Wednesday, October 12, 2016

For Halloween: The Teal Pumpkin Project

We moved into our new home last year, in the week before Halloween.

Almost a year later, we are thick in the daydreaming and planning for halloween costumes at our house. 

Halloween is lauded as being one of the most inclusive "holidays" we celebrate here in the states. Kids of all faiths and non-faiths can join together. Unless they have food allergies or other medical conditions that prevent them from participating

Navigating halloween treats, trick-or-treating candy, and even activities can be a minefield waiting to explode, at best. Food allergies, medical conditions, and more, prevent many kids from being able to enjoy this holiday.

Did you know that small sized versions of many popular candies actually have different ingredients than their well-marked larger counterparts? This makes it very difficult to navigate what a child can and cannot enjoy. 

From their own website:


Every child should be able to experience the joy and tradition of trick-or-treating on Halloween. But kids with food allergies are often left out of the fun, since most candy is off limits.
FARE’s Teal Pumpkin Project helps make sure all children will come home on Halloween night with something they can enjoy. It just takes one simple act: offering non-food treats, such as glow sticks or small toys, as an alternative to candy.
Last year, households from all 50 states and 14 countries participated. This is a worldwide movement to create a safer, happier Halloween for all trick-or-treaters.
The Teal Pumpkin Project encourages people to raise awareness of food allergies and promotes inclusion of all trick-or-treaters throughout the Halloween season. The steps to participate are:

Provide non-food treats for trick-or-treaters

Place a teal pumpkin – the color of food allergy awareness –in front of your home to indicate you have non-food treats available.

Display a free printable sign from FARE to explain the meaning of your teal pumpkin."

Consider adding your house to the crowd-sourced Map of Teal Pumpkin Project houses participating this year.

The goal is not to stop providing candy for most trick-or-treaters. The goal is to make it safe for everyone to participate and enjoy. Provide as many food and non-food goodies as you like.

For much more information visit their website and especially check out their Frequently Asked Questions.

From a more personal standpoint, we steer clear of candy and processed foods and try to make as little trash as possible. I love the idea of a few novelty toys, stickers, notepads and pencils (what we personally will add to our goodies for the door) or even treats packaged in cardboard boxes. Please avoid silly putties and play clays as they can contain wheat ingredients, making them off limits to many. 

How will you make halloween better for everyone this year? 

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