The Teal Pumpkin Project: Halloween Fun For Everyone!

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Teal PumpkinThis Halloween season, while getting your goblins and ghouls ready for the streets, why not add one more tradition to your family: a Teal Pumpkin. The Teal Pumpkin Project is a great way to make the holiday more inclusive for everyone! Just one simple little item can change the holidays for so many families.

This is because it signals to your visiting neighbors that your house is safe for families with food allergies by providing non food treats. Why teal? Teal is the color for food allergy awareness, plus it’s a fun pop of color on the front steps! According to The Teal Pumpkin Project website,

1 in 13 children in the U.S. and approximately 15 million Americans of all ages have a food allergy. 

For moms with children that are the 1 in 13 this can be a scary time. A Contributor from our sister site, Fortworth Moms Blog, says it best:

Halloween, however, has always presented unique challenges. How do I keep my child safe while allowing him the joy of running from house to house with his friends ringing door bells and getting treats?

Jump In! 

So to get started and join the movement all you’ll need is a few basic things. This can even be a fun project for kids! Jenny Love from Scottsdale Moms Blog gives her tips for the perfect teal pumpkin:

You can paint a traditional orange pumpkin teal by using acrylic paint found at any craft store. Choose a pumpkin that has a smooth, even surface and give it a good rinse and thoroughly dry before you begin to paint. Using a sponge to apply paint works best because the paint goes on less “streaky.”

Teal Pumpkin

 

Not So Crafty? Not A Problem!

If you aren’t feeling up to making one yourself, Target (my favorite store ever) is selling them pre-made! That way you’ll be able to bring it out every year. Then you can add your address to the FARE (Food Allergy Research & Educations) fun interactive map for families to find all them pumpkins!

Can you imagine what it must be like to have a kid who cannot have nuts or milk or eggs on a holiday that is all about things made of those items? Christie from Nashville Moms Blog says:

At four, my son knows the phrase “peanut allergy” and has a vague idea that eating peanuts will “make him sick.” He doesn’t understand that eating peanuts might make him stop breathing. He probably wouldn’t just tear into a candy bar without asking me, but I can’t be sure. So I don’t take risks—no tricks or treats for us.

Can you imagine how hard that must be?

The list of allergens is long but the main ones can even be surprising and good to know, since according to FARE 15 million Americans suffer from life threatening allergies. Milk, eggs, wheat, peanuts, tree nuts, and sesame are all common ingredients in candy and can really steal the fun from a holiday if you are allergic. I know I am convinced that this will be added to my family traditions this year.

If you’re scratching your head and stumped on what items would be good and easy to give out instead of candy, here are 10 non-food treat ideas that we love from the Bloomington Moms Blog!

Chalk                 

Stickers

Glow sticks                        

Mini craft stamps

Temporary tattoos             

Halloween themed pencils

Spider rings

Halloween themed erasers

Bubbles

Small toy car

Find more ideas here! 

If you aren’t sure if you can handle getting that together on a budget, Knoxville Moms Blog has the low down on where to go:

GOOD NEWS. Walmart and FARE have teamed up to offer non-food treats at all their stores. I was just there this week and was overjoyed to see an ENTIRE AISLE of non-food treats all clearly labeled with FAACT’s teal ghost logo. You can find it right next to the Halloween decor and candy aisles. 

And don’t worry about being the only house without candy! You can always do two bowls, one with candy and one with non-food items so everyone has fun.

It’s absolutely nuts (no pun intended) how many items we’ve unknowingly use every day that could be a danger to a child with allergies beyond the known peanut filled candies. Houston Moms Blog brought our attention with this list:

  • Play Doh :: May contain wheat and/or chalk {which can trigger an asthma attack}
  • Balloons :: May contain dairy/milk protein
  • “Safe” Candy or Snacks :: While there may be some generally safe gummies, you just never know with food items. Even the food items that seem basic and non-threatening could still have hidden allergens. This is definitely not a comprehensive list, but it touches on some of the more popular food items often handed-out at Halloween.
    • Candy Corn :: Contains sesame oil
    • Laffy Taffy :: Contains egg
    • Caramels :: May contain dairy and wheat
    • Goldfish or Cheesy Crackers :: Contain dairy
    • String Cheese :: Contains dairy

 

So this year as you decorate the house with all your usual suspects – you know, witches and skeletons and cobwebs – add a cute teal pumpkin or even this easy printable and make it more fun and less scary for every family.  

Click on the image below for a printable version of this Teal Pumpkin sign to hang on your front door! Happy Trick-Or-Treating!

 

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Liz McTan is an entrepreneur, blogger, singer/songwriter and above all a mom. On her blog The Redheaded Rambling Mama she focuses on the necessity of connection and establishing our own village. Liz also writes about maintaining a sense of self after children, and beating the illusion of perfect parenting we see throughout social media and keeping a sense of humor to stay sane. She is a proponent of traveling, protesting, and even attending festivals with your kids. Through her battle with post-partum depression and anxiety she has found a new sense of self and purpose in her writing and music with her band Echo Hill. You can read more of her work at www.redheadedramblingmama.blog or on her social media pages www.facebook.com/redheadedramblingmama and www.instagram.com/redheadedramblingmama

4 COMMENTS

  1. Wow! Great post!! I love how you took snippets from contributors’ posts from sister sites. Thank you including me. Thank you for bringing about more awareness for this very important topic. Happy Halloween!!

  2. So the past couple of years, I have seen the teal pumpkins, but have never quite understood what they meant. This year we will be jumping on the teal pumpkin project.

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