If your child has food allergies and you see a teal-colored pumpkin while you’re out trick-or-treating, take a deep breath — you’ve got a safe spot to go.
Even though most of the houses are handing out potentially life-threatening treats laden with peanuts, tree nuts, coconut, milk ingredients, and gluten, a teal pumpkin is a little gourd-y symbol that says “Hey, it’s cool. We get it.”
This is the first Halloween that FARE (Food Allergy Research & Education) is starting The Teal Pumpkin Project. They’re encouraging families to paint a pumpkin teal, and place it on their porch to signal that they have non-food treats available for little ghosts and ghouls — or, rather, Elsas, Annas, and Ninja Turtles.
What’s a safe non-food item to pass out? FARE suggests glow bracelets or necklaces, pencils, markers, boxes of crayons, erasers, bubbles, mini Slinkies, whistles or noisemakers, bouncy balls, coins, spider rings, vampire teeth, mini notepads, playing cards, bookmarks, stickers, and stencils.
You can purchase these items inexpensively at dollar stores, or online at Amazon and Oriental Trading. The best part is that they’ll easily keep until next Halloween if you have extras, so there’s no waste — unlike those mini chocolate bars, which somehow seem to disappear in the days following Halloween.
FARE is also offering a free printable poster that you can stick in your window — or right on your front door — to make sure trick-or-treaters and their parents understand you have non-food treats available.
We love that this project makes Halloween safer for every child — kids with allergies, kids with diabetes, kids who aren’t able to eat food coloring, kids whose parents simply don’t want them hopped up on sugar. Who wouldn’t love getting a cute little pot of Play-Doh, like Roo hands out?
Even the teal pumpkins themselves can be customized to suit a accommodate a family member’s allergies. Allergic to milk paint? Use acrylic, or even spray paint! If you have a little one with pumpkin allergies, paint a plastic one — and then you can use it every year!
We’re excited to see how many families participate in the first-ever Teal Pumpkin Project. We think it’s going to make trick-or-treating a much more fun — and less stressful — experience for families dealing with food allergies.
What are you waiting for? Get out that teal paint!
Check out Roo’s post about how Halloween with Food Allergies Doesn’t Have to be Scary!