A Health-Conscious and Allergen-Friendly Halloween
With so many parents concerned about allergies, pesticides, and chemicals in foods, Halloween can be a challenge. Children with severe allergies struggle with this holiday, since most candy includes or is processed in an area with products that can make them very sick or even send them to the emergency room. And since candy is a big part of Halloween, it may be hard to imagine kids with allergies enjoying celebrations with friends and family. That’s just one reason why our staff at Prescott Dentistry would like to introduce the possibility of a health-conscious and allergen-friendly Halloween.
Recently, there has been quite a bit of talk about the Teal Pumpkin Project, which aims to make Halloween more inclusive for children with mild to severe allergies. The premise of the Teal Pumpkin Project is to give out “treats” on Halloween that are not food-based or associated with common allergens like soy, wheat, peanuts, milk, eggs, and sesame (The Teal Pumpkin Project, 2018). Parents who participate can place a teal-colored pumpkin outside of their home to show other parents and children they are offering allergy-free options.
We think the Teal Pumpkin Project is great for presenting an all-inclusive approach to Halloween. But we’re also excited about this project, because changing treats to include less sugar is helpful for children’s diets and also for their dental hygiene. Less sugar means less damage to teeth from cavity-causing foods or from hard candies that can chip a tooth. And the last thing you as parents want to think about is potentially expensive cosmetic dentistry services to repair the look and function of your child’s teeth. So, why not join the Teal Pumpkin Project, and offer Trick-or-Treaters safer options like children’s toothbrushes, Halloween-themed stickers, glow-in-the-dark bracelets, or small trinkets, like bouncy balls?
Though Halloween has been a candy and sweets-oriented holiday, it doesn’t have to stay that way. If your kids do collect sweet treats, be aware of how much sugar they are ingesting, and be attentive to their dental hygiene through the holidays. As for The Teal Pumpkin Project, which has gained quite a following, consider joining their ranks by offering a health-conscious and allergen friendly Halloween that is safe for children—and for their teeth!