What it means if you see a teal pumpkin outside a home this Halloween

If you notice a teal pumpkin outside a home this Halloween, it's likely much more than just a decoration

If you're out trick-or-treating this Halloween, you might notice some homes displaying a teal pumpkin outside their front door -- and it's more than just a decoration.

According to FARE -- Food Allergy and Research Education -- teal-colored pumpkins are part of a national effort called the "Teal Pumpkin Project" to make Halloween more safe for children with food allergies.

"Placing a teal pumpkin on your doorstep signals that, in addition to candy, you offer non-food trinkets and treats that are safe for all trick or treaters," FARE's website states.

According to FARE, one in 13 children has a potentially life-threatening food allergy, and many others are impacted by food intolerances or other digestive conditions.

And since many of the popular Halloween candies contain some of the most common food allergies -- nuts, milk, egg, soy or wheat -- the effort, which launched in 2012, has grown.

"The number of children with food allergies has risen dramatically over the past 20 years, and the Teal Pumpkin Project brings the community together to ensure a safe and inclusive Halloween for all trick-or-treaters," FARE President & CEO Tiffany Leon, RD, said.

How The Teal Pumpkin Project works

Place a teal-colored pumpkin outside on your porch or doorstep to signify that you have non-food or allergen-free treats in addition to or in place of traditional candy.

If you're offering both, make sure to place the candy in a separate container.

If your child has food allergies, get them a teal-colored treat bucket.

FARE also provides free downloadable Teal Pumpkin Project signs for those who want to participate. Just print out this PDF.

Map of homes with a teal-colored pumpkin

Before heading out to go trick-or-treating this year, you can check the Teal Pumpkin Project Map to see which houses near you are participating. You can also submit your house to the map as well, if you are offering allergy-friendly treats.

Not all homes that participate however add their location to the map -- so the best way to know is to look out for that teal-colored pumpkin outside.

Where to get a teal-colored pumpkin

According to FARE, teal pumpkin project supplies can be found at drug stores like CVS. Target also carries teal pumpkins and teal pumpkin signs that very clearly indicate that a home is offering allergy-free alternatives.

What are some ideas for non-food treats?

Here's a list of ideas:

  • Glow sticks, bracelets, or necklaces
  • Pencils, pens, crayons or markers
  • Fun erasers or pencil toppers
  • Bubbles
  • Mini Slinkies
  • Whistles, kazoos, or noisemakers
  • Bouncy balls
  • Finger puppets
  • Plastic spider rings
  • Vampire fangs
  • Monster fingers
  • Mini notepads
  • Playing cards
  • Bookmarks
  • Stickers
  • Stencils
  • Mini Play-doh
  • Mardi-gras beads
  • Finger skateboard
  • Slime or silly putty
  • Cat ears
  • Masks
  • Stamps
  • Novelty glasses
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