It is never fun for a child to be on the sidelines of all the fun. Halloween is often like that for those children living with food allergies or other dietary restrictions. Sometimes they are forgotten in the best part of Halloween—trick-or-treating! Because of this, we are so grateful that our village always makes a way for our son with food allergies to be safely included, no matter the occasion. Each year, our children dress up in their costumes and look forward to an amazing night of racking up on treats and fun!
The Teal Pumpkin Project
The Teal Pumpkin Project (TPP) recognizes that children with food allergies and other dietary restrictions can sometimes be excluded when it comes to treats that are usually a part of Halloween festivities. This initiative raises awareness to promote inclusion of all those with food restrictions during fall celebrations and Halloween. So, trinkets and non-food items are shared with trick-or-treaters as safer alternatives to food products.
If you are an allergy family or have a child with a feeding tube or specific dietary restrictions, you can register with the Teal Pumpkin Project and discover other allergy-friendly neighborhoods. To participate, just follow the easy steps below:
- Provide non-food treats for trick-or-treaters, trunk-or-treaters, or party guests.
- Use a sign or a teal pumpkin to indicate that you have non-food treats available.
- Add your home to the Teal Pumpkin Project map on FARE’s website so trick-or-treaters can find your home and get goodies. Don’t worry, your personal information will not be shared publicly.
- Spread the word! Share this initiative via social media or within your child’s schools, churches, and community groups so that it grows every year to include more and more children.
And guess what?! As an incentive for joining Teal Pumpkin Project through FARE’s website, you can WIN one of three $500 gift cards. How awesome is that?!
If you opt out of going door-to-door or participating in trunk-o-treat parties, you can still create an amazing night of memories for your child. Here are some suggestions of other fun things that you can do with your child or the neighborhood kids:
- Dress up at home and party.
- Watch a “scary movie” like Monsters, Inc.
- Do fall crafts together as a family. You can even give prizes for these!
- Make Jack-o-lanterns.
Just remember that Halloween doesn’t have to be scary for those managing food allergies. We can all work together to make it safe, fun, and exciting for all children this year.
For more great information on the Teal Pumpkin Project, tune in to Chop Friendly’s podcast “Journey with us by Chop Friendly” to hear kiddos Chop, Journey, and Health ed Mom Tanisha Foster’s discussion of it together!