Teal pumpkins are making Halloween more fun and inclusive for millions of children with food allergies and other dietary restrictions.
That's because people put teal pumpkins on their porches to indicate they are offering non-candy treats as an alternative to trick-or-treaters on Halloween.
Only in its fifth year as a national awareness initiative, the Teal Pumpkin Project has become a household tradition for many families across the United States. The Teal Pumpkin Project was started by the organization Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE).
The Teal Pumpkin Project is not intended to replace the tradition of giving out candy on Halloween. In fact, many participating families across the country will have available both candy and non-food treats for trick-or-treaters. To help promote a safe experience, FARE suggests that families who are giving out candy in addition to non-food treats keep sweet treats in a separate bowl or container from non-food treats.
Halloween safety tips for kids with food allergies
FARE also recommends families managing food allergies keep the following safety tips in mind:
- Enforce a “no eating while trick-or-treating” rule, so that you have time to review all food labels.
- Avoid candy and treats that do not have an ingredient label.
- Always have an epinephrine auto-injector available, if prescribed.
- Keep in mind that the mini-size, fun-size, or bite-size version of candy may contain different ingredients than their full-size counterparts. Make no assumptions, and read all labels carefully.
- Keep the emphasis on the fun, rather than the candy.
- Remember that a candy that has been safe for your child in the past may now have different ingredients. Read the label every time!
How to participate
It’s not too late to participate! With a few simple steps, anyone can join the Teal Pumpkin Project:
- Provide non-food treats for trick-or-treaters
- Paint a pumpkin teal or buy a teal pumpkin at your local craft store or pharmacy or print a free sign from www.tealpumpkinproject.org
- Place your teal pumpkin or sign in front of your home to indicate non-food treats are available.
Ideas for non-food treats for kids on Halloween
Need some ideas for some non-food treats to hand out to kids on Halloween? Check out this list: