Have you heard of the “Teal Pumpkin Project®”? Having a young family member with notable food restrictions, the Teal Pumpkin Project is something we strongly support and recommend for the safety of food-sensitive children and a way to allow all to fully participate and enjoy the fun of Halloween and trick-or-treating.
Prompted by childhood food allergies, the Teal Pumpkin Project is a worldwide movement to create a safer, healthier, and happy Halloween experience for all children, including those with food allergies, which can be life-altering and life-threatening. One in thirteen children suffers from some sort of food allergy today. Among the project’s goals is to raise awareness of food allergies and to promote inclusion for all little trick-or-treaters during the Halloween season.
Halloween can be an especially challenging time for children, parents, and families managing food allergies on a daily basis. Many “mini” or “fun-sized” treats are not labeled with food ingredients and/or contain different ingredients than their full-sized counterparts, making managing for parents even more difficult.
The goal is to offer non-food treats for children dealing with allergies, as well as others for whom candy treats may not be an option. The whole purpose is not only food safety for those with allergies but also kindness and inclusion. Small children confronted with allergy issues will be delighted to receive a small non-food, non-threatening treat alternative, while other children can still receive traditional Halloween treats. No one left out of the fun. That’s the Little Red Bear way!
Participating in the Teal Pumpkin Project is easy.
- Simply provide non-food treats for trick-or-treaters on Halloween night.
- Place a Teal Pumpkin (‘teal’ is the chosen color of Food Allergy Awareness) in front of your home to indicate that you have non-food treats available for trick-or-treaters, or in lieu of a Teal Pumpkin, a sign or poster placed on your door or window.
Where do I get a Teal Pumpkin to put on my front porch?
- Obtaining a Teal Pumpkin for Halloween is fairly simple — paint your own! Grab some teal paint and make it a family project. If you have children of your own, it will be a wonderful learning opportunity to involve them to help educate and raise their awareness of food allergy issues. Perhaps they have friends who are affected by allergies, making it even more personal and beneficial to be included in the process.
- If you cannot paint a pumpkin yourself, no worries. Teal pumpkins should hopefully be available for purchase both online and in local shopping outlets. As the movement continues to grow each year, they will become readily available.
- If painting is not an option and teal pumpkins are not available in your local stores, all you really need to do is display a sign or teal pumpkin printout at your door or in a window, letting everyone know that you have non-food treats available. Tap on the image on the right to download the sign and print out a copy for your home. Participating is as simple as that.
What are acceptable Non-Food Treats?
- Children love to do artwork — Pencils, Pens, Crayons, Markers, Stencils!
- Children love to do artwork outdoors — Sidewalk Chalk!
- Children love to blow bubbles — Bubble Blowers!
- Halloween Erasers and Pencil Toppers are really cool.
- Children love to remind us that they are around — Whistles, Kazoos, Clappers, and Noisemakers (parents will love you!)
- Bouncy Balls (small children never have enough bouncy balls!)
- Glow Sticks!
- Small Stuffed Animals!
- Jumping Ropes!
- Paddle Balls!
- Small Playing Cards and Games!
- Finger Puppets and Novelty Toys!
- Simple Bracelets, Wrist Bands, and Necklaces!
- Mini Yo-Yo’s or Slinkies!
- Mini Wooden Airplanes!
- And of course, the perennial Halloween favorite — Fake Dracula Teeth!
- Note — When selecting non-food items, it is best to omit moldable clays which may contain wheat products, and to steer away from any items made of or containing latex, for those latex-sensitive individuals.
A quick trip to the local dollar or discount store should provide all you need, and may very likely be cheaper than high-priced candy these days, keeping in mind that if you do go the non-food treat route only one in thirteen children will be seeking the non-food treats, so not talking about a great deal of items. Just enough to include a little something for everyone. Time spent in making an extra trip each Halloween will be more than offset by the warm feeling of knowing that you are doing something not only nice but also beneficial for the kids, and by the smiles and happiness of those receiving your special treat items on Halloween night.
This year, Little Red Bear and I urge you to join us in taking the pledge —
If you would like to learn more about food allergies and The Teal Pumpkin Project simply tap the link to visit the Food Allergy Research & Education page, where more suggestions for non-food treats and other ways to participate and help the movement are available. You can also read more about How The Teal Pumpkin Project Began.
Here is a resource site for downloadable Free Signs, Flyers & More!
Thanks always for visiting with us. We hope that you will join Little Red Bear and me in The Teal Pumpkin Project and helping to make this a safe, healthy, and enjoyable Halloween — for Everyone! — Jim (and Red!)
“Thank God for little children; when our skies turn cold and gray, They come as sunshine to our hearts, and charm our cares away.” – Frances Watkins Harper
“He who has health, has hope. And he who has hope, has everything.” – Thomas Carlyle
“Let us put our minds together and see what life we can make for our children.” — Sitting Bull (Hunkpapa Lakota)
This is a purposefully non-monetized, ad-free site to be able to offer the most enjoyable reading and viewing experience for everyone, with all content freely shared, and generates no income to offset the costs of maintaining and operating. If you enjoy your visits and time with us, Join our new Patron Community today, because together we can do so much!
With the help of patrons, each month we are able to donate free print copies of “The Adventures of Little Red Bear: The First Holler!” to Senior Citizens, School Libraries and Classrooms, and to those who could otherwise not obtain a copy.
Patrons also help my friend Little Red Bear and me to continue this as a non-monetized, ad-free site, dedicated solely to entertainment and educational purposes while sharing positive messages of happiness, inspiration, and kindness with everyone. We invite you to join us in making a positive difference in the world!
“Children will not remember you for the material things you provided but for the feeling that you cherished them.” – Richard L. Evans
“Children are the living messages we send to a time we will not see.” – John F. Kennedy
“Who is Little Red Bear?”
Meet Little Red Bear and His Friends in this short introduction to the stories — “Once Upon A Time In A Very Special Woods . . . .”