Northern Wilds Magazine

The Teal Pumpkin Project

Halloween is all about being scared while having fun. Unfortunately, when it comes to trick-or-treating and living with food allergies, Halloween can become a nightmare.

According to the Food Allergy Research and Education Network (FARE), one in every 13 children has a food allergy, which can make Halloween challenging when it comes to trick-or-treating. Common allergens include milk, eggs, peanuts, soy, wheat, tree nuts, fish and shellfish. For some kids, even a tiny amount of an allergen has the potential to cause a severe reaction. However, by providing non-candy options to trick-or-treaters, you can help.

For neary 20 years, teal has been the color of food allergy awareness, so in 2014, FARE launched the Teal Pumpkin Project to help raise awareness of food allergies and promote safety and inclusion of all trick-or-treaters. The project encourages households to place a teal pumpkin on their front porch, letting trick-or-treaters know that they offer non-candy options. Or, if you don’t have time to paint a pumpkin, FARE offers free, printable sings to hang in your window.

Catering to those with allergies doesn’t mean you have to exclude candy. This simply allows children different options, ensuring that everyone has a fun and safe evening. However, keep in mind that some non-food items may still contain food allergens, such as some brands of moldable clay, which may contain wheat. And try to choose latex-free items too, as many children are allergic to latex. Great, inexpensive options include glow bracelets, stickers, pencils, etc.

Help make a difference this Halloween; place a teal pumpkin on your doorstep and offer an alternative for kids with food allergies. To download free FARE posters, or to learn more information, visit

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