The Teal Project

The-Teal-Pumpkin-Project-5Halloween can be a tricky time – quite literally – for families managing food allergies because many traditional Halloween treats aren’t safe for children with life-threatening food allergies.

The Teal Pumpkin Project is being promoted as a new tradition by Virginia-based nonprofit Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE), aims to help raise awareness about food allergies by providing non-food treats for trick-or-treaters. Halloween candy does tend to include common allergens: peanuts, tree nuts, soy milk and wheat.

FARE says 1 in 13 children have a food allergy, and for some it can be life-threatening. The organization says it hopes its efforts will allow kids with allergies in on the trick-or-treating fun – while keeping them safe..

How it works is simple:

If parents see a home with a pumpkin painted teal outside, they know that home is offering allergy-friendly options for trick-or-treaters. Chances are, there’s a child in every neighborhood managing food allergies. Organizers suggest to still pass out all the Halloween candy that kids love, but they also ask that you offer things like glow sticks, bubbles, stickers or small toys,

Ideas for Non-food Treats  

tealpumpkinproject_kidswithallergiesAvailable at dollar stores, party supply stores, or online shops, these low-cost items can be purchased and handed out to all trick-or-treaters, or made available in a separate bowl from candy if you choose to hand out both options. Nearly all of these items can be found in a Halloween theme or festive colors.

  • Glow sticks, bracelets, or necklaces
  • Pencils, pens, crayons or markers
  • Bubbles
  • Halloween erasers or pencil toppers
  • Mini Slinkies
  • Whistles, kazoos, or noisemakers
  • Bouncy balls
  • Finger puppets or novelty toys
  • Stencils
  • Coins
  • Spider rings
  • Vampire fangs
  • Mini notepads
  • Playing cards
  • Stickers

To participate in the Teal Pumpkin Project, simply stock up on non-food goodies, then place a teal painted pumpkin or poster outside your home so trick-or-treaters know it’s a house with allergy-safe options.

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