Halloween Teal Pumpkin

FARE is encouraging communities to start a new tradition that will help make this Halloween less scary for children with food allergies: the Teal Pumpkin Project. This campaign encourages people to raise awareness of food allergies by providing non-food treats for trick-or-treaters and painting a pumpkin teal – the color of food allergy awareness – to place in front of their house along with a free printable sign from FARE to indicate they have non-food treats available.

The Teal Pumpkin Project is designed to promote safety, inclusion and respect of individuals managing food allergies – and to keep Halloween a fun, positive experience for all.

Resources

FARE would like to thank the Food Allergy Community of East Tennessee (FACET) for this wonderful idea. We are pleased to bring it to the attention of families across the country, and we hope you will join in our effort to make Halloween more inclusive for children with food allergies!

Ideas for Non-food Treats  Available 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
  • Coins
  • Spider rings
  • Vampire fangs
  • Mini notepads
  • Playing cards
  • Bookmarks
  • Stickers
  • Stencils

View more information about the Teal Pumpkin Project on our blog>

Questions and Answers About the Teal Pumpkin Project
What’s the Teal Pumpkin Project?
The Teal Pumpkin Project encourages people to start a new tradition and raise awareness of food allergies during the Halloween season by:

  • providing non-food treats for trick-or-treaters, and
  • painting a pumpkin teal – the color of food allergy awareness – to place in front of their house along with a free-printable sign from FARE to indicate they have non-food treats available.

Halloween 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 designed to promote safety, inclusion and respect of individuals managing food allergies – and to keep Halloween a fun, positive experience for all. The idea for the Teal Pumpkin Project originated with the Food Allergy Community of East Tennessee (FACET), and FARE is pleased to be bringing it to the attention of families across the country for the first time this year.

What do I do if I want to participate?
Participating is simple – paint a pumpkin teal, pick up some inexpensive toys (ideas can be found on our blog) and download FARE’s sign to show that you have non-food treats to hand out. It’s a simple gesture that can have a big impact. You can also download FARE’s promotional flyer to circulate in your local community so that your neighbors can participate too!

I don’t have time to paint a pumpkin teal, what do I do?
Simple – just print out a free sign from our website and post it on your door! Scroll up to view the two different versions available.

Why teal?
Teal is the color of food allergy awareness.

Are you taking away the traditional aspect of collecting candy on Halloween?
It is not our goal to exclude candy from the Halloween tradition but instead encourage others to add a new tradition to also provide a few non-food items as a safe alternative. Our goal is simply to ensure that all kids with food allergies are able to enjoy Halloween, an event for the entire community. Trick-or-treaters typically receive pounds of candies and chocolates, and we’re sure they will continue to collect plenty of candy this year. Many kids, whether they have food allergies or not, enjoy the experience of receiving little toys and other fun items that they can keep.

Do kids with life-threatening food allergies actually trick-or-treat?
Yes! Who wouldn’t want to participate in such a fun tradition shared with friends, classmates and family? Many kids with food allergies go out to trick-or-treat just like their friends, but they have come to understand that most of their fun will come from dressing up in a costume. They know they’ll give much of their candy away because it’s not safe for them. We hope the Teal Pumpkin Project becomes a tradition for years to come so that kids will know that when they knock on someone’s door that has a teal pumpkin, they’ll have a treat they can fully enjoy.

Are there any non-food treats that I should avoid?
There are a few considerations when choosing which non-food items to hand out. First, some non-food items still contain allergens, such as Play-Doh, which contains wheat. Additionally, try to choose latex-free items, as there are children who also have latex allergies.

Can I still pass out candy?
Sure – just do it safely! The point of the Teal Pumpkin Project is to make trick-or-treating as inclusive as possible. You can keep the experience safe by keeping your food treats and non-food treats in separate bowls, and by asking trick-or-treaters if they have any food allergies or giving them a choice of which treat they’d like: candy, or a non-food item.

Do kids really like non-food treats?
They don’t just like them, they love them! Finding a unique treat at your house will be a fun surprise. Glow bracelets, for example, are a great option – they are inexpensive, kids can wear them throughout the night, and parents are appreciative because they help make kids more visible after nightfall. Other non-food items, such as pencils and stickers, can be used at home and at school long after candy has run out or expired.

How do I get my neighbors involved?
Print out some of FARE’s flyers and hand them out to your friends and neighbors. If you have a neighborhood email listserv, you can send out an email about the initiative, including a link to FARE’s website. You can also reach out to your local library, dentist/doctor offices, schools, or community buildings to see if they would be willing to help you post signs or get the word out. Share information on social media, and post a picture of your teal pumpkins when you have them near your door! Don’t forget to use the hashtag #TealPumpkinProject when you post!

All information above is from FARE.

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