Go Teal! Why You Should Join the Teal Pumpkin Project

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Curious about the teal pumpkins you see popping up around town? Read on to learn more about the Teal Pumpkin Project. We’ve got suggestions for families wanting to participate in the Teal Pumpkin Project this Halloween. 

One in 13 children in the United States has some kind of food allergy so it’s likely you know a child that has one or maybe your own child is part of the food allergy community. Food allergies can be everything from minor allergic reactions to life-threatening emergencies, so parents, family, friends, and teachers are often vigilant of food labels.

It’s so sad to see the disappointment a child living with food allergies may feel when confronted with a food that irritates him and everyone else gets to enjoy it. No one wants that to happen to trick-or-treaters, but sadly allergen-safe food trinkets and treats are not common on the Halloween scene.

Halloween can be an especially challenging time for these kids and their families as schools have parties with candy that are off-limits, stores are filled with treats that are forbidden and all their friends are trick-or-treating and filling their baskets with chocolate and candies that contain threatening allergens.

But, we can help change the trick-or-treat experience for children living with food allergies by offering some safer trick-or-treat options. Include small items in addition to candy, and display a teal pumpkin letting families know that you have options for their child.

This article includes:
What is the Teal Pumpkin Project?
Non-food Ideas for Trick or Treaters

Teal Pumpkin Project

For all the ways to celebrate Halloween in Greenville and the Upstate, don’t miss our HUGE Guide to Halloween Celebrations and Trick-or-Treat in Greenville and Spartanburg.

Enter the Teal Pumpkin

In 2014, the Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE), came up with an idea to help make Halloween safer for these kids and less stressful for their parents.

They asked people across the country to swap out their candy and treats for non-food trinkets to hand out to trick-or-treaters. To tell the little pumpkins, astronauts, and goblins that their house was safe for kids with food allergies, FARE suggested painting a pumpkin teal and putting it outside for everyone to see.

First of all, this is a great idea and a wonderful way to include these children who may feel left out otherwise.

Secondly, teal is a pretty color and easily recognizable, even in the dim twilight of Halloween trick-or-treating.


Grateful Parents & Kids

Homes that choose to paint their pumpkins teal elicit a huge sigh of relief from parents who are out with their little ones who are allergic to some types of food, including nuts, seeds, or dairy, many of which are found in traditional Halloween candy.

“Trick or treating has been a difficult holiday to participate in with our son, who has several food allergies. Last year, he was able to only eat five candies out of his entire bucket,” explained Emile Dowd, a mom of two adorable boys and owner of WonderLight Photography in Greenville.

“The Teal Pumpkin Project has made it a lot easier for our little guy to enjoy and participate in trick-or-treating alongside his friends. It’s fun to see him so excited when we come to a house with a teal pumpkin and we’ve been really grateful for those that take the time to include all children! Hopefully, more and more people decide to participate each year so that kids with allergies can feel included in the festivities.”

FARE offers some ideas to get the word out in your own neighborhood about the Teal Pumpkin Project like putting up flyers (you can download premade ones at FARE’s website), making a homemade sign that sits with your teal pumpkin to help explain it, and posting about it on social media using the hashtag #tealpumpkinproject. Be sure to post about it as well in your neighborhood Facebook page or website.

Teal Pumpkin Project Ideas: Non-Food Things for Trick-or-Treaters

When food treats and candy is not an option, try this list of trick-or-treat alternatives for kids. Teal pumpkin families can give out:

Bouncy balls
Rubber stamps
Mini-crayon sets
Finger puppets
Adjustable rings
Little dinosaur toys
Sticky hands

The Oriental Trading Company even has a page of Halloween novelty toys great for people who want to participate in the Teal Pumpkin Project.

The list is endless. Be creative. Put a teal pumpkin on your doorstep and provide treats for children for whom candy is not an option. Maybe next year, the teal pumpkin homes will be known for giving out the coolest things for Halloween.

Do you have a child in your family or on your block who would be excited to see teal pumpkins this Halloween?

About the Author
Kristina Hernandez is a mom of two girls, freelance writer and photographer. Originally from New Jersey, she is in love with the Upstate and could not imagine raising her kids anywhere else. She enjoys hiking to waterfalls, kayaking, camping, cooking, and exploring all that Greenville has to offer. And she really loves baby goats. Follow her on Instagram at @scadventurer.

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