When you're out taking your kids trick-or-treating on Halloween and you see a teal pumpkin on a neighbor's front porch, it has significance beyond just a cute decoration. The color is actually tied to FARE (Food Allergy Research & Education).
The Teal Pumpkin Project is an effort to bring food allergy awareness for kids with life-threatening food allergies. If you don't have children with these needs you probably didn't realize that Halloween means something completely different to those families since they can't trick-or-treat for actual Halloween candy.
Peanuts, dairy, eggs, and wheat are the food allergens that have been increasing in recent years, and some kids can end up in the ER from eating candy that contains those ingredients.
However, a teal pumpkin on the front porch is a message that that house has non-food items for trick-or-treaters who need them for an allergy-friendly alternative.
If your child suffers from food allergies, then trick-or-treating can be a stressful thing, rather than the fun family Halloween tradition it should be.
According to The Virginian-Pilot, Suzy Brophy, a teacher in Virginia Beach, wrote a children's book on the subject, in honor of her student, Macy Evans, who was born with life-threatening food allergies. Macy's Teal Pumpkin teaches kids about what Halloween is like for kids like Macy.
Participants in the Teal Pumpkin Project simply place a teal pumpkin on their porch. You can also put a sign that states that nonfood treats are available for kids with allergies.
Small toys, spider rings, bouncy balls, stickers, and glow sticks are popular goodies for non-food treats. You can also still give out candy to kids who don't have allergies if it's kept in a separate bowl.
If you want to read Macy's Teal Pumpkin, you can find it on Amazon. Read more about the Teal Pumpkin Project here. This year, consider spreading awareness of food allergies to your neighborhood with a teal blue pumpkin so that all trick-or-treaters are able to go home with a bag of Halloween treats!