Parenting Win of the Week: Teal Pumpkin Project

Make this Halloween an inclusive Halloween.

October 13, 2022

Photo by: Courtesy of FARE

Courtesy of FARE

Likely by now, you have heard of the Teal Pumpkin Project, but if you haven’t, it’s a movement started by the Food Allergy Research and Education Organization, FARE, to help kids with food allergies have a safe and inclusive Halloween. It’s been around for about a decade and now, just by googling "Teal Pumpkin Project," you can come up with all sorts of teal paraphernalia from pumpkins to put on your porch to window clings and even trick or treat baskets.

I am lucky enough that nobody in my house has food allergies, but we have plenty of friends who do. After going through some allergic stuff myself, I realize just how careful you need to be to avoid allergens.

After all, 1 in 13 kids have some sort of food allergy and this time of year can be super anxiety-inducing for them. It’s Halloween and they deserve to have fun too.

So, this is an amazing thing that they are doing to help keep kids safe. We chatted with Tiffany Leon, RD who works for FARE and helps get the word out about their programs, including the Teal Pumpkin Project. Here’s what you should know if you want to get involved.

How do you let families know you are participating?

By placing a teal pumpkin on the porch. You can get these in a number of different places (or paint your own!) This year, CVS has become a partner in all things Teal Pumpkin Project. There are also signs you can print from the FARE website. New this year, you can also put your house into a virtual map so people can login and see where in their neighborhood there are teal pumpkins.

What do you need to do to participate?

The Teal Pumpkin Project is all about providing non-food items. Although there are some candies and treats that have come a long way with avoiding the top allergies, there is still a chance that a trick-or-treater may be allergic to another ingredient. This way, you know you are providing something completely safe for those with allergies.

What are some ideas for fun non-food items?

There are a ton! Glow sticks are always a fan favorite. Pencil toppers, bookmarks, bubbles, stickers, stencils are other good suggestions.

Can I still give out candy?

Yes, of course! Just make sure you offer your non-food treats in a separate bowl because cross-contact is very high risk in Halloween candies.

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