I am super excited for this Halloween as I have joined The Teal Pumpkin Project! If you are unfamiliar with it, the project was started to raise awareness of food allergies and to promote the inclusion of all trick-or-treaters on Halloween night. It has become a worldwide movement to offer alternatives for kids with food allergies, and kids for whom candy is not an option, to ensure that everyone can participate in the fun.
For parents of children, with life-threatening foods allergies, Halloween can be a hard thing to manage. The Teal Pumpkin Project helps to promote a safe and inclusive experience for kids with food allergies. The idea behind the project is to create awareness but also to help Halloween be a fun and positive experience for all kids.
The project’s focus though FARE (Food Allergy Research & Education) is, of course, allergies but another positive of this project that dentists and nutritional professionals can rejoice in, is when non-food treats are offered to trick-or-treaters. As a mom, I dread seeing that huge bag of candy my kids can accumulate after only a few streets, to have some contents of that bag not be candy, but instead fun objects like glow sticks and Hallowe’en pencils that they can keep is, I think, awesome.
What I like about the Teal Pumpkin Project is that, as a participant, you have some options, based on your comfort level. One choice is to offer only non-food treats and the project provides a list of some great ideas . Most of these items I scoped out at the dollar store and for 3.00 I can buy a package of 30 Halloween erasers and compared these 60 Halloween erasers for $6.00, to a box of 50 mini chocolate bars, at $8.99. These non-food treats, rather than the traditional candy, can be offered to trick-or-treaters at a comparable price.
Another option is a “You Pick: Candy or Prize” for those that still want to offer candy while providing a safe choice for kids with allergies or for kids who just rather choose that glow bracelet to wear in the dark over another candy bar.
In order to participate, the steps are super simple:
1. Provide an option of non-food treats for trick-or-treaters
2. Place a teal colored pumpkin (the color of food allergy awareness) outside our door to show you have non-food treats inside.
3. Print a free printable sign or premium poster from FARE to explain what the Teal Pumpkin is all about
4. You have the online option to add your address to the map so people looking for Teal Pumpkin houses in their community can find you.
5. Have a fun and inclusive Halloween for all kids![vc_empty_space height=”20px”]
My kids had so much fun painting and decorating the teal pumpkins. While working at it, they spoke about the kids in their classes who miss out of treat days, due to their allergies and expressed their happiness about helping those kids collect items on Halloween night, so that everyone is included. From my family to yours, we wish everyone a happy, healthy and safe Hallowe’en