Teal pumpkins: Offer trick-or-treaters allergy-free option

By: Nadine Aljets .

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Halloween is a spooky holiday, but it is even scarier for kids with food allergies. However, the Teal Pumpkin Project® aims to make the holiday fun and safe for all kids.

Teal Pumpkin Project

The Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE) initiative encourages people to offer non-food treats at Halloween. Place a teal pumpkin outside your home to signify non-food treats are available for trick-or-treaters. The program began in 2014, and it works to create a safer Halloween for all.

Food allergies

One in 13 kids in the United States has a potentially life-threatening food allergy, according to FARE. Tree nuts, peanuts, milk, eggs, soy, wheat, fish and shellfish are the cause of most food allergies. In fact, these eight foods account for 90 percent of food allergies.

Halloween can be a difficult time for kids because they want to partake in activities like trick-or-treating. However, many candies contain nuts, soy, eggs or wheat. Otherwise, candy is often manufactured in a factory that makes other foods containing these ingredients. As a result, candy can be a potentially life-threatening treat for kids with food allergies.

Get involved

On Halloween, place a teal pumpkin outside your home and offer non-food treats. Teal-colored pumpkins can be purchased in some stores, or real or fake pumpkins can simply be painted teal at home. Treats could include coloring books, stickers, art supplies or Halloween-themed toys and trinkets like spider rings or pencils.

FARE also offers free signs and resources on its website. Post these signs outside the home to let trick-or-treaters know you are offering non-food treats. Showcase your teal pumpkin on social media this Halloween using #tealpumpkinproject.

Sanford Children’s encourages parents and guardians to examine their children’s candy and other treats after trick-or-treating to make sure it is safe to eat or play with. Happy (and safe) Halloween to all!

“The Teal Pumpkin Project and the Teal Pumpkin Image are trademarks of Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE).”