What is the Teal Pumpkin Project?

The holidays are coming quickly, which means it is almost time for Halloween. Traditionally Halloween has been a day where children can bet on one thing, CANDY! No, this is not a blog post telling you to lock your children up that day and make them eat raw broccoli, but rather a post to explain how we can make this holiday inclusive for children with food allergies.

According to Food Allergy Research and Education, 1 in 13 children have a food allergy. The most common allergens are foods that unfortunately happen to also be pretty common, such as: milk, eggs, wheat, peanuts, treenuts, soy, fish, and shellfish. For these children Halloween can be a source of stress and constant worry because most single serving candy does not even list the ingredients on the label. Imagine having to sit out Halloween year-after-year all because there is an unknown risk of anaphylaxis or even death.

Luckily, that is where the Teal Pumpkin Project comes in. Participating homes have the option of a treat such a candy, but also offer the option of a toy or item for those that cannot partake in food items. These non-food items do not need to break the bank, stop by a local dollar store to get items in bulk such as:

  • Pencils
  • Stickers
  • Slinkys
  • Spider rings
  • Slime
  • Coins
  • Playing cards
  • Glow sticks
  • Bubbles
  • So many more!

Being a part of this is easy, either paint a pumpkin teal or go to foodallergy.org and print out a Teal Pumpkin Project sign. Then, simply ask trick-or-treaters if they prefer candy or a toy. This small gesture is enough to make the night fun and inclusive for all children. After all, Halloween is supposed to be enjoyable!