Halloween is such an exciting time as a kid! Picking out a cool costume, staying up late and getting free candy – what could be better? But for families with food allergies, Halloween can be tricky. Most traditional Halloween treats are not safe for kids with life-threatening food allergies, which leave parents to wonder – should I even take my child out trick-or-treating?
Luckily, there is a solution to ensure ALL kids are included and kept safe! The Teal Pumpkin Project purpose is to raise awareness for food allergies and promote inclusion by providing non-food treats for trick-or-treaters. By painting and displaying a teal pumpkin in front of your home you can let food allergy families know that non-food treats are available.
The Teal Pumpkin Project started in 2014 in a small town in Tennessee. Each year, more homes across America have participated and last year set a record at over 18,000 participants! My family has been participating in the Teal Pumpkin Project since 2014 and each year Cam (our food allergy kiddo) paints his teal pumpkin proudly.
I would love to participate but I don’t have time to paint a teal pumpkin: No problem! The Food Allergy Research & Education website has free printable signs you can post on your front door or window.
I’m not sure what non-food treats to pass out: Erasers, glow sticks, pencils, spider rings, stickers and bouncy balls are just a few of the super cool items you could pass out in addition or in lieu of candy this year. Let’s face it, even after we raid our kids Halloween stash they still have more candy then they’ll actually eat. Kids really enjoy these little trinkets and toys!
Can I still pass out candy? Sure thing! Keep your non-food treats and food treats in separate bowls. Each year SnackSafely.com comes out with a Halloween list of safe candies and treats. Some brands known for being allergen friendly are: YumEarth, Skinny Pop, Enjoy Life, Tootsie Roll and Tootsie Pops, and Free2B.
So grab a paint brush and some teal paint and support a great cause! The only thing that should be scary on Halloween is the costumes!
For more information on the Teal Pumpkin Project please visit Food Allergy Research & Educations website: www.foodallergy.org
Punk Mama Jessica shared her family’s food allergy story earlier this year on Punk Mamas, here. We’re thankful she has decided to share the Teal Pumpkin Project with us all and provide some tips for keeping our little ones safe this Halloween!