Food allergies can make Halloween extra-scary for kids and parents of kids with life-threatening food allergies. We wholeheartedly believe that Halloween should be fun and safe for every kid, and that’s why we participate in the Teal Pumpkin Project each year – and so should you!
The Teal Pumpkin Project encourages people to raise awareness of food allergies and promotes inclusion of all trick-or-treaters throughout the Halloween season. This international movement offers an alternative for kids with food allergies, as well as other children for whom candy is not an option, and keeps Halloween a fun, positive experience for all. Last year people from 14 countries participated!
Food allergies affect so many, even if you don’t have any food allergies in your house, we bet you know lots who do. One in 13 Canadians (or 2.5 million people) is affected by a food allergy, according to new prevalence estimates from the Allergy, Genes and Environment Network (AllerGen). The same research project found that 6.9 percent of children under 18 years of age have at least one food allergy.
It’s so simple to participate in the Teal Pumpkin Project. All you have to do is place a teal-coloured pumpkin outside your front door (or display a poster) and provide non-food treats to trick-or-treaters.
Here are some of our favourite goodies to hand out (most you can find at the dollar store):
- pencils & erasers (Halloween themed, of course)
- silly straws
- temporary tattoos
- bouncy balls
- silly string
- playing cards
And remember, it’s really easy to participate:
- Paint your pumpkin teal and display it outside your home or download and display a free printable poster/sign in your window
- Provide non-food treats for trick-or-treaters
- Add your address to the Teal Pumpkin Project Map
- Tell your families and friends and ask them to join the campaign
You can choose to still provide candy treats to Trick-or-Treaters who are not allergic, just make sure to keep the food treats separate from the non-food treats.
Put out your teal pumpkin this Halloween to help promote an inclusive Halloween and keep all kids safe.
If you’d like to take your dedication to the Teal Pumpkin Project one step further, consider supporting the BC Children’s Hospital’s Oral Immunotherapy Program by purchasing an Allergy Mala, a beautiful gemstone mala bracelet handcrafted by Zenwand. $10 from every purchase goes directly to support the creation of the OIT Program at BC Children’s Hospital. Visit Zenwand for more details.