Why Kids Need a Teal Pumpkin This Halloween (and What You Can Do About It)


Food allergies have become more and more prevalent.

Food Allergy Research and Education (FARE) says researchers estimate up to 15 million Americans have food allergies, including 5.9 million children under age 18. That’s one in 13 children or roughly two in every classroom. About 30 percent of children with food allergies are allergic to more than one food.

According to Mayo Clinic, a food allergy is an immune system reaction that occurs soon after eating certain foods. Even the smallest food particle can trigger an allergic reaction, which could include digestive problems, hives or swollen airways. In severe cases, a food allergy can cause life-threatening symptoms or reactions called anaphylaxis. There is no cure for food allergies.

Imagine being a child this Halloween and having a food allergy or a food intolerance. There goes the dream of collecting a pillowcase full of candy.

Enter the “Teal Pumpkin Project.” The Teal Pumpkin is an food allergy advocate initiative to provide safe and fun non-food items for kids on Halloween. By placing a teal pumpkin on your doorstep you let trick-or-treaters know you have non-food treats available, such as glow sticks or small toys.

This simple act promotes inclusion for trick-or-treaters with food allergies or other medical or chronic conditions.

The Teal Pumpkin Project has grown in popularity. A few days ago I stopped by Target and found several cute teal pumpkins, as well as small toy options ready and available right nearby. A dollar store is also a great place to find affordable items.

If you need some ideas about what you provide, here are some great options:

  • Glow sticks
  • Skull shaped crayons
  • Bubbles
  • Stickers
  • Rub-on tattoos
  • Silly putty
  • Glow rings
  • Mini craft kits
  • Squeeshies
  • Glitter glue sticks
  • Plastic spiders (spider rings)
  • Stamps
  • Fun, twisty straws
  • Small containers of “Play-doh” (but keep in mind this brand contains wheat, so it is not an option for kids with wheat and gluten allergies).
  • Water beads
  • Small bottles of nail polish
  • Pencils
  • Erasers
  • Silly string
  • Finger lasers
  • Keychains

Some people like to put together bags with several items inside them. Others have a wide assortment for kids to choose.

View this post on Instagram

NEW BLOG POST: Have you heard about the Teal Pumpkin Project? It’s a great way to make sure kiddos with food allergies are included in Trick-or-Treating! Stock up on some non-food items and stock a teal pumpkin or sign outside your door on Halloween to let parents and kids know that you have a non-food treat! . Need some ideas of what to have for trick-or-treaters? Head over to my newest blog post (link in my bio) to find out more! . . . . . #nerdywedslane #nerdywedsbookshelf #usbornebooks #usbornebooksandmore #empowersocial #socialitesuite #theelitesuite #ubam #usborne #raisingreaders #allthebooks #fortheloveofbooks #bookrecommendations #childrensbooks #childrensbook #picturebooks #picturebook #kidsbooks #kidlit #readaloud #childhoodunplugged #homeschooling #bookrecs #uniteinmotherhood #foodallergies #tealpumpkinproject #foodallergiessuck #tealpumpkin #halloweentreats #allergyfriendly

A post shared by Lindsey Lane (@nerdywedslane) on

View this post on Instagram

We got our #tealpumpkin treats already!

A post shared by Emma Borgard (@tacomuffin10) on

Having a teal pumpkin does not mean you don’t pass out candy. It simply means you have options for the kids who have health conditions or sensory issues that prevent them from digging in the candy bowl.

If you participate in the Teal Pumpkin Project this year, add your home to this map to let the kids with food allergies you have them covered!

Getty image by EvgeniiAnd


Find this story helpful? Share it with someone you care about.


Related to Food allergies

John Crist's Instagram post

Comedian John Crist Angers Food Allergy Community With Offensive Instagram Posts

Comedian John Crist has sparked outrage in the food allergy community after two of his Instagram posts seemed to poke fun at food allergies. View this post on Instagram How they gonna come at Goldfish like this bruh A post shared by John Crist (@johnbcrist) on Sep 29, 2018 at 3:26pm PDT In Crist’s most recent photo, [...]
Actor August Maturo

28 Things People With Food Allergies Wish You Knew

Recently, a friend of mine shared that her child asked her if she should have a will in case she died from an allergic reaction. At a food-allergy medical conference, a colleague told me last winter that her son asked Santa in a letter for Christmas not to let him die if he accidentally ate [...]
EpiPen box with an EpiPen in front of it.

FDA Approves First Direct Generic Form of EpiPen

On Thursday, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the first direct generic competitor to EpiPen and EpiPen Jr. A generic version typically means a lower-cost alternative. “This approval means patients living with severe allergies who require constant access to life-saving epinephrine should have a lower-cost option, as well as another approved product to help [...]
mom and son walking at the zoo

A Back-to-School Letter to Parents, From a Food Allergy Mom

It’s back-to-school time again! A time filled with excitement and much anxiety. We all know the feeling of scrambling to buy supplies, clothes and food so our children are prepared for the first day. We all worry if our children will be safe and happy at school. We all wonder if they will be able [...]