Becoming a mother has changed the way we celebrate holidays. We now have a two-year-old interested in trick-or-treating. Therefore, the idea of handing out mass amounts of sugary treats for Halloween sits a little differently. It is nice to find a way to celebrate the holiday while promoting inclusion for everyone. Simultaneously decreasing candy intake is an added benefit. That is why our family participates in the Teal Pumpkin Project by Food Allergy and Education Research.
The Teal Pumpkin Project seeks to raise awareness about food allergies so all children can enjoy all the seasonal fun. With food allergies on the rise, this trend offers a safe experience for trick-or-treaters. Basically, how it works is we proudly place a teal pumpkin on our doorstep to signify that we offer non-candy treats. This can certainly be in addition to candy or in place of sweets. This allows children and their parents to have options, and it’s a win-win for moms that would love to limit the amount of candy coming though their own front door.
We also find that participating in this is a great way to start teaching our daughter about how to create options to allow everyone to participate. In our home, we are working to set a foundation for larger conversations about inclusion. Whether someone has different abilities or different diet needs we want to talk about making space for all our friends to participate. And yes, Halloween may be a small example, but keeping a mindset of creating a safe environment for everyone can start small.
The bonus of handing out non-candy items is that if you don’t have many trick-or-treaters this year, they are good for the next year. We just pulled out or bowl from last year and we’re all set already for the 31st! Another way to simplify your October to-do list. Here are some ideas and treats we put in our Teal Pumpkin Project bowl, most of which you can get at any store this time of year:
- Temporary tattoos
- Glow sticks and glow bracelets
- Spider rings
- Bouncy balls
- Pens, pencils and erasers
- Small notepads
Learn more about the Teal Pumpkin Project on the FARE website. It’s full of resources, like signs to print for your window, materials to purchase, and even an interactive map to download. This year several retailers like Target are joining the cause and selling nonperishable teal pumpkins in their stores. Of course you can always visit a local pumpkin patch and paint your own teal pumpkin.
We hope you join us in supporting children with food allergies. Add this to your list of another great way to have a safe and fun Halloween, and happy trick-or-treating!