The Teal Pumpkin Project

Originally published 10/27/2016

As a nutrition coach who works with clients with food allergies, I was really stoked to learn about The Teal Pumpkin Project. I am excited to share this movement with you, explain the meaning behind the teal pumpkins, and show you how you can participate.

What is the Teal Pumpkin Project?

The Teal Pumpkin Project is a global initiative organized by the Food Allergy Research And Education (FARE) group to help trick-or-treaters with food allergies enjoy the holiday equally as much as those without allergies.

Common Foods Linked To Food Allergies

We all know someone with a food allergy. The prevalence of food allergies has skyrocketed over recent years, especially among children. In the United States, one in 13 children has a food allergy. According to the Centers For Disease Control And Prevention (CDC), “Allergic conditions are among the most common medical conditions affecting children in the United States.”

Ninety percent of all serious food-related allergic reactions in the United States are caused by one or more of the following foods:

  1. Eggs
  2. Fish
  3. Milk
  4. Peanuts
  5. Shellfish
  6. Soy
  7. Tree nuts
  8. Wheat

Unfortunately, most Halloween candies contain at least one of these ingredients. To complicate matters, many miniature or fun-size versions of candy contain different ingredients than their full-size counterparts and some mini candy items may not have nutrition labels. This can make it very difficult for parents to determine whether these items are safe for their children with food allergies.

For children with food allergies, this makes pounds upon pounds of candy off limits each Halloween. We all know Halloween is often focused around candy, and for all of the kids with food allergies, this can be a total bummer!

…but it doesn’t have to be.

How does The Teal Pumpkin Project work?

Every child should be able to joyfully participate in Halloween trick-or-treating. This is where FARE’s Teal Pumpkin Project comes into play.

  • The Teal Pumpkin Project aims to help make Halloween a safer and happier holiday for all by raising awareness of food allergies and promoting inclusion of all trick-or-treaters.
  • The goal of The Teal Pumpkin Project is to help give children the option to collect items on Halloween that they will enjoy so that no child is left out of the tradition of trick-or-treating.
  • The campaign encourages households across the globe to offer non-food treats, such as glow sticks or small toys, as an alternative to candy on Halloween.
  • Those who participate simply place a teal pumpkin and/or a Teal Pumpkin Project sign/poster outside their house to let others know they are passing out non-food items. These households can still pass out candy, but if they do, they are encouraged to keep food treats and non-food treats in separate bowls.
  • The Teal Pumpkin Project was inspired by a local awareness activity run by the Food Allergy Community of East Tennessee (FACET) and launched as a national campaign by FARE in 2014.
  • Last year, households from all 50 states and 14 countries participated.

Why Teal?

Are you wondering why the color teal is used? Teal is the color of food allergy awareness and has been used to raise awareness about this medical condition for nearly 20 years.

Who Can Benefit From The Teal Pumpkin Project?

All children/trick-or-treaters can participate in this campaign and enjoy non-food treats. There are children who have health conditions that may preclude them from eating candy, or can particularly benefit from non-food treats, including children who have:

  • Celiac disease
  • Diabetes
  • Eosinophilic Esophagitis (EoE)
  • Feeding tubes
  • Food allergies
  • Food intolerances
  • Food protein-induced enterocolitis syndrome (FPIES)
  • Any child on a special diet
  • Any child whose parents’ want to reduce the amount of sugar in their diet

How To Participate

Taking part in this movement is simple. All you have to do is:

  1. Provide non-food treats for trick-or-treaters.
  2. Place a teal pumpkin in front of your home to indicate to passersby that you have non-food treats available.
  3. Display a free printable sign or poster from FARE’s website to explain the meaning of your teal pumpkin.
  4. Spread the word. Let others in your neighborhood know about The Teal Pumpkin Project.
  5. Register your home or street to the official Teal Pumpkin Project interactive map (see below).
The Teal Pumpkin Project
Photo © orientaltrading.com

Non-Food Halloween Treat Ideas

Treats not sweets! There are several items that can be purchased and handed out to all trick-or-treaters. My article, “Non-Food Treat Ideas For A Candy-Free Halloween” tells you all that you need to know about non-food Halloween treats! 🙂

The Teal Pumpkin Project Crowd-Source Map

People participating in FARE’s Teal Pumpkin Project can add their home address or street to the official Teal Pumpkin Project map. This map allows participants to connect with local homes in their area that are offering non-food items to trick-or-treaters. To see the map, click on the link below:

Promote The Teal Pumpkin Project

Are you pumped about this movement and want to share it with others? Here are some things you can do to spread awareness about this kick-ass project:

  • Share this article online and via email with friends and family.
  • Add your home to the official Teal Pumpkin Project Map.
  • Host a teal pumpkin painting party and ask your friends and neighbors to participate.
  • Download free flyers and pass them out to friends, neighbors and local businesses.
  • If you have a community email listserv, send out an email about the initiative, including a link to FARE’s website (www.foodallergy.org).
  • Promote the project on social media by using the hashtag #tealpumpkinproject.
  • Share your teal pumpkin with the world and enter FARE’s contest for a chance to win some swag! Take a photo of your award-winning teal pumpkin and upload it to Instagram, Facebook and Twitter with the hashtag #tealpumpkincontest and tag @FoodAllergy.

What Others Are Saying About The Teal Pumpkin Project

Click on FARE’s blog link below to learn what others are saying about this movement.

 Resources

Conclusion

Teal Pumpkin ProjectFood allergies are on the rise, especially among children. Halloween candy-hype can prove to be a challenging time for many families – but it doesn’t have to be and luckily there are alternatives to candy treats.

If you see a teal pumpkin on a doorstep this Halloween, it likely means that household is participating in The Teal Pumpkin Project, a national campaign launched by Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE) in 2014. The project is aimed at raising awareness of food allergies and promoting the “inclusion of all trick-or-treaters throughout the Halloween season.”

Anyone can join the movement. All you have to do is pledge to provide non-food treats for trick-or-treaters and place a teal pumpkin and/or Teal Pumpkin Project sign outside of your house.

I am surprised that this is the first year that I have heard about The Teal Pumpkin Project. I have seen teal pumpkins sitting on doorsteps in the past, but I always thought these colorful pumpkins were the result of a Martha Stewart craft project – ha! With this post, I hope to inform those of you who are also in the dark about this wonderful campaign.

Now that I know what it is, I feel passionate about The Teal Pumpkin Project – I wholeheartedly love that it promotes awareness, inclusion and community. It’s a beautiful concept – one that I appreciate because I know so many people (adults and children), including myself who struggle with food allergies and/or intolerances.

Please help raise awareness of food allergies and promote the inclusion of all trick-or-treaters throughout the Halloween season by participating in The Teal Pumpkin Project and telling as many people you know. Together, let’s help create a safer, happier and healthier Halloween for all trick-or-treaters.

Please share

Please help spread awareness about food allergies this Halloween. Email this post and share it via social media. Thanks!

Thoughts?

Please share with the Bamboo Core family your thoughts, tips, and experiences. You never know, your comments might be the ones that help or encourage others who are reading this post.

  • What do you think of The Teal Pumpkin Project? Have you heard of it before?
  • Do you participate in The Teal Pumpkin Project? Are you planning on passing out non-food treats this Halloween?
  • Do you or your children have food allergies or intolerances? If yes, what challenges are you faced with during the holiday season? How do you manage those obstacles, especially during Halloween – which is candy-centric?

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Author Details
Founder and CEO of BambooCore
Jennifer is a certified NASM Personal Trainer, MovNat Trainer, and a C.H.E.K Holistic Lifestyle/Nutrition Coach. As the Founder and CEO of BambooCore Fitness, she delivers sustainable lifestyle, nutrition and movement strategies to people looking to improve their health and performance.

When she is not slaying fat and building muscle, Jennifer can be found trekking barefoot, traveling, cooking and refining her photography skills. She also enjoys reading and writing about food culture, history and the science of human movement.
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Founder and CEO of BambooCore
Jennifer is a certified NASM Personal Trainer, MovNat Trainer, and a C.H.E.K Holistic Lifestyle/Nutrition Coach. As the Founder and CEO of BambooCore Fitness, she delivers sustainable lifestyle, nutrition and movement strategies to people looking to improve their health and performance.

When she is not slaying fat and building muscle, Jennifer can be found trekking barefoot, traveling, cooking and refining her photography skills. She also enjoys reading and writing about food culture, history and the science of human movement.

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