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The Teal Pumpkin Project: Have an Allergen-Free Halloween!

23 Oct 2023 9:22 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

It’s finally October - fall is in the air and Halloween decorations are going up. As you walk around, you may see teal pumpkins in front yards and wonder, is this merely a quirky design choice? They’re actually part of a national campaign that raises awareness about food allergies, and provides a safe and inclusive way for kids with food allergies to enjoy Halloween.

The CDC estimates that 8% of all children across the United States (about one in 13) face food allergies. The most serious reactions are commonly attributed to at least one of eight different allergens: milk, egg, shellfish, fish, wheat, soy, peanuts, and tree nuts. Allergic reactions don’t always look the same, but 40% of children who have food allergies end up in the emergency room at some point because of allergic reactions.

The Teal Pumpkin Project was started by Becky Basalone in 2012. She had two children with allergies and food intolerances, and wanted a way for them to safely enjoy Halloween. Instead of offering candies, which may contain allergens like peanut, homes with teal pumpkins will offer non-food items. They can range from stickers, to bubbles, to party favor toys. 

If you are interested in participating in the Teal Pumpkin Project, pumpkins can be painted teal or purchased from local retailers. Here are some ideas for non-food treats to give out to trick-or-treaters:

  • LED lights
  • Glow sticks
  • Sensory toys (fidget spinners or bubble pop toys)
  • Glow in the dark critters
  • Wind-up toys
  • Toy jewelry
  • Whistles
  • Stickers
  • Bubbles 
  • Mini-slinkies 
  • Mini bouncy balls

If you would still like to give out a sweet treat to the neighborhood kids, allergy-friendly options include fruit gummies, sun butter cups, fruit lollipops, or jelly beans. Common allergens to look out for include: milk, egg, soy, peanut, tree nuts, wheat, and gluten.

If you would like to look up locations participating in the Team Pumpkin Project or add your own location as a participant, you can check out a map here

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