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Halloween Treats That Don’t Interfere With ED Treatment


Most of us associate Halloween with sweet treats, but having bags of bite-size candy bars in the pantry can be a problem for those working through eating disorder issues.

People bothered by keeping candy in the house might choose to ignore Halloween night, turn off the lights, and pretend no one is home. Or, they can consider jumping on the Teal Pumpkin Project bandwagon.

The Teal Pumpkin Project is a nationwide program that asks for households to provide non-food treat options for trick-or-treaters. This gives food allergic kids a safe way to enjoy the holiday. Participants place a teal-colored pumpkin - a real one, or a sign - near the front door, indicating non-food treats are available.

If you think about it, any of us can choose to hand out non-food Halloween treats, and this seems like a wise choice if having sweets in the house will interfere with eating disorder treatment protocols.

Though no candy on Halloween night creates the risk of a disgruntled goblin tossing eggs at your house, most kids enjoy receiving non-food treats such as glow bracelets, stickers, coins, or pencils.

Other non-food giveaway options are:

  • Activity items: pens, crayons, erasers, markers, bookmarks, stencils, mini-notepads.
  • Toys: mini-Slinkies, kazoos, whistles, finger puppets, bouncy balls, bubbles, playing cards.
  • Wearables: vampire fangs, rings, necklaces.

Naturally, the choice about what to offer trick-or-treaters, or whether to celebrate Halloween at all, is yours. Giving non-food treats is simply an alternative that might make Halloween more doable and enjoyable when candy in the cupboard is an unwanted temptation.

Source: Teal Pumpkin Project/Food Allergy
Photo credit: Cristian Iohan Stefanescu