Families offer non-food treats this Halloween

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Posted: Oct 31, 2018 12:48 PM

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    OAHU, Hawaii (KITV) -- Behind every ghost, ghoul, and goblin costume, is a kid who's spent hours, days or even weeks planning.

Kaydie Kurokawa is one of those kids. The Mililani 3rd grader said she is excited to join her friends in the hunt for the perfect Halloween treats Wednesday night.

"I like trick-or-treating," she said. "But then I don't get the candy all the time."

Kaydie has a nut allergy. Her dad, Kory, said when she ingests nuts she swells up and can't breathe. She has the same reaction if she's touched by someone eating peanut-based foods.

She stays away from the Snickers, the Reese's Peanut Butter Cups and the M&M's. But at her own house, the Kurokawa's offer non-edible treats, like pencils, erasers, and fortune telling fish.

Not long ago, the Kurokawa's learned about the Teal Pumpkin Project -- an idea brewed up by the group "Food Allergy Research and Education." Families put a teal pumpkin out on their doorsteps for trick-or-treaters to alert kids and parents that non-food treats are available.

Kory Kurokawa says they do offer snacks but some choose the toys.

"It's cooler to have the toys," he said.

According to the Teal Pumpkin Project's website, Kaydie is one 6 million kids living with serious food allergies. Some with nut allergies like her, others with sensitivities to soy, dairy, or eggs. Some right here on Oahu. The Kurokawas -- and about 2 dozen other families -- registered with the project, so now if your princess, super hero, or wizard is looking to avoid an allergy scare, you know where to go.

The idea is growing nation wide, now including families without food allergy concerns. Kaydie said there's a few houses in her neighborhood who aren't registered that offer peanut-free snacks or toys. She hopes more people catch on.

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