Snickers. Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. Skittles. Twizzlers. These are just a few of the items commonly handed out to children on Halloween. But what about those kids who are allergic to peanuts? What about the ones who eat a gluten-free diet, avoid food dyes, or have a g-tube and can’t ingest food by mouth? How can we find a universal way to offer treats to all children on Halloween without excluding those with food or dietary restrictions?
The answer is the Teal Pumpkin Project. This is now the second year for the Teal Pumpkin Project, which is a campaign launched by Food Allergy Research and Education (FARE) to help support and include all children and families on Halloween. By putting a pumpkin painted teal on your front porch, you are showing your support for all trick-or-treaters and indicating that you offer non-food items that are safe for all children to enjoy. Here’s how you can participate in the Teal Pumpkin Project:
• Paint a pumpkin teal and put it on your front porch on Halloween.
• Put up a copy of a sign to let parents know you have non-food items. Download one here.
• Take the Teal Pumpkin Pledge as a quick and free way to show you are participating. Click here to pledge!
• Provide non-food items such as stickers, glow sticks, vampire fangs, spider rings, stencils, bubbles, mini-Slinkies, kazoos or whistles, crayons, notebooks, or other fun items. You can either offer these to all children instead of candy, or you can set aside a special bucket of non-food items for kids who cannot eat candy.
• Put your home on the map of homes participating in the Teal Pumpkin Project, and view a map of all homes participating to organize your trick-or-treating route.
• Use #tealpumpkinproject to help spread the word when you are posting on social media.
On behalf of all of the families at Leaps and Bounds and all over the world who have kiddos who can’t eat candy on Halloween, we thank you for participating in the Teal Pumpkin Project so that all children who want to can engage in a fun and festive Halloween!