Celebrating Halloween With the Teal Pumpkin Project
Halloween is just around the corner and you know what that means… candy and lots of it! While this is a favorite holiday for most children (I mean, who doesn’t love free candy), for millions of kids with food allergies Halloween can be a very unenjoyable experience, not to mention a pretty stressful situation for their parents.
Alas, there is a solution that allows every kid to trick-or-treat: the Teal Pumpkin Project. How does it work? It’s simple; you display a teal colored pumpkin (the color for allergy awareness) outside of your home on Halloween to signal that you are offering trick-or-treaters goodies that are non-food items and therefore allergen friendly. Children with food allergies can trick-or-treat at these homes and enjoy the childhood traditions that come with the holiday, and parents can rest easy that their child will not be exposed to their allergens.
The Teal Pumpkin Project was started by a local awareness group in Tennessee a few years ago and was officially launched as a national campaign by the FARE (Food Allergy Research & Education) group in 2014. Last year, houses in all 50 states and 14 countries participated in the Teal Pumpkin Project ,with growing recognition every year!
FARE’s website has tons of great resources for the Teal Pumpkin Project, including ideas for non-food items to give out on Halloween, frequently asked questions about the project, as well as a map that allows you to see homes and business that will be participating in the Teal Pumpkin Project. You can even add your address to the list if you’d like.
Stuck on what to give out instead of candy? Here are some great ideas:
-Glowsticks, glowstick bracelets, or necklaces (Not only do kids love the glowsticks, but parents appreciate that it helps make kids more visible throughout the night.)
– Pencils, pens, crayons, chalk, or markers
-Mini toys such as slinkies, yoyos, and/or whistles
-Halloween novelty items such as vampire teeth and plastic spider rings
*A few things to consider: Bouncy balls are commonly made from latex which is a common allergy and most playdough contains wheat/gluten so it would be best to avoid those.
Rest assured, if you still love the idea of giving out candy, you can still participate! It’s just recommended that you make sure the goodies are kept in separate bowls to prevent any cross contamination between candy and non-food treats.
Don’t have time to paint a pumpkin teal? Visit FARE’s website and download one of their free signs/flyers to display on your front door instead.
PreviMedica’s staff will proudly be displaying their teal pumpkins not only to give kids with food allergies a safe trick-or-treating experience, but to also offer a healthier alternative to commercial candy. Happy Halloween!