children have latex allergies.
Why Teal? Teal has been the color of food allergy awareness for about 20 years. It is used to raise awareness about the seriousness of this medical condition that affects so many children and adults.
The Teal Pumpkin Project also recommends that you should provide non-food treats as a fun and safe alternative to candy. I do think that it is the safest option, as there are many children who are allergic to more than just the top 8 allergens. However — should you wish to pass out top 8 free treats, I recommend a few things, as well as the following Top 8 free candies.
1 Have 2 treat bowls, one with non-food treats and one with Top 8 treats.
2 When families approach, suggest that you also have Top 8 free treats in a separate bowl from the non-food treats.
3 Ask before you give! Don’t assume that every family or child can have the Top 8 free treats. If the family gives approval, then offer them some treats. Otherwise, withhold until permission is given. You never know a child’s allergens until you ask. This is a good practice to have anyway.
4 Keep the two bowls separate, and, if possible, use a different hand for each bowl. Just because a treat is Top 8 free doesn’t mean that it is safe for everyone.
5 You could also ONLY have Top 8 free candy available at your house. This is an amazing option for many reasons. (1) The more Teal Pumpkins there are, the more houses that are safe for children (keeping in mind you also have non-treat options). (2) While you are also giving every child a chance at a safer Halloween, you are also bringing awareness to food allergies. (3) You are helping spread the word about these amazing companies who make allergen safe candies and snacks! (4) This comes full circle as the more who are aware about these companies, become more aware with food allergy awareness and are also easily prepared to accommodate a child with food allergies with products from these amazing companies.
Click HERE for a great FAQ page, which is all about The Teal Pumpkin Project on the FARE (Food Allergy Research & Education) website.
Below are some delicious Top 8 free candy options to have or to give to your own children who have food allergies. Remember, Halloween will be here before you know it. If you cannot find these treats in your local stores, you can order online. However, make sure you order early enough so that they arrive on time for your Halloween festivities.
Enjoy Life Foods
Enjoy Life has a wonderful line of Top 8 free products. I am sure you are aware of most of their goods, however, this year they have launched brand new Halloween Mini Chocolate bars in 3 different flavors: Milk Chocolate, Dark Chocolate, and Rice Milk Crunch Chocolate..
You can find these in 4 different packages: Milk Chocolate, Dark Chocolate, Rice Milk Crunch Chocolate and a variety pack of all 3 mini chocolates. This is the same great chocolate that we already know and love from Enjoy Life, but in a super fun Halloween package — fun for everyone.
I recently attended Expo East (a food expo in Baltimore) where Enjoy Life revealed their brand new packaging which is now teal: the perfect color for their company!
They also have mini packages of their baking chocolate chips which are perfect for Halloween treats… or treats in general.
You can't have Halloween without gummy candy. Surf Sweets has the cutest packaging for their organic fruity bears. To be honest, changing the packing for different holidays is something that kids can appreciate. Not only can they safely eat these gummy fruity bears, but they also can feel included on Halloween.
All of their candy is very tasty, and even tastes better than the mainstream versions, and you can also rest assure that these organic gummies are filled with vitamin C, there are no artificial colors and they are naturally flavored.
Also, consider their Spooky Spiders. These gummy spiders are made with the same high quality ingredients as the fruity bears above. They have vitamin C and they are made with real, natural ingredients, that are tasty for the whole family.
There are many different Halloween-size treats available from Surf Sweets including: Gummy Worms, Jelly Beans, Sour Gummy Bears, Sour Gummy Worms and Fruit Rings.
For more info:
Halloween and lollipops make a great pair! Yum Earth’s organic lollipops come in many different flavors, so there is something for everyone. Whether you like Strawberry, Sour Flavors, Hot Chili Mango or a variety pack you can definitely find a yummy flavor.
These make the perfect crunchy candy to pass out this Halloween as they are free from many allergens, they are non-GMO, vegan and organic.
One of the founding dads of Yum Earth, suffers from a food allergy and has a first-hand understanding on just how sensitive people can be to common allergens. Almost all of the products are free of the top 8 common allergens.
They also have Licorice Sours Candy, Fruit Snacks as well as Hard Candy Drops, which are basically a lollipop without the stick.
For all your hard candy needs this Halloween, check out Yum Earth.
For more info:
Chocolate and sunflower seed butter go perfectly together and Free2BFoods has made it the perfect combo all while keeping it top 12 allergen free* and safe for Halloween treats.
Treat yourself to a bag of their Dark Chocolate Sun Cups or their Rice Chocolate Sun Cups which are perfect for classroom parties, passing out to trick-or-treaters, or even lunchbox treats. They have a wonderful Halloween bundle online called Bag O' Treats that is a 40 count mixture of 20 Dark Chocolate and 20 Rice Chocolate Sun Cups.
They are made in a facility that is free from peanuts, tree nuts, dairy, gluten, soy, eggs, corn, sesame, coconut, mustard, fish and shellfish! Free2BFoods understands food allergies and is dedicated to your safety.
*Notice that the bag says "top 8 free." The website says that it is now "top 12 free."
For more info:
Use code Spooky30 for 30% off from now through October 31st, 2017!