“Putting a teal pumpkin on your doorstep means you have non-food treats available, such as glow sticks or small toys. This simple act promotes inclusion for trick-or-treaters with food allergies or other conditions.” ~ Food Allergy Research & Education

Background

As we are approaching our first Halloween with Tiny, we felt uneasy about preparing for Trick-or-Treating. As a child, I loved Halloween! I loved dressing up, dragging along a pillowcase, and eager to score some candy. I never considered what it might be like for people who don’t have the luxury of eating any candy bar placed in their candy bucket. Now, as a momma of a 10-month-old with food allergies, I have a new understanding of the need for the Teal Pumpkin Project {#tealpumpkinproject}.

Image credit: www.foodallergy.org

The Teal What?!

The Teal Pumpkin Project’s goal is to raise awareness of food allergies and to provide a fun and safe Halloween experience for ALL kids. According to FARE, the Food Allergy and Research & Education, 1 in 13 people have a food allergy. Unfortunately, so many children with food allergies cannot safely participate in trick or treating. But, The Teal Pumpkin Project is working to change that! By participating in the Teal Pumpkin Project, you put a teal-colored pumpkin on your doorstep, which demonstrates that you have non-food treat items. When families see that you have a teal pumpkin, they know they can safely accept treats from your house. Learn more about the Teal Pumpkin Project.

Treat Ideas

Now, you might be thinking, if I don’t pass out candy, what in the world should I pass out?! Have no fear! If you choose to be allergen-free, you can pass out glow sticks, stickers, bubbles, yo-yos, pencils, or any other non-food items. Also, it is important to know that you can still pass out your usual Halloween treats! Simply keep two separate bowls of treats; one that has the regular stash of goodies, and one that is allergen-free. Having both types of treats will surely make your house a Halloween hit!

Participating in the Project

If you decide to participate in the Teal Pumpkin Project, you can add your house to the Teal Pumpkin Project map. The 2018 Teal Pumpkin Project Map helps families with food allergies know where to trick or treat. The FARE website also provides a plethora of free resources that you can download including posters, Facebook profile pictures, and cover photos, yard signs, stencils, coloring pages, and activities for kids! They also provide these signs in Spanish and French. FARE is really aspiring to be an inclusive resource for families of kids with food allergies.

Welcoming Change

While sticking to “tradition” is comfortable, sometimes change is necessary. When I first heard about the Teal Pumpkin Project, I was kidless and in college. As an Education Major, I considered the importance of a project like this, but it quickly dissipated from my thoughts. Now, I am fortunate enough to have Tiny, and realize how crucial it is to have access to allergen-free treats. I hope that you consider participating in this awesome project!

#tealpumpkinproject

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