Halloween is among our favorite holidays! Who doesn't like dressing up in their favorite costume, collecting candy with family and friends and seeing the spooky and fun displays around the neighborhood?
For our family, and many others, it's also a holiday that brings great anxiety because we have food allergies. One in every 13 children has at least one food allergy. We are allergic to three (gluten, dairy and egg) of the top eight food allergens. Did you know even licorice contains wheat? Who would've thought?
We hope you'll join our family and many others across the country to make trick-or-treat safer and happier for everyone by participating in the #tealpumpkinproject!
Help Make Halloween safer for Trick-or-Treaters with Food Allergies
The pumpkin painted teal, the color for food allergy awareness, signals to children they will find a fun, non-food treat at your home they can safely enjoy later. This year, we're giving out boxes of spooky tattoos!
The Teal Pumpkin Project, now in its fifth year, was born out of one mom's desire to help ensure children with food allergies wouldn't feel left out on Halloween. The national awareness campaign, led by Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE), has spread far and wide – reaching millions across the U.S. and beyond — in an effort to help create a happier, safer Halloween for all.
“It’s clear that food allergies are a serious public health issue that we all must take seriously,” said Lois Witkop, chief advancement officer at FARE. “The Teal Pumpkin Project provides an opportunity for all of us to show empathy for kids who often feel excluded. We would love to see at least one teal pumpkin on every block – and it’s a terrific way for communities to come together to celebration inclusion.”
How to be Part of The Teal Pumpkin Project
Being part of the Teal Pumpkin Project is simple:
- Provide non-food treats for trick-or-treaters – Here are a list of ideas for non-food treats
- Paint a pumpkin teal or buy a teal pumpkin – You can find teal pumpkins at your local craft store or pharmacy, print a free sign from FARE’s website, or find fun signs on Pinterest.
- Place your teal pumpkin or sign in front of your home – This lets trick-or-treaters know that you have non-food treats available.
Helpful Tip – Use this online crowd-sourced map that shows participating households. You can also submit your own house to be included in the map.
For Westlake mom Vikki Meldrum, the Teal Pumpkin Project has already provided an unforgettable experience for her and her 4-year-old daughter, Lyla. Meldrum spread the word about the initiative among her neighbors, who have now shown their support for the last two years, with at least 30 teal pumpkins in her own neighborhood.
“The Teal Pumpkin Project made the holiday inclusive for kids like Lyla. Teal pumpkins empower her to not only feel safe on Halloween (even with so many allergens present), but also that she is truly a part of the holiday,” Meldrum said. “So often we have to bend a typical situation around Lyla’s allergies. This movement has allowed Lyla to freely participate, and that is amazing.”
We'd love to know how many of you will be participating in the Teal Pumpkin Project! Tell us in a comment below!
You May Also be Interested In:
- Trick or Treat across Northeast Ohio – Dates & Time local communities are holding trick-or-treat this year.
- Family Friendly Halloween Fun – Details on the kid friendly (non-scary) Halloween events taking place across Northeast Ohio
- Over the top Halloween Yard Displays – From inflatables, lights set to music and scary scenes these unique Halloween decorations are sure to please.