The Teal Pumpkin Project is Creating Safe and Inclusive Traditions

Spooky season is in full swing as kids are gearing up for Halloween.  Ghouls and goblins may be scary, but there is nothing more frightening than an allergic reaction!  While most kids are overjoyed to go door-to-door stuffing their bags with candy, traditional Halloween treats aren’t always safe for children with life-threatening food allergies.  Many Halloween candies contain common allergens such as nuts, milk, egg, soy, and wheat.  The sight of a teal pumpkin on a neighbors doorstep can put a child with food allergies at ease.  A house participating in the teal pumpkin project indicates non-food treats are being offered, making it a safe place for children with food allergies to go trick-or-treating.

What is the Teal Pumpkin Project?

The Teal Pumpkin Project was initiated by the Food Allergy Community of East Tennessee (FACET) with the purpose of raising awareness of the severity of food allergies and encouraging inclusion by providing non-food treats for trick-or-treaters with food allergies and other dietary restrictions. Thus making Halloween, a traditionally food-centered holiday, safe and fun for children with food allergies. 

How to create a teal pumpkin.

Treat-givers interested in participating in the Teal Pumpkin Project can paint a pumpkin with teal acrylic paint and set it out on their doorstep.  This signals to families that non-food treats are offered at your house.  If you’d like to create a teal pumpkin that you can use for years to come, paint a faux pumpkin commonly found at craft stores or online retailers.  If you have kids at home, involve them in painting and decorating the pumpkin and use this opportunity to teach them about the importance of food allergies.   

Treat ideas for children with food allergies.

Inexpensive and non-food treats can be purchased at dollar stores or party supply stores.  Some ideas for non-food treats are stickers, glow sticks, noisemakers, bubbles, bouncy balls, spider rings, vampire fangs, finger puppets, bookmarks, and pencils, pens, crayons or markers.  Be sure to avoid non-food items containing allergens such as wheat and latex.  The goal of the Teal Pumpkin Project is not to exclude candy entirely, but to provide a fun alternative for children with food allergies so they can participate in the festivities.  If you’d like to also hand out candy, avoid cross-contact by putting non-food trinkets and food treats in separate bowls.  

We are wishing you and your family a safe and happy Halloween!  Don’t forget about our contest!!!

Share pictures of how you are staying safe and having fun during this unusual Halloween season and be entered to win a $50 Amazon gift card!!

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