Around Halloween, you'll probably see pumpkins of all colors -- including orange, of course -- decorated around homes and businesses.
But one specific pumpkin is more purposeful than the rest: The teal pumpkin.
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 says.
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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, 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.
How to Find 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 map as well, 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?
Head to your local Dollar Tree, dollar section at Target, party supply store or anywhere that sells low-cost toys and trinkets. For an extra festive touch, choose items that fit the Halloween theme or colors.
Here's a list of ideas:
- Glow sticks, bracelets, or necklaces
- Pencils, pens, crayons or markers
- Fun erasers or pencil toppers
- Mini Slinkies
- Whistles, kazoos, or noisemakers
- Bouncy balls
- Finger puppets
- Plastic spider rings
- Vampire fangs
- Monster fingers
- Mini notepads
- Playing cards
- Mini Play-doh
- Mardi-gras beads
- Finger skateboard
- Slime or silly putty
- Cat ears
- Novelty glasses