The Teal Pumpkin Project started in 2012 to raise awareness of people living with food allergies and food restrictions. The purpose is to highlight the fact that these kids can't eat many of the Halloween treats handed out at the door when they go trick-or-treating.
If you give out Halloween treats or you have anything to do with kids, you should know about the Teal Pumpkin Project.
Parents and teachers know Halloween is a big deal. Kids love the holiday and families put a lot of effort into costumes, decorations, parties and spooky Halloween treats.
What Do Teal Pumpkins Mean
Setting a teal coloured pumpkin on your doorstep on Halloween night tells everyone you have allergy friendly treats to give away. This can include food or non-food treats.
I don't see teal pumpkins on the doorsteps in my neighbourhood but I see them in other places telling me that awareness is slowly spreading.
How To Buy Safe Gluten Free Candy
In the food allergy world, and that includes the gluten free community, the social aspect of food and holidays has a big impact on everyone.
Food manufacturers don't want to miss out on sales so there are now plenty of allergy friendly treats labelled peanut free and gluten free. That's why credible organizations print lists of safe gluten free candy every year. To see the current lists check out my post for Homemade Halloween Treats.
Reinventing Food and Holiday Celebrations
Savvy celiacs and food allergy parents have come up with many ways to rethink food and holidays and you can too. From school parties to family get togethers, food plays an important role in our social lives. Having your own Cookie Decorating Party is only one way to ensure everything is safe.
Advocacy is a lifelong commitment and learning how others manage this can make people feel less alone. Participate in these communities for new ideas to create a gluten free lifestyle your kids love.
Raise Awareness of Food Allergies
Help raise awareness of food allergies and celiac disease in October by acknowledging the teal pumpkin project.
Follow the hashtag #tealpumpkinproject to see all the fun things going on.
I made Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies and took them to work with a mini teal pumpkin on a teal and white plate. This caused people to ask about the meaning of the teal pumpkins and started a conversation about food allergy awareness.
Food Allergy Advocates
The Teal Pumpkin Project was started by a mom of children with food allergies. Frustrated that they couldn’t eat the candy they worked hard to collect on Halloween night she came up with the idea.
Simply display a teal pumpkin telling trick-or-treaters that allergy friendly or non-food treats were available. The project has been successful and you can see photos of beautiful displays including many teal coloured pumpkins.
Read more about Becky Basalone here, Meet The Mom Who Founded the Teal Pumpkin Project.
Non-Food Treat Ideas
There are plenty of non-food treat ideas. The American Food Allergy Research & Education group, F.A.R.E., posted this list of non-food ideas to give out at the door.
- Glow sticks, bracelets, or necklaces.
- Pencils, pens, crayons or markers.
- Halloween erasers or pencil toppers.
- Mini slinkies.
- Whistles, kazoos, or noisemakers.
- Bouncy balls.
- Finger puppets or novelty toys.
May is Food Allergy Awareness Month
Watch for the teal theme in May too, celebrating Food Allergy Awareness month. Turn it Teal is a program that raises awareness for food allergies by lighting major buildings and landmarks in shades of teal, the official colour of food allergy. Here's a list of organizations involved.
- Food Allergy Canada
- F.A.R.E. and their Living Teal: Teal Pumpkin Project
- Asthma & Allergy Foundation of America: have an annual campaign during Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month.
- Allergic Living
- Turn It Teal
- Allergic Living is an excellent resource with credible information about living with food restrictions including celiac disease. Don't miss it!
Every October I spray paint some pumpkins with teal paint just for fun. Let me know in the comments below what you know about the Teal Pumpkin Project in your area.
New here? Join our community and get your FREE resource, the tips I wish I knew when I started cooking gluten free.
Yes, I need 29 Tips For Cooking with Gluten Free Flour.
Still haven't mastered gluten-free cooking? Check out our online Cooking Classes.