Halloween is all about Trick or treating. It wouldn’t be Halloween without kids going door-to-door to collect candy. Trick or treating has been a Halloween tradition for a long time. Many Halloween traditions stem from the Celtic holiday Samhain. Trick or Treating, in particular, came from activities and traditions during the Middle Ages. During this time, the Catholic Church was attempting to convert other religions, such as Pagans, to Catholicism.
Halloween and trick or treating can be challenging for kids with food allergies. Of course, all kids want to get dressed up and partake in the Halloween tradition, but many kids with food allergies cannot eat candy. This is especially true for candy with peanuts in it, or candy produced in a factory where peanuts are present. To ensure all kids are able to safely participate in trick or treating on October 31st, it has recently become common practice to provide other treats besides food or candy to children.
To help ensure this practice becomes a trick or treating tradition for future generations, The Teal Pumpkin Project was started in 2014 by the Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE) organization. The objective of The Teal Pumpkin Project is to raise awareness of food allergies and promote inclusion of all trick-or-treaters during Halloween. Keep an eye out for a teal pumpkin displayed at homes to signify a participating household. The teal pumpkin can be an actual pumpkin, or a sign in the window. The presence of the teal pumpkin means that the house provides treats other than candy for trick or treaters.
How to Participate in the Teal Pumpkin Project:
- Provide non-food treats for trick-or-treaters. Check out Teal Pumpkin Project’s ideas for non-food treats.
- Place a teal pumpkin in front of your home to indicate to a passerby that you have non-food treats available. While it can be a fun project to paint an actual pumpkin teal, you can also simply place a teal pumpkin sign on your window.
- FARE recommends to display one of their free printable signs or posters to explain the meaning of the teal pumpkin.