Children with food allergies won’t have to miss out on Halloween trick-or-treating this year; all they have to do is look for houses with teal pumpkins outside, which will let them know that allergy-free treats are available.
The Teal Pumpkin Project is a move by the Food Allergy Research & Education Foundation (FARE) to encourage families to offer allergy-free treats to kids, and to let them know that allergy-free treats are available at their house, by putting out teal pumpkins.
For kids managing food allergies, Halloween can be a frustrating time (and for a child in England, every day is a frustrating day; according to this Inquisitr report, Max Billingham’s food allergies are so bad that he can only eat carrots, potatoes and bananas). Paula Dempsey, whose granddaughter Allie has dairy, egg, gluten, soy and nut allergies, tells KTHV (Little Rock) that Halloween is one of the hardest holidays for her family to celebrate.
“The candy looks really good and lots of people are eating it like on the street, and I’m just like ‘No fair.'”
That’s where the Teal Pumpkin Project comes in. Two years ago, Becky Bassalone, director of the Food Allergy Community of East Tennessee (FACET) came up with the idea. FACET’s Amanda Painter told WBIR (Knoxville) how her boss’ idea took off.
“Our (FACET) director, Becky Basalone, painted a pumpkin teal with her boys and put it out on her porch as part of a conversation piece for when people came to the door. And it really spurred from there.”
Since then, FARE has taken Ms. Basalone’s idea and turned it into the Teal Pumpkin Project. Ms. Painter said that the project is quickly becoming a trend.
“It has spread across the country and even into some other countries. There’s been a great awareness piece coming out of it.”
FARE spokesperson Veronica LaFemina told ABC Chicago that putting out a teal pumpkin lets trick-or-treaters know that your home welcomes them, even if they have food allergies that would otherwise put a damper on their Halloween.
“The benefit of providing non-food treats is that it’s inclusive for everyone. You’re able to ensure that every trick-or-treater that comes to your door is able to enjoy the holiday.”
— Michelle Fandrich (@emmefandy) October 20, 2014
FARE has provided a list of allergy-safe alternatives for trick-or-treaters. That list includes: glow-in-the-dark toys such as glowsticks, necklaces and bracelets; pencils, pens, crayons and markers; bubble toys; and bookmarks, stickers and stencils.
Will your family be putting out a teal pumpkin for allergy-free treats this Halloween? Let us know in the Comments below.
[Image courtesy of: WBIR]