Want to make sure that all trick-or-treaters – even those with food allergies – enjoy treats from your home this Halloween? Consider joining the Teal Pumpkin Project and offering non-food treats to trick-or-treaters.
Started in 2014, the Teal Pumpkin Project encourages people to offer alternative non-food treats to children with food allergies, as well as those children for whom candy is not an option. The project is promoted by the Food Allergy Research and Education (FARE) organization, which offers free resources to participants.
In the US, one in every 13 children have a food allergy, according to FARE. And most popular Halloween candies contain some of the more common allergens such as nuts, wheat, soy, milk and eggs. FARE also points out that miniature or fun-size candy versions may not have labels. This makes it hard to determine if the candies are safe for children with food allergies.
It’s easy to participate in the Teal Pumpkin Project. Just offer some non-food treats for trick-or-treaters. You can still offer candy treats – just have them in a separate bowl from the non-food treats.
Then be sure to let trick-or-treaters know you have non-food items: Paint a pumpkin teal and place it in front of your home. Don’t have a pumpkin or time to paint one? No problem. You can print out one of several free sign options from FARE’s website to put on your door to show you have non-food treats. You can also add you home address or street to the Teal Pumpkin Project’s online interactive map.
What are some popular non-food items? Consider glow sticks or bracelets, cute erasers or pencils, bubbles, novelty toys, bouncy balls, and other such items. These can easily found at your local dollar stores or party store.
For more non-food treat ideas as well other Teal Pumpkin Project resources, check out FARE’s website.