Teal Pumpkin Project: Have you heard of it? How to have a safe and inclusive Halloween!

It’s that time of year: Spooky ghosts, hay rides and, of course, trick-or-treating! This season is certainly a golden experience for children of all ages.

Halloween is just around the corner, and if you are like most parents, you are stocking up on treats and getting costumes for your little ghouls and goblins.

It’s a fun time of year, that’s for sure!

However, if you or someone you love has a food allergy, you know that this time of year can also be difficult. Not all Halloween treats are safe for those with food allergies, and that can make parties and trick-or-treating not only less fun, but also potentially life-threatening.

But, there is great news! A movement called the Teal Pumpkin Project began a few years ago to make Halloween more inclusive for those with food allergies. You might have seen teal pumpkins popping up in stores near you, or perhaps you saw a neighbor with a teal pumpkin on her porch last year.

The Teal Pumpkin Project continues to grow every year, and there are many ways you can participate, even if you don’t manage food allergies.

One of the best things you can do is get a teal pumpkin, or print out a sign, letting the little ghouls and goblins know that are candy alternatives available at your home. This way, children with food allergies can ask for a non-food treat instead of candy. Luckily, stores are stocked with all kinds of cool non-food treats this time of year, like glow sticks, pencils, slap bracelets, trinkets and toys.

You can add your home to the database of Teal Pumpkin Project homes in your neighborhood or town. You can also spread awareness by sharing your participation on social media, or just by talking about it to family and friends.

With some 6 million children having food allergies, chances are you or your child knows someone with this medical condition. But it’s not just children with allergies who benefit from the Teal Pumpkin Project; other children with medical conditions like celiac disease or conditions that require a special diet, like diabetes, can have a happier Halloween with candy alternatives.

Don’t forget: You can still pass out candy! The Teal Pumpkin Project isn’t a way to stop this Halloween tradition! It’s just another way to be inclusive and sensitive to children with food allergies and medical conditions. Children with food allergies and medical conditions are STILL children; they want to trick-or-treat! When you participate in the Teal Pumpkin Project, you help these children enjoy dressing up, getting into the Halloween spirit, and getting fun trinkets that they don’t have to give away when they get home.

The movement is worldwide and is growing each and every year. And that’s something to celebrate!

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