I came across the Teal Pumpkin Project last year and love their mission. The idea is to make Halloween safer and more inclusive for all trick-or-treaters by having non-food trinkets or toys available with your treats. The teal pumpkins also raise awareness of food allergies. Plus they’re pretty.
Food allergies affect one in 13 children. Researchers estimate that 32 million Americans have food allergies, including 5.6 million children under age 18. That’s one in 13 children, or roughly two in every classroom. I personally know kids with nut allergies, egg allergies, dairy allergies and Celiac disease.
My daughter has life threatening peanut and tree nut allergies. For years we’ve carefully combed through her Halloween candy making sure it’s safe. We take 100% responsibility for her safety, and she’s well equipped to exercise caution around food. That being said, it is very refreshing to find people who understand what we go through on a daily basis, or at least want to learn more about her allergies. A little kindness goes a long way, even if it’s just a sympathetic smile from another mom bringing their kid’s epinephrine to the school office. I could write hundreds of blog posts about our experiences, but I’ll save that for another time.
Ideas for non-food treats
Here are a few ideas from the Teal Pumpkin Project to use as non-food treats on Halloween:
- Glow sticks, bracelets, or necklaces
- Pencils, pens, crayons or markers
- Halloween erasers or pencil toppers
- Mini Slinkies
- Whistles, kazoos, or noisemakers
- Bouncy balls
- Finger puppets or novelty toys
- Spider rings
- Vampire fangs
- Mini notepads
- Playing cards
These affordable and FUN items can be found at dollar stores, party stores and online. It’s recommended to keep them in a separate bowl from your candy. Kiddos love these fun little surprises that change things up from the traditional candy dropped into their pumpkins (not to mention less sugar)! They don’t need to be limited to just kids with food allergies. FARE (Food Allergy & Research Education), who trademarked the Teal Pumpkin Project, has this sign available to let kids know they can pick either a candy or a prize.
Don’t forget to set a teal pumpkin out on your doorstep to let trick-or-treaters know you have non-food items available.
Want to get involved?
Visit the Teal Pumpkin Project website here and check out their free resources such as signs, flyers, coloring sheets and more. If you’ve read my bio, you’ll know I’m passionate about nonprofits. I’d love to see some groups and businesses here in Southern Idaho get behind this project. Here are some fun ways to help get the word out on social media.