Trick-or…teal?: Making Halloween safe for all

Take some of the fear out of trick-or-treating for food allergy families by joining the Teal Pumpkin Project™.

According to Food Allergy Research and Education (FARE), 15 million Americans have food allergies. One in every 13 children (that’s individuals under the age of 18) has a food allergy.

Keeping those numbers in mind, you can imagine that Halloween–the time of year when people can’t stop shoving candy in kids’ faces–can be downright scary for families dealing with food allergies.

But FARE doesn’t just dole out scary food allergy statistics; it’s also the force behind the Teal Pumpkin Project™, a nationwide effort to raise food allergy awareness and to make sure all kids head home on Halloween night with their trick-or-treat buckets full of fun and (most importantly) safe goodies.


The Teal Pumpkin Project™ project launched in 2014, and last Halloween season households from 50 states and seven countries took part, proudly displaying teal1 pumpkins on their porches for all to see. As of now, more than 100,000 homes are set to participate this Halloween, and we hope you’ll join in. As local artist and food allergy mom Tiffany Glass Ferreira explains it, the efforts of those participating in The Teal Pumpkin Project™ don’t go unnoticed.

Tiffany even wrote an Our House about being a food allergy parent!

“Teal pumpkins show support and understanding for trick-or-treaters navigating the holiday with food allergies,” she says. “It delights my kids to see a house displaying the signal…that their treats are safe for them.”

Here’s how you and yours can take part in The Teal Pumpkin Project™ this Halloween…

  1. Take the pledge, so FARE knows you’re in!
  2. Paint a pumpkin teal and set it out on your porch on Halloween (and/or post one of the printable signs available on the FARE website).
  3. Stock up on gobs and gobs of non-food items to pass out to the trick-or-treaters when it comes time for them to darken your doorway. Some ideas, courtesy of FARE:
  • Glow sticks, bracelets, or necklaces
  • Pencils, pens, crayons or markers
  • Bubbles
  • Halloween erasers or pencil toppers
  • Mini Slinkies
  • Whistles, kazoos, or noisemakers
  • Bouncy balls
  • Finger puppets or novelty toys
  • Coins
  • Spider rings
  • Vampire fangs
  • Mini notepads
  • Playing cards
  • Bookmarks
  • Stickers
  • Stencils

For more information, visit FARE’s website or find them on Facebook.

  1. Teal is the color of food allergy awareness–and has been for almost 20 years. The more you know, guys! 
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Valerie Catrow

Valerie Catrow is editor of RVAFamily, mother to a mop-topped first grader, and always really excited to go to bed.

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