If you are fortunate like me and don’t have any children with food allergies, than you may mistake the teal pumpkins you see on doorsteps for a new fad in Halloween decor. Or maybe you even see them as an inconvenience. But for kids with allergies, they are lifesavers.
The Teal Pumpkin Project became a national campaign in 2014 after the Food Allergy Community of East Tennessee (FACET)’s idea sparked a conversation about awareness and inclusion. Still confused? The teal pumpkin symbolizes a food allergy. Placing a teal pumpkin outside your home signals trick-or-treaters that you have non-food treats available.
Why is this important? Children with food allergies are frequently forced to sit out of activities revolving around food such as trick-or-treating and class parties. According to Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE), “The Teal Pumpkin Project promotes safety, inclusion, and respect of individuals managing food allergies…It keeps Halloween a fun, positive experience for all.”
Does this mean Halloween as you knew it as a kid is over? Not exactly. Most households, even those who participate in the Teal Pumpkin Project, still offer candy to trick or treaters. This movement isn’t about completely changing the holiday – just making it fun for everyone.
As always, we asked OUR experts – our very own theCityMoms members! – for their thoughts on the Teal Pumpkin Project in Indianapolis. They gave us this scoop:
The Teal Pumpkin Project is popping up all over the NextDoor app and neighborhood Facebook pages, says CityMom Marie, and we’ve noticed this too. It seems like as awareness builds, so does interest from neighbors.
Stacy posted a video this year on her private and business Facebook pages to inform friends and family they would be participating. In it, CityKid Porter gives viewers a quick tutorial on the Project, helping put a little face and name to the movement.
“We participate every year,” says Victoria, “I grew up with three siblings that had severe food allergies, and my brother still has a peanut and tree allergy that could kill him. I’ve seen first hand how sad kids can be when they can’t eat any of their candy.”
“We’ve done the teal pumpkin for a few years. I work with kids with food allergies and think it’s an awesome idea. This year my daughter was diagnosed with allergies to all nuts, so it means even more to me now,” Lindsay adds.
Esther stocks up on Halloween-themed temporary tattoos, erasers, pencils, and other Target dollar aisle finds. Amy agrees that the pencils and erasers usually get picked over the candy.
Shelly gives out glow bracelets and said many kids prefer those over candy. Kimberly agrees and adds that the bracelets even make trick or treaters safer and easier to spot.
Here are 5 easy non-candy Halloween treats to consider!
MORE HALLO-FUN: The Headless Horseman rides in to Conner Prairie
Is a Teal Pumpkin necessary?
Many of our CityMoms told us they don’t actually put out a teal pumpkin but are sure to have non-food treats as an option. However others noted using a teal pumpkin makes kids with allergies feel the love and helps continue increasing awareness.
Special celebrations in Indianapolis
CityMom Jeanine noted seeing a couple different festivals or events specifically dedicated to the Teal Pumpkin Project in Indianapolis. Upon review, we found:
Mom hacks, because of course our CityMoms are rocking this.
Desta has kids with food allergies. Not only do they buy enough allergy-free candy to pass out to trick or treaters, but they also buy enough to trade with their own kids for candy they can’t eat. “The best part of trick or treating at our house is coming home to sort and trade,” she said.
No pumpkin, no problem: “I usually print a giant teal pumpkin and tape it to our door,” said Marie.
So that’s how theCityMoms are doing the Teal Pumpkin Project in Indianapolis this year – will you participate? Discover more information or quick printable signs for your own home here.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
As a transplant to the Midwest, Megan Bohrer still got excited by the first snow flurries of the season. Although her husband’s job as a private school administrator brought them to the area, Megan recently moved ‘home’ to Atlanta. And damn, we miss her.
When she isn’t chasing after her three children or putting herself through nursing school, Megan enjoys drinking craft beer, photography, playing soccer, and fantasizing about all of the Pinterest projects she will one day complete.