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Teal Pumpkins on Halloween? This Is What It Means

Here’s everything you need to know about teal pumpkins!

Revitalizing, teal is a calming color that brings images of the infinite sea and sky, meaning it isn’t a standard pumpkin color.

Still, the Halloween season is just getting started, and orange pumpkins are popping up not only on porches and stoops but also in windows everywhere.

Chances are, you’ll see some teal pumpkins among them. While it isn’t a traditional Halloween color, it’s growing in popularity during this time of the year.

Rightly so, because teal pumpkins are far more than a trendy decoration. They promote inclusion and assure children are safe. Let’s learn about it!

Teal pumpkin for an allergy free Halloween

What’s the Teal Pumpkin Meaning

Like the purple pumpkins (and in a way like the blue pumpkins and pink pumpkins), teal pumpkins are part of a project to raise awareness and offer safe options for trick-or-treaters.

Since tiny amounts of allergens can cause severe reactions in those affected, sometimes even life-threatening, the Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE) organization created the Teal Pumpkin Project.

The project aims to raise not only awareness of food allergies but also promote the inclusion of all trick-or-treaters during the Halloween season.

Unfortunately, many people have been negatively affected by the increase in food allergies and can’t experience a traditional Halloween.

Therefore, if you see a teal pumpkin on someone’s doorstep, it means they provide non-food treats.

Boy holding Halloween teal pumpkin
Teal pumpkins for an allergy-free Halloween

How Did the Teal Pumpkin Project Start

Inspired by a local awareness activity run in 2014 by the Food Allergy Community of East Tennessee (FACET), FARE created the Teal Pumpkin Project, which successfully helps children (and parents) celebrate Halloween worry-free!

On top of that, the Teal Pumpkin Project brings important messages of awareness, inclusion, and community — everything we want for the Halloween season, right.

So what started as a one-time initiative is now a nationwide project, and chances are you can see a bunch of teal pumpkins on peoples’ doorsteps around America.

Further out, many popular Halloween candies contain nuts, milk, eggs, or soy, so they’re among the most common allergens both in children and adults.

Not to mention many miniature versions of candies may not have labels, making it even more challenging for parents to know whether an item is safe for their child or not.

To give you an idea, one in 13 children in the US has a food allergy — that’s roughly two children with food allergies in every classroom.

And the bad news is that it is a growing public health issue since life-threatening food allergies, and non-threatening, continuously grow.

Children sitting on porch with orange and teal pumpkins
Teal pumpkins make Halloween more inclusive!

Why Are Teal Pumpkins Important

As you can imagine, Halloween can be a tricky time for families with food allergies. On top of that, plenty of traditional Halloween treats are actually dangerous for children with food allergies, as mentioned above.

So the Teal Pumpkin Project brings food allergy awareness and is an alternative for children who can’t eat candy, including kids with allergies, diabetes, or other dietary restrictions.

This way, Halloween remains a fun, positive experience for everybody!

One more reason to put a teal pumpkin on your doorstep this year!

Teal pumpkin for an allergy free Halloween
Teal pumpkin for an allergy-free Halloween

Children Who Benefit From Non-Food Halloween Treats

The teal pumpkins can benefit a number of groups, including children with:

  • Diabetes
  • Food allergies
  • Food intolerances
  • Celiac disease
  • Obesity
  • Eosinophilic Esophagitis (EoE)
  • Food protein-induced enterocolitis syndrome (FPIES)
  • Special diet
  • Whose families prefer they don’t eat candy

How Can You Help

This Halloween, place a teal pumpkin in a window or porch, and prepare some non-food items for trick-or-trickers!

Don’t have time to paint a pumpkin teal? That’s ok! You can look for teal pumpkins at local shops or online. 

Alternatively, you can print one of these free signs and flyers provided by FARE to post on your door.

Halloween teal basket full of trinkets
Non-food items!

Can You Still Pass Out Candy?

Absolutely! The whole point of the Teal Pumpkin Project is about inclusion and safety. 

In order to make it as inclusive as possible, pass out candies and non-food treats. Just be sure to keep them in separate bowls.

This way, we can all enjoy and celebrate a safe Halloween!

What Do You Put in Teal Pumpkins?

There is a vast number of non-candy Halloween treat ideas that are inexpensive and just as fun as the usual candy. Here are some non-candy teal pumpkin treat ideas:

  • Glow sticks, bracelets, and necklaces
  • Vampire fangs
  • Stickers and tattoos
  • Whistles
  • Bubbles
  • Bouncy balls
  • Playing cards
  • Mini notebooks
  • Fun pencils and erasers
  • Crayons
  • Spider rings
  • Unopened Happy Meal toys

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