The Teal Pumpkin

Have you heard of the Teal Pumpkin Project?

For many families that have a child with certain food allergies, the scariest part about Halloween is making sure their child does not ingest candy with the allergen. Common allergens, such as nuts and dairy, are found in candy, and it could be life-threatening if there is even the slightest oversight. That’s where the Teal Pumpkin Project comes in. You can offer non-candy items so families know that your house is safe for their food-allergen trick-or-treater. Simply paint a pumpkin teal (or print a sign from and place it outside your house. While you can still offer regular candy, you can also offer non-candy items in a separate bowl so kids can still enjoy the fun of trick or treating while giving their parents peace of mind that their child has less possible exposure to food allergens. What are some ideas to replace regular candy? Try these non-food “treats”:

  • Bubbles
  • Glow sticks
  • Crayons or markers
  • Spider rings
  • Bookmarks
  • Vampire teeth
  • Stickers
  • Slap bracelets
  • Temporary tattoos
  • Ghost face stress balls
  • Other non-candy prizes

As an extra precaution to minimize cross contact, you can wear non-latex gloves or serving tongs to make sure you are not contaminating the non-food treat.

This also includes kids who may not have an allergy, but other conditions, special diets or food sensitivities, too.

There are lots of options for making kids feel included in a holiday that can be a stressor for some families. So consider giving a teal pumpkin a try this year. Some families may not know what it means, so you can also use it as an educational opportunity for your neighbors and help spread the word on this worldwide movement. Who knows—maybe next year, your street will have teal pumpkins at every doorstep.

Featured image by Jenifoto –


Shari Bresin, Family and Consumer Sciences Agent for Pasco County Extension
Posted: October 9, 2021

Category: Food Safety, Health & Nutrition, Work & Life
Tags: Allergen, Halloween, Pumpkin

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