Teal Is The New Orange: A Safer & Healthier Halloween
Halloween can quickly turn from a fun holiday to a night of stress, monitoring and sorting through candies. Simple mishaps when it comes to food allergies can be dangerous and even deadly. In the United States, 32 million Americans suffer from some kind of food allergy, including nearly 5.6 million children under the age of 18. What if there was a code that people could put out to signal that their haunted houses had non-food treats available for those trick-or-treating with allergies?
This was essentially what Becky Basalone created in 2012 when she decided it was time to make trick-or-treating safer for those who suffered from food allergies. By 2014, the Teal Pumpkin Project became a national awareness campaign backed by the non-profit organization, Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE).
Teal Pumpkin Project’s goal is to have at least one house per block offering non-candy treats. With each household that participates in the Teal Pumpkin Project, we come one step closer to that goal. These non-food treats make it possible for children who have allergies to still participate in a fun night and create childhood memories. There’s also a great opportunity to teach children about allergy awareness, label reading, and sugar consumption.
With more than 40 million children trick-or-treating each year, this October may be the perfect time for you to begin marking your house as a safe place for allergy-prone children.
So how do you participate? It’s easy! Decorate a pumpkin with teal paint or buy an artificial teal pumpkin online, which you can then reuse next year, or you can even print a sign and post it on your door. You can also add a yard sign to your front yard and add your house to the Teal Pumpkin Project Participation map so that people know where to find you!
Now that you’ve painted your pumpkin and your house is marked as an allergy-safe house, it’s time to have the treats ready. What fun options can you give instead of candy? Below we’ve linked suggestions for your convenience:
If there are too many options to choose from, go for a one-stop shop and get a Teal Pumpkin Project mega kit.
*Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in October 2018 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.