Teal reveals homes for allergy-safe treats

HalloweenAllergies_TealPumpkin_blogThis Halloween you may notice front porches spotted with more than just your typical orange pumpkins or carved jack-o-lanterns. As part of new initiative, teal colored pumpkins are popping up at homes around the world in an effort to raise awareness about food allergies and promote the inclusion of children with allergies in the tradition that is trick-or-treating.

Known as the “teal pumpkin project,” it began in Tennessee last year and was adopted recently by Food Allergy Research & Education, or FARE, according to an American Online article.

FARE states that approximately six million American children suffer from peanut, egg, soy, wheat and other food allergies that can make eating Halloween candy potentially life threatening.

How it works:

If parents see a home with a pumpkin painted teal outside, or a teal pumpkin sign on the door, they know that home is offering allergy-friendly options for trick-or-treaters. While they will still have candy, they will also give children with food allergies the option of instead picking a toy such as bubbles, bouncy balls, stickers, crayons or markers.

“To have two hours one day a year where my kids just get to delight in being kids, that would be a dream,” said Laura Hass, in a recent interview. “It just takes a few dollars and you are going to change someone’s whole night.”

To participate in the “teal pumpkin project” place a teal painted pumpkin on your doorstep or download the official teal pumpkin flyer at www.foodallergy.org to place on your door before trick-or-treating begins in your neighborhood.

“We’re already seeing tons of photos of families who are painting their pumpkins teal and setting them out,” said Veronica LaFemina, a spokeswoman for FARE, to the Chicago Tribune. “The campaign is being embraced by people outside the allergy-awareness community too. Dentists love the idea and so do parents who try to limit sugar-induced meltdowns.”

The hashtag #TealPumpkinProject is becoming more popular on Facebook as Halloween approaches as well. FARE has asked for families to post their teal pumpkin pictures on social media as a way to generate awareness about the project.

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