The Teal Pumpkin Project aims to make Halloween fun for all

Published in Internal Medicine, For the Health of It Author: Tiffany Rickbeil,MD

Internal Medicine
CentraCare Clinic – River Campus Internal Medicine

What started as a local project in Tennessee has become a national campaign to help raise awareness and make Halloween safer for those affected by food allergies.

One in 13 children has a food allergy. Regardless if a child is allergic to nuts, milk, eggs, soy or wheat — he or she should be able to have fun going door-to-door with friends and family on Halloween. By selecting non-food treats, you can help everyone feel included.

To help participate in the Teal Pumpkin Project, follow these steps:

  1. Purchase non-food treats to give out. You can usually find great ideas at Target, Walmart or your local dollar store. Examples include:
    • stickers
    • glow bracelets or necklaces
    • bubbles
    • crayons or pencils
    • kazoos
    • Halloween-themed erasers
    • Play-Doh
    • bouncy balls
    • whistles
    • stamps
    • light-up rings
  2. Paint a pumpkin teal or make a sign indicating you have non-food treats. If you want to print out a sign, you can find one at the Food Allergy Research & Education website.
  3. If you have a teal pumpkin or a sign at your house, you still can distribute candy on Halloween if you wish. Just keep the candy items in containers separated from the non-food items. When little ghosts and goblins come to your door, ask them which they would prefer.

Kids who don’t have food allergies also enjoy getting non-food treats. It is a healthier option and it’s something they can play with right away on Halloween night. Our family picks something like glow bracelets or light-up rings that help make trick-or-treaters more visible when out and about on Halloween night.