Whaley participated in the project by passing out erasers and stickers during the Pikeville Farmers Market trick-or-treat event on Saturday morning.
Non-food treatsThrough her work with the organization, she is a major proponent of the Teal Pumpkin Project, which, according to the FARE website, "encourages people to raise awareness of food allergies", while promoting "inclusions of all trick-or-treaters throughout the Halloween season" by providing non-food treats and placing a teal pumpkin outside your home.
No one wants to end a night of trick-or-treating in the emergency room so for many years, as food allergies were on the rise, parents just couldn't let their children go door to door.
The Teal Pumpkin Project is working to spread awareness of food allergies by encouraging families to leave a teal-colored pumpkin on their doorstep. This's the issue that the Teal Pumpkin Project aims to address. For example, consider a child with a peanut or tree nut allergy.
It's also important to note that families who participate are not discouraged from offering candy to children without allergens.
There are a few considerations when choosing which non-food items to hand out. With such a severe rise in food allergies, a number of schools have modified their policies regarding the treats, parties, and sweets at school.
Interestingly enough, this effort to protect children from life-threatening allergies could be the change needed to target other life-threatening health conditions affecting children today.
With childhood obesity rates between 19.2% and 37.7% depending on the state, it would be beneficial to our society to move away from these holiday traditions that glorify consuming high amounts of sugar and binge-eating behaviors. After finding out their kids have severe food allergies they realized that most homes did not have a safe treat for their kids.
Food Allergy Research Education's Teal Pumpkin Project offers a safe Halloween for trick-or-treaters with allergies. The Teal Pumpkin Project is not meant to replace the tradition of giving out candy on Halloween.