Trick or treating can be scary if you have a food allergy. Halloween treats may contain major allergens like nuts, peanuts, milk, eggs and soy. Fun size confectionery is often given out. These usually only have allergy information on the outside wrapper and not on each individual treat. They also can have different ingredients or be manufactured in a different environment than their full size counterparts. This means that the kids or their parents have to go through the treats to get rid of anything that’s unsafe, leaving a much smaller loot and causing disappointment.
What Do Teal Pumpkins Mean?
The Teal Pumpkin Project® aims to raise awareness and also make Halloween safer for kids with food allergies. By placing a teal (the colour of allergy awareness) pumpkin outside your door, you show that you offer non-food treats like glow sticks, stickers, or small toys. The Teal Pumpkin Project® started in 2014 and has been growing since, even spreading internationally.
“The Teal Pumpkin Project provides an opportunity for all of us to show empathy for kids who often feel excluded. We would love to see at least one teal pumpkin on every block – and it’s a terrific way for communities to come together to celebration inclusion.” said Lois A. Witkop, Chief Advancement Officer at FARE.
For Westlake, OH mom Vikki Meldrum, the Teal Pumpkin Project has already provided an unforgettable experience for her and her 4-year-old daughter Lyla. Meldrum spread the word about the initiative among her neighbours, who have now shown their support for the last two years, with at least 30 teal pumpkins in her own neighbourhood.
“The Teal Pumpkin Project made the holiday inclusive for kids like Lyla. Teal pumpkins empower her to not only feel safe on Halloween (even with so many allergens present), but also that she is truly a part of the holiday,” Meldrum said. “So often we have to bend a typical situation around Lyla’s allergies. This movement has allowed Lyla to freely participate, and that is amazing.”
You can get printable flyers and signs on the Food Allergy Research and Education (FARE) website here: https://www.foodallergy.org/education-awareness/teal-pumpkin-project/free-resources
Get ideas for non-food treats here: https://www.foodallergy.org/education-awareness/teal-pumpkin-project/ideas-non-food-treats
Read our article on Navigating Halloween with Food Allergies for great tips and advice.
Image Credit: Food Allergy Research and Education (FARE)\ The Teal Pumpkin Project®
The TEAL PUMPKIN PROJECT and the Teal Pumpkin Image are trademarks of Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE).