Halloween can be a tricky time for families managing food allergies. Many traditional Halloween treats aren’t safe for children with life-threatening food allergies. The Teal Pumpkin Project is a simple way to make trick-or-treating safer and more inclusive for the one in 13 children living with food allergies, and many others impacted by intolerances and other conditions. Placing a teal pumpkin on your doorstep signals that, in addition to candy, you offer non-food trinkets and treats that are safe for all trick or treaters. It keeps Halloween a fun, positive experience for all!
According to the Food Allergy Research and Education (FARE) website, food allergies affect 1 in 13 children.
The Teal Pumpkin Project started a few years ago right here in Tennessee and has become a nationwide movement. It was inspired by a local awareness activity run by the Food Allergy Community of East Tennessee (FACET). This worldwide movement offers an alternative for kids with food allergies, as well as other children for whom candy is not an option.
How can you get involved?
Participants paint a pumpkin teal or hang a teal pumpkin sign at their house to let those with food allergies know that food allergy kids can get safe treats there. Putting a teal pumpkin on your doorstep means you have non-food treats available, such as glow sticks or small toys. This simple act promotes inclusion for trick-or-treaters with food allergies or other conditions. Why teal, you ask? Well, teal is the color that represents food allergy awareness. Check out free printable signs and materials here.
What kind of items can I offer instead of candy?
Available at most dollar stores or party supply stores, these low-cost items can be purchased and handed out to all trick-or-treaters, and made available in a separate bowl from candy if you choose to hand out both options.
- Glow sticks, bracelets, or necklaces
- Pencils, pens, crayons or markers
- Halloween erasers or pencil toppers
- Mini Slinkies
- Bouncy balls
- Mini notepads
- Playing cards