17 Oct Teal is the New Orange
Are you wondering why some families are putting out teal pumpkins for Halloween? I have the answer for you! It’s an initiative to support children with food allergies on Halloween and I’m going to tell you all about it in this blog post. Read on to learn more about why TEAL IS THE NEW ORANGE!
For the past few years, I have been participating in the Teal Pumpkin Project® . It’s an amazing initiative that was launched by the Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE) organization in 2014. The purpose behind the Teal Pumpkin Project® is to help kids with food allergies enjoy their trick-or-treating experience by offering non-food treats.
How to Participate
To signal to trick-or-treaters that you support the Teal Pumpkin Project®, place a teal pumpkin in front of your home and/or put the Teal Pumpkin Project® poster in your window. Do your best to put this up before Halloween so everybody can see that you’ll be offering allergy-friendly options. You can find all the resources on the Food Allergy Canada website here.
Get creative with your non-food treats! The dollar store is a great place to find fun treats for your trick-or-treaters this Halloween. Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Glow sticks
- Small toys
- Crayons and pads of paper
- Temporary tattoos
You can still offer typical Halloween candy in addition to your non-food treat options. My recommendation is to do your best to offer allergy-friendly candies! Chocolate bars tend to be a problematic option for kids with food allergies because they generally contain nuts, gluten, dairy, and/or soy. Chips or candies are often more allergy-friendly. Or you can choose brands like Made Good or Enjoy Life that are free of the most common allergens.
My Teal Pumpkin Experience
My experience with it over the past couple of years has been fantastic! It’s exciting to come up with different ideas for non-food treats each year and contribute to a happier, healthier, and safer Halloween for not only kids with food allergies but all trick-or-treaters. I love it when a child with a food allergy comes to the door and their eyes light up when they find out that our house is allergy-friendly! There is no need for them to dig through the candy bowl looking for the few Halloween candy options that are safe for them to eat. I don’t have to worry about the disappointment a child experiences when they realize that their only option is a treat that contains nuts, dairy, gluten, or other allergens.
After a few years of participating, my neighbours know that I’m the one with the non-food treats and they are interested to see what I have to offer each year. It also sparks great conversation with both the children and their parents and helps raise awareness about food allergies in general.
It’s likely not surprising that I feel a personal connection to this initiative because of my own food allergy to gluten and my experiences living with celiac disease. I know what it feels like to be part of a celebration or event that focuses on food that I’m unable to eat. Participating in Teal Pumpkin Project® means that Halloween can be an inclusive celebration instead of one that isolates children living with food allergies. Let’s make sure children with food allergies don’t feel left out this Halloween!