Halloween is just around the corner, and Jack O’Lanterns are popping up on neighborhood porches everywhere. Naturally, as your resident slacker mom, I have zero pumpkins on my porch and only one of my three kids currently has their Halloween costume…BUT I’d be a slacker CITIZEN if I didn’t inform all of you about one Halloween accessory NONE of us should slack on: the Teal Pumpkin.
Have you been seeing teal pumpkins around town and thinking they’re just avant-garde Halloween decor? Well, my friends, they are actually pumpkins with a purpose, part of a bonafide movement called the Teal Pumpkin Project.
According to their website, the Teal Pumpkin Project “encourages people to raise awareness of food allergies and promotes the inclusion of all trick-or-treaters throughout the Halloween season. The nationwide movement offers an alternative for kids with food allergies, as well as other children for whom candy is not an option.”
The Teal Pumpkin Project is the brainchild of FARE – Food Allergy Research and Education, and its purpose is simple: to help kids with food allergies have a safe and happy Halloween by encouraging families to offer non-food treats for those who need them, as well as traditional candy treats to kids who do not have food allergies. Since my son has a gluten sensitivity and I have to go through his candy and pick out what isn’t safe for him, I LOVE this idea! FARE says it’s easy for any home to participate.
The steps to participate in the Teal Pumpkin Project are:
- Provide non-food treats for trick-or-treaters.
- Place a teal pumpkin – the color of food allergy awareness –in front of your home to indicate you have non-food treats available.
- Add your home to the Teal Pumpkin Project map.
- Spread the word! Share the Teal Pumpkin Project with your friends and family.
As I well know, Halloween can be stressful for families managing food allergies, and my son’s allergies are not life-threatening. I cannot imagine how nerve-wracking it must be for families whose children might risk severe illness or death if they eat the wrong thing. Yet, I believe these kids deserve to have a fun and safe trick-or-treat with their peers. That’s why it’s so important that their friends and neighbors participate in the Teal Pumpkin Project to support them!
You can get FREE resources for the Teal Pumpkin Project HERE.
Of course, FARE says, the goal isn’t to eliminate candy from trick or treat, but “simply to ensure that children with food allergies – and other children for whom candy is not an option – are able to enjoy a safer, happier Halloween. Trick-or-treaters typically receive pounds of candies and chocolates, and we’re sure they will continue to collect plenty of candy. Many kids, whether they have food allergies or not, enjoy the experience of receiving little toys and other fun items that they can keep.”
So, NOW you know what those teal pumpkins around town are all about. Will your neighbors see one on your porch soon?