What kid doesn’t love Halloween?! You get to dress up, trick or treat, eat a ton of candy…it’s awesome! And this year, to help keep Halloween fun and safe for everyone, we’re participating in the Teal Pumpkin Project. We put a teal pumpkin on our front porch to indicate that we have candy AND non-food treats for trick-or-treaters. This way kids with food allergies can safely trick or treat with their friends, and they don’t have to give up their “treats” at the end of the night because of possible allergic reactions!
The Teal Pumpkin Project – Halloween 2014
The Teal Pumpkin Project was created by FARE (Food Allergy Research & Education) to help spread awareness of food allergies and to keep Halloween inclusive and safe for all children, even those with food allergies. The idea is not to change the Halloween tradition of handing out candy to trick or treaters, but just to add another tradition of having non-food treats available for children with food allergies!
I had friends growing up who had severe peanut allergies, and we all went trick or treating together, but at the end of the night they had to give up most of their candy because it might have been in contact with nuts. Even candy bars that are normally “safe” (i.e. don’t have nuts etc. in them) can be dangerous; the miniature sizes that are usually given out on Halloween are manufactured on the same equipment as other candies that do contain nuts.
It seems like such a shame for kids with food allergies to have to miss out on part of the Halloween fun, so I think the Teal Pumpkin Project is a great idea! Everyone gets to trick or treat AND keep their treats at the end of the night!
If you want to participate, it’s super easy!
- Head to the dollar store and buy some non-food treats.
- Grab a pumpkin (real or fake) and paint it teal.
- Put the pumpkin on your front porch, along with a sign letting trick-or-treaters know that you have non-food treats as well as candy this year! You can download some cute signs for your porch from FARE’s website.
There are tons of non-food treats readily available, and if you find them at a dollar store, it’s even less expensive than buying bags of candy! Here are some ideas to get you started:
- spider rings
- skull rings
- vampire teeth
- bouncy balls
- novelty toys
We bought 50 skull rings, 50 spider rings, 24 pencils, and 24 erasers at the dollar store for a whopping total of $6! I’m pretty sure that’s less than half of what we paid for each giant bag of candy we bought!
And I found a foam pumpkin on sale at a craft store for $3 and painted it teal. Don’t worry if the first coat is streaky and see through like my pumpkin was below; you can always do a second or third coat if you need to!
We put the teal pumpkin out on our front porch, and put a sign up in the window letting our neighbors know about the Teal Pumpkin Project. So we’re ready for trick-or-treaters this year, whether they want candy or non-food treats!
Do you have a teal pumpkin this year? It’s such a simple, easy, inexpensive way to help make Halloween safer, so I’m planning to do it every year from now on!
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If you liked this project, check out these other simple Halloween ideas!