The Teal Pumpkin Project

Each fall I become more excited as I see teal painted pumpkins sit on doorsteps.  The Teal Pumpkin Project is growing! I first read about The Teal Pumpkin Project a few years ago when I was researching candy options for my child who has food allergies. It was eye-opening and exciting to learn about a way to identify houses in which the ‘Tricks or Treats’ included non-food related treats for kids!  In fall 2012, Becky, a single mom of two, launched the pumpkin project. Within 3 years, Canada and Britain have joined the movement. The idea has been trademarked by FARE (Food Allergy and Research Education). FARE licenses its use out to food retailers and food manufacturers at Halloween. Food allergies have become an epidemic among our youth. 1 in every 12-13 children suffer from one. My son had an epi-pen for an egg allergy. (Miraculously, he has outgrown this allergy at age 6, but we are still hesitant to try it.)  We have a friend who cannot even touch a surface that may have remnants of dairy on it without reacting.  We have lost count of those we know with nut allergies. Then I throw in my son’s gluten intolerance.  Add it all up and you get disaster for Halloween.  teal6 My son just turned 6, and this will only be his 3rd Halloween that he really understands the whole concept of knocking = candy.  I’ve always just swiped the bucket and dumped the candy before he tasted any.  We are no stranger to chocolate in this house, but we are a very clean-eating home.  So, I typically provide some fair trade, delicious, high quality treats in exchange for the junk collected on Halloween.  Last year, I learned about the Switch Witch.  While my kids are used to giving up the candy for treats that won’t hurt their bellies, other families may find the Switch Witch really helpful!  You can let the witch take the candy and she will leave a toy behind!  It’s really up to you just how creative to get with it all.

But back to the teal pumpkins.  The idea is this:

Place a teal pumpkin outside to let parents know you have items that are safe for a child with food allergies. It’s really that simple.

Jump on the Teal Pumpkin Movement!  Let your kids paint some pumpkins or print and hang a sign on your door!  Together, we can make Halloween a fun holiday for EVERY child.   Don’t feel bad about offering snacks!  Just remember those who are left out with the goodies – include them with non-food items. teal1 Non-Food Treat Ideas:  (Oriental Trader, Amazon, The Dollar Store, Target, etc… Just about anywhere has little Knick-knacks that kids will love!)
  • Glow Sticks
  • Light-Up Rings
  • Stickers
  • Toothbrushes
  • Coins
  • Pencils
  • Erasers
  • Plastic spiders
  • Yo-yos
  • Kazoos
  • Fake vampire teeth
  • Wax lips
  • Mini containers or play-dough
  • Silly Putty
  • Bubbles
  • Slide puzzles
  • Puzzles
  • Slime
  • Fake eyeballs
  • Spinning tops
  • Bouncy balls
  • Straws
  • Whistles
  • Mini Slinky
  • Jumping spiders
  • Stress balls
  • Wind-up toys
  • Finger puppets
  • Slide whistles
  • Balloons
  • Kaleidoscopes
  • Plastic bracelets
  • Snap bracelets
  • Temporary tattoos
  • Adjustable rings
  • Disguise glasses
  • Glow-in-the-dark bracelets
  • Face mustaches
  • Bat/Spider rings
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