What is The Teal Pumpkin Project?
Raising food allergy awareness and offering the option of non-food trinkets and toys in a separate bowl makes Halloween safer and more inclusive for all trick-or-treaters.
The Teal Pumpkin Project is a simple way to make trick-or-treating safer and more inclusive for the one in 13 children living with food allergies, and many others impacted by intolerances and other conditions. Placing a teal pumpkin on your doorstep signals that, in addition to candy, you offer non-food trinkets and treats that are safe for all trick or treaters.
Ideas for Non-Food Treats:
Available at dollar stores, party supply stores, or online shops, these low-cost items can be purchased and handed out to all trick-or-treaters, or made available in a separate bowl from candy if you choose to hand out both options. Nearly all of these items can be found in a Halloween theme or festive colors.
- Glow sticks
- Pencils, pens, crayons or markers
- Erasers or pencil toppers
- Mini Slinkies
- Whistles, kazoos, noisemakers
- Bouncy Balls
- Finger puppers or novelty toys
- Spider Rings
- Vampire Fangs
- Mini notepads
- Playing cards
Every year, millions of children look forward to Halloween, planning their costumes and anticipating loads of candy. But kids with food allergies (and their parents) must approach Halloween with caution – and diligent label-reading!
Allergy-Safe Tips for Trick-or-Treating:
- Stock up on safe treats or inexpensive trinkets/toys to trade for any unsafe candies your child might receive while trick-or-treating. You can also use sorting through your child's candy as an opportunity to teach him or her about hidden allergens and reading labels.
- Enforce a “no eating while trick-or-treating” rule, so that you have time to review all food labels.
- Avoid candy and treats that do not have an ingredient label.
- Always have an epinephrine auto-injector available, if prescribed.
- Keep in mind that the mini-size, fun-size, or bite-size version of candy may contain different ingredients than their full-size counterparts. Make no assumptions, and read all labels carefully.
- Keep the emphasis on the fun, rather than the candy.
- Consider starting a tradition by allowing their kids to leave their unsafe candies out for the “Good Witch” to collect and leave behind small gifts and safe treats.
- Consider making small and safe “goody bags” for neighbors to give to your child. Deliver the bags in advance and describe your child’s costume to your neighbors. Encourage your child to trick-or-treat at the houses in which you’ve delivered the bags.
- Consider skipping trick-or-treating, and have a Halloween party instead, featuring safe and delicious treats. Or, skip the treats altogether by replacing them with other fun Halloween toys, games, or party favors.
- Remember that a candy that has been safe for your child in the past may now have different ingredients. Read the label, every time.