The Teal Pumpkin Project encourages people to raise awareness of food allergies and promotes inclusion of all trick-or-treaters throughout the Halloween season.
Why is this important?
Halloween can be a tricky time for families managing food allergies. The Teal Pumpkin Project promotes safety, inclusion and respect of individuals managing food allergies. It keeps Halloween a fun, positive experience for all!
What do I do if I want to participate?
Participating is simple. Pick up some inexpensive toys, and place a teal pumpkin and/or a free printable sign from FARE outside your home to show that you have non-food treats to hand out.
Is this a big problem?
Food allergies are a life-altering and potentially life-threatening disease, and a growing public health issue. In the U.S., one in 13 children has a food allergy. For these children, even a tiny amount of their allergen has the potential to cause a severe reaction.
Virtually any food can cause a reaction. Many popular Halloween candies contain nuts, milk, egg, soy or wheat, which are some of the most common allergens in children and adults. Additionally, many miniature or fun-size versions of candy items contain different ingredients than their full-size counterparts and some miniature candy items may not have labels, so it is difficult for parents to determine whether these items are safe for their child with food allergies.
Non-food treats provide a safe, fun alternative for children with food allergies and other conditions for whom candy may present a problem.
The goal is not to exclude candy from the Halloween tradition. The goal is simply to ensure that children with food allergies – and other children for whom candy is not an option – are able to enjoy a safer, happier Halloween.
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.
If I’m handing out candy and non-food treats, how do I determine which treat to give to each trick-or-treater?
You can either ask trick-or-treaters if they have any food allergies, or give every visitor a choice of which treat they’d like: candy or a non-food item.
More info, ideas and downloads available online!