Rochester Local

The Teal Pumpkin Project: A Happier Halloween For All

teal pumpkin

Ah, the cool crisp air of fall is finally here which means fall decorations are slowly making their appearances to people’s front porches. As I admire how people strategically place their straw bales, corn stalks, spooky Halloween decor, and pumpkins on their porch, I also look to see how many houses place teal pumpkins out front. And yes, I said teal – not white, not orange but teal. The teal pumpkins are not your eyes fooling you or a trick courtesy of holiday-loving neighbors. Rather, it’s part of the Teal Pumpkin Project®. The people over at F.A.R.E created the Teal Pumpkin Project to raise awareness of food allergies and to create a safer and happier Halloween for all. 

By placing a teal pumpkin near your door, hanging one of the free printables in your window or putting up one of the yard signs, you are letting children (and parents) know you have non-food item treats available.

1 in 13 children has a food allergy and even a tiny amount of their allergen has the potential to cause a severe reaction. Many of these children want to partake in dressing up in a costume and sharing this fun tradition with friends and family even though they know they will have to give much (if not all) of their candy away. By providing non-food treats these kids are able to go home with a treat that they can fully enjoy.

Some terrific non-food treats are:

  • Pens, Pencils, Crayons, and Markers
  • Mini Notepads
  • Stickers
  • Glow sticks, bracelets, or necklaces 
    • This has been a top favorite at my house, especially with parents because it lights up their little ones as they are running from house to house
  • Spider Rings
  • Vampire Teeth
  • Stamps
  • Whistles
  • Bubbles
  • Finger Puppets
  • Bookmarks
  • Fake Eyeballs
  • Temporary Tattoos
  • Wind-up toys or other novelty toys

** Remember some non-food items still contain food allergens, such as some brands of moldable clay or play-doh may contain wheat. Also, try to choose latex-free items for those with latex allergies. 

So as you prep to have the best fall decor in your neighborhood this Halloween, be sure to follow our to-do list below to make sure you are one of the houses participating in the Teal Pumpkin Project this year!

Teal Pumpkin Project To-do List:

  • Place a teal pumpkin or one of F.A.R.E’s free printable signs on your front porch
    • Faux teal pumpkins (perfect for using year after year) can be found at your local Michaels or other big box stores, you can also find some great options on Etsy. If you are feeling crafty, you can paint a real or faux pumpkin to place on your porch. 
  • Purchase your non-food items for trick or treaters
    • Be sure to keep them in a separate container away from the food items as many allergies can just be from cross-contamination. 
    • If you are up for being as crazy as me, I make goodie bags to hand out that contain one of each of my non-food items.
  • Register your house on F.A.R.E’s interactive map
    • This allows parents and/or kids to put in their zip code and see what houses in their area are partaking in the Teal Pumpkin Project. 
    • Besides registering your house be sure to share with your neighbors, friends, and family. I utilize social media to share amongst my neighborhood Facebook group along with other groups that I participate within my city. I also use the Neighborhood app to reach my neighbors and surrounding neighborhoods in my area. 
  • Lastly, enjoy seeing a child’s face light up when they come to your door knowing that they can get an item that won’t be confiscated or dangerous to their health!

*Originally published October 2019*

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